Wisconsin Mercies Penn State in Blowout Victory
Wisconsin manhandled Penn State sunday afternoon, defeating the Nittany Lions 12-3 in a blowout victory that ended in a fifth inning mercy rule.
Things got out of hand for Penn State from the get-go, with the Badgers scoring a whopping nine runs in the top of the first. The Nittany Lions defense struggled early as starting pitcher Kylee Lingenfelter only lasted 1/3 of an inning. Lingenfelter gave up six runs to Wisconsin, three of which were scored as earned runs. Lingenfelter walked two batters and gave up two hits but was also bitten by the error bug, with two errors helping spark the offensive burst from Wisconsin.
Hannah Shields relieved Lingenfelter, but she didn’t fare much better. She allowed five runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out three.
Penn State also had considerable difficulties in scoring runs, not recording a base hit until the bottom of the third inning, when the Lions were down 11-0.
Head Coach Amanda Lehotak expressed dissatisfaction in the poor start for her team.
“We just gotta start better. We gotta not have big innings, and I was really disappointed in how we started today," Lehotak said. "We had a couple innings this weekend where we were mentally just now here, and that's not okay."
The Nittany Lions finally got on the scoreboard via Wisconsin errors. Tori Dubois brought home Haley Vallejos on a hot ground ball to the second baseman Jordan Little, who had the ball rocket off the top of her mitt, causing it to run into right field. On the same play, Dubois was able to come all the way home as Centerfielder Ally Miklesh sailed her throw over third base trying to salvage an out of the play.
The Penn State bats came alive in the top of the fifth, collecting two big base hits in the inning. Delaney Elling hit a triple for the lions. Setting the table, for their best offensive inning of the day.
Relief pitcher Bailey Parshall was able to settle the game down for the Lions, pitching three innings, allowing one run on three hits, striking out six.
Four Badgers recorded multiple base hits in the matchup, with first baseman Kayla Konwent collecting four hits and four RBI with a home run in a monster day at the dish. Shortstop Lauren Foster drove in two runs on a double.
Pitcher Kaitlyn Menz had a strong performance, tossing three shutout innings before being replaced by Maddie Schwartz. Menz conceded one hit to the Lions, no walks, and struck out seven batters.
The loss for Penn State caps off a three game sweep for Wisconsin, who won the first game 13-0, and the second game 3-2.
Penn State has a Wednesday doubleheader with Saint Francis, and Lehotak emphasized moving the focus off of Wisconsin and onto the next series.
“I think this one’s gonna hurt for a while, and that’s human nature. It’s all about Saint Francis right now, Saint Francis and Purdue going in to the weekend, this doesn’t define us," Lehotak said. "We’ve beaten a couple teams by eight runs and that doesn’t define us either. It’s all about getting better, getting back to who we are and just finding ways to make the adjustment faster."
Jeremy Ganes is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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