Penn State Falls to Ohio State in Return to Beard Field
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State softball returned to Beard Field for the first time in 699 days, as last year, the season was cut short due to COVID-19, and Penn State never played at home. However, it was not a sweet homecoming, as the Nittany Lions fell to Ohio State 2-1 in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
It was a pitching duel between Payton Buresch and Bailey Porshall, as both pitched complete games.
The senior Buresch was outstanding on the mound for the Buckeyes. While she had only two strikeouts, she forced the Nittany Lions to make poor contact, holding Penn State to just two hits and causing a lot of groundouts. She had a no-hitter until the sixth inning when Maggie Finnegan singled up the middle. Bruesch picked up the win and improved to 4-1 on the year.
Meanwhile, Parshall, the Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania native, had a strong afternoon on the bump for the blue and white. She had five punch-outs but gave up two runs on six hits. Parshall fell to 0-8 on the year after today.
In the top of the third inning, Carley Gaskill hit a lead-off double for Ohio State. Lindsey Potter then came in as a courtesy runner for Gaskill and was able to score off of two straight fielder’s choices. Sophomore Tegan Cortelletti picked up the RBI; it was her fifth of the year.
After three more scoreless innings, it was Gaskill again. She hit a two-out home run to right-center field to double the Buckeyes advantage, 2-0. It was Gaskill’s first homer of the year; she finished the game 2 for 3 with an RBI.
It was not until the bottom of the seventh when Penn State was able to break through. Freshman Melody Coombs started the inning with a lead-off home run to left-center field. It was the second straight game that Coombs knocked one out of the park.
Coombs’ home run would be the second and final hit for the Nittany Lions, as Buresch forced three straight groundouts to end the inning.
First-year head coach Clarisa Crowell and Penn State continue to struggle, now falling to 1-16 on the year. Meanwhile, Ohio State has won its third straight and is now 10-7.
The Nittany Lions will look to bounce back in the second game of the doubleheader.
Matthew Scalzo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.