Penn State Splits Doubleheader with Ohio State
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State Nittany Lions beat the Ohio State Buckeyes 6-4 in game one of a Tuesday night double-header at Beard Field, but fell 12-1 to the Buckeyes in game two.
Although they had a 2-0 advantage after two innings in game one, Ohio State wasted many opportunities to take a demanding lead in the game as they left the bases loaded in four of seven innings played. Efforts by shortstop Lilli Piper, who went 4-5 with an RBI, and third baseman Ashley Prange, who hit a solo shot in the top of the sixth, were not enough to give the Buckeyes the victory, and the defense is most likely to blame.
Ohio State’s starting pitcher Morgan Ray looked dominant early, allowing no hits through the first two innings. However, Ray’s luck ran out in the third inning when she allowed leftfielder Toni Polk and second baseman Claire Swedberg to score, the only earned runs for Buckeye pitching in the game. Two fielding errors from Piper gave the Nittany Lions two more runs and the lead at 4-2.
Penn State’s starting pitcher Kylee Lingenfelter was taken out in the top of the sixth after Prange hit her solo homerun to tighten the score at 4-3. Bailey Parshall came in for relief of Lingenfelter, who ended the top of the inning with a strikeout.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Nittany Lions solidified their lead after centerfielder Dani Fey scored on a dropped fly ball and later first baseman Chelsea Bisi drove in Polk with a single to right field. Ohio State scored one more run in the top of the seventh, but Parshall ended the game striking out right fielder Kaitlyn Coffman to earn her eighth save of the season.
This game was not pretty for either team. Not a single player for the Nittany Lions had more than one hit, but the six total errors made by the sloppy Ohio State defense gave Penn State the edge.
After taking game one by a score of 6-4, Penn State softball looked for a sweep against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second half of a doubleheader.
Defensive miscues had a huge impact on the first game, with Ohio State committing six errors and the Nittany Lions committing two.
It did not take long for errors to cost Penn State again, as they have all season. A pair of errors were made by the Nittany Lions in the top of the first, one of which followed a walk to Emily Clark. Clark came around to score due to a misplay by Penn State shortstop Melina Livingston, giving the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead.
Ohio State centerfielder and seven-hole hitter Kaitlyn Coffman led off the top of the second with a bang. A line drive home run to right extended the Buckeye advantage to 2-0.
A night full of struggles continued for Nittany Lion starter Bailey Parshall. Three straight singles by Ohio State to start off the top of the third made it 3-0 Buckeyes, with Niki Carver picking up the RBI. This saw Parshall out, allowing seven hits and the aforementioned three runs in just two plus innings of work.
Madison Shaffer attempted to weather the storm for Penn State, but to no avail. A successfully executed squeeze play by Claire Nicholson brought home Ashley Prange and made it 4-0. It was not long until Ohio State struck again. A wild pitch from Shaffer allowed Carver to score, making it 5-0.
Another wild pitch from Shaffer meant another run for the Buckeyes. This time Nicholson, who made her way around the bases solely from Shaffer’s struggle to find the strike zone, crossed home plate for the sixth Buckeye run.
After a triple, leadoff hitter Bri Betschel scored on a Lili Piper single, and the score became 7-0.
Shaffer was removed in favor of Hannah Shields, surrendering two runs, and adding an additional pair of runs to the line of Parshall.
However, Shields would not find much more success. A walk and a duo of two RBI singles by Prange and Carver made the score 11-0, before Shields finally worked the Nittany Lions out of a nightmare inning.
“We’ve been having one bad inning lately, and we’ve gotta find a way to fix it,” Penn State head coach Amanda Lehotak said.
After a Chelsea Bisi RBI double got Penn State on the board, Carver struck again. A solo shot in the top of the fifth reaffirmed Ohio State’s 11-run advantage. The final score would stay at 12-1, as the game concluded after five innings due to an eight-run mercy rule caused by the Buckeyes.
Ohio State starter Lauren Rice went the distance with a "bend but don’t break" mantra. Despite allowing six hits and two walks, Rice stranded five Nittany Lions in scoring position, only surrendering the lone run.
Penn State falls to 20-21 on the season and 4-7 in Big Ten play.
When asked about how the Nittany Lions are going into next weekend following the loss, junior infielder Destiny Weber said, “We plan on taking it one game at a time.”
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights will visit University Park for a three-game series starting Friday at 6 p.m. Penn State will be looking for a sweep against a team that is a dismal 1-8 in conference play.
Jack McCune is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at email@example.com.
Andre Magaro is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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