Game Grades: Penn State Softball Invitational

Story posted March 19, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Meghan Strange

Penn State softball returned to Beard Field for the first time this season, playing in their own softball invitational.

After a few rain delays and schedule changes, the Nittany Lions split the weekend at home, 2-1, topping both UMBC and Canisius, but ultimately falling to Cornell.

Here’s how the blue and white performed in each game this weekend.

Game 1 vs. UMBC Retrievers: B+

The Nittany Lions opened their weekend strong with a 4-1 win over the Retrievers. Penn State looked confident back on their home turf and it showed in their competition.

Bailey Parshall is one of the key factors to the team’s opening win. The defense matches Parshall’s intensity on the dirt and when she struggles, the offense answers.

The blue and white scored early, capitalizing with runners on base. Earning three runs in the first inning, Penn State had already asserted dominance over UMBC.

The Retrievers were able to send one over the fence, a homer from Emily Riggs put them only two runs shy of the lead. However, the Nittany Lions rose to the occasion, with an RBI double from Michelle Leone.

Penn State was sharp. The team had tackled the opponent’s strengths and pounced on its weaknesses. The Lions paralleled their pitcher’s strikeouts with big hits and key defensive catches.

Game 2 vs. Cornell Big Red: B-

The double header proved detrimental to State as they fell to Cornell 4-3.

Kylee Lingenfelter started strong in the circle for the Nittany Lions. Her solid pitching kept the Big Red on their toes in the box, forcing them to adjust every at bat. Lingenfelter had not lost a game yet.

Penn State scored first, capitalizing on an error from Cornell’s infield. Lexie Black was on fire, being the puppetmaster behind the two run lead.

The blue and white continued to put runners on, but were only able to score one run. The lack of energy and rising frustration was visible on the field.

Lingenfelter walked three and with a 3-RBI triple from Cornell’s Sydney Stapf, she was done. It was a tie game in the fourth inning. There was plenty of time left for Penn State to get the bats rolling, but they were in a rut.

Cornell was on a roll and punched another run across the board.

The lack of endurance to push through a tough stretch of innings caused the loss for the Lions. State had snapped their nine-game win streak, but sometimes it takes a loss to check a team back into reality.

Game 3 vs. Canisius Golden Griffins: A

Penn State finished off its weekend in the win column. The Nittany Lions shutout the Golden Griffins in perfect fashion, 7-0.

The ace, Bailey Parshall allowed only one hit from the opposition and no runs to score.  Parshall’s pitching on the mound was matched by her teammates’ stellar catches and outs, playing well behind her.

The defense could rest easy knowing the offense had handled most of the work. Solid base running from Mel Coombs and a bomb from Kaitlyn Morrison, the Nittany Lions were up 2-0 no sweat.

The offense continued to play well with consistent hits and scoring drives.  Penn State notched two home runs in just the first half of its game, making it a tough comeback for Canisius.

A solid outing by both offense and defense resulted in a big win, thus a positive grade.

The blue and white battled in its three competitions this weekend, splitting their home record 2-1.

Meghan Strange is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email