Penn State Softball Invitational Preview
After an outstanding 15-3 start, the 2023 Penn State Nittany Lions softball team will finally have their home debut this weekend.
Beard Field will serve as the host of the Penn State Invitational which will include not only the Nittany Lions but the Cornell Big Red, Canisius Golden Griffins, UMBC Retrievers and Binghamton Bearcats as well.
Penn State will open up the event on Thursday with back-to-back matchups against UMBC and Cornell at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively.
They will then take on the Big Red again and the Canisius Golden Griffins on Friday before taking Saturday off as the rest of the programs face each other.
For Cornell, they will play Binghamton in the morning, followed up by a game against UMBC later in the afternoon.
Between these two contests, UMBC will battle with Canisius.
Finally, the Golden Griffins will close out the day in a 5:30 showing against Binghamton.
On Sunday, these two teams will meet once again for a rematch in the morning before the Bearcats play the hometown Nittany Lions at 1:30, putting an end to the invitational.
While they don’t play each other often, Penn State has never lost a game to any of the other teams coming to University Park this weekend.
The Nittany Lions are 3-0 all-time against Cornell, taking the Big Red down as recently as last season in a walk-off win in extra innings during the Penn State Classic.
As for Canisius and Binghamton, they have only ever played Penn State once each, losing 8-0 and 6-2 respectively.
This will be the first time the Nittany Lions face the Bearcats since 2004.
While Penn State and UMBC have yet to play in the regular season, they did compete in a scrimmage earlier this spring in which the blue and white dominated the Retrievers in an 11-0 mercy rule victory.
So far this season, the Nittany Lions have played their usual dominant brand of softball.
Not only are they 15-3, but their 7-0 start to the season was their best since 1974 and they are outscoring opponents 112-34 while picking up 136 hits and allowing just 62.
Much of this impressive defense can be attributed to program cornerstones Kylee Lingenfelter and Bailey Parshall who are once again proving to be some of the best pitchers in the country.
Offensively, senior infielder Kaitlyn Morrison has led the way with a .407 batting average, 22 hits and 17 runs batted in which are all the top marks on the team.
The Nittany Lions have three other batters hitting for an average over the .300 mark in senior infielder Lexie Black, sophomore outfielder Lydia Coleman and junior infielder Melody Coombs who has also stolen 13 bags on 14 attempts this season.
Jakob Schnur is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com