Michigan Completes Four-Game Sweep of Nittany Lions with 5-3 Victory
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State fell to No. 19 Michigan in the final game of a four-game weekend series by a score of 5-3.
Before the game began, Penn State honored the Beard family, whom the Nittany Lions’ home turf, Beard Field, is named after.
“Today was a beautiful day, we had the chance to honor William and Lee Beard,” head coach Clarisa Crowell said. “They truly are our number one supports. They had a profound impact in our program.”
The Beards provided $500,000 back in 2009 to the Penn State softball program, and in return, Penn State named its softball stadium Beard Field to show its appreciation. The Beards were in attendance for Sunday’s game and were honored for their efforts toward the program.
As for the game, the Nittany Lions came into the matchup with an overall record of 5-26, which is last in the Big Ten. Michigan, on the flip side, sits at the top of the conference.
After losing the first three games of the series, all of which were dominated by the Wolverines, Penn State was able to keep this final game close and competitive.
“They believed in themselves today and found ways to bounce back and be competitive,” Crowell said. “I was proud with our team’s performance today.”
It seemed as if Michigan was going to win Sunday’s game in blowout fashion after getting an early 5-0 lead in the first three innings. Lou Allan hit a home run for the Wolverines that gave them the 3-0 lead in the first inning.
Penn State immediately made a pitching change after Bailey Parshall struggled, pitching the ball 22 times in the first. Kylee Lingenfelter pitched on the mound the rest of the game and only allowed two runs.
“Kylee was fantastic today, especially playing yesterday and playing again today,” Crowell said. “She had some pitches that she used today that she didn’t throw as much yesterday. She competed every single pitch.”
Alex Storako, Michigan’s best pitcher, did not allow a Penn State hit until the fifth inning. She pitched five no-hit innings in the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday.
Ally Kurland hit a homerun in the bottom of the fifth to start the scoring for the Nittany Lions, which sparked some energy and enthusiasm. Penn State strung together two more runs in the sixth inning but came up short in the end.
Crowell said she knew that Sunday would be better since it is a huge advantage playing a pitcher the second time around. She said that the first inning was the reason why they lost this game.
“You take away one inning, we win the game,” Crowell said. “We had six strong innings. Our record doesn’t show how good our team is. If we can put together seven strong innings, we are a hard team to beat.”
Penn State will now travel on the road to take on the Indiana Hoosiers this upcoming weekend.
Austin Groft is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email him at email@example.com.