Penn State Softball Narrowly Falls to Rutgers 3-2
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa - Penn State took on Rutgers in game one of their double header on Friday night. The Scarlet Knights took down the Nittany Lions by a narrow margin of 3-2. Rutgers came into the matchup 5-15 on the season, and Penn State came in 1-18. Both teams were in desperate need of a win to start off the series, and after a hard fought battle the Scarlet Knights came out victorious.
Bailey Parshall started the game pitching for the Nittany Lions and played the entirety of the game. Parshall had an impressive 8 strikeouts on the evening, but with the loss she falls to 0-10 on the season.
Ashley Hitchcock was on the mound for Rutgers, and played five innings before getting taken out of the game. She was put in for the final batter of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning and secured the strikeout and the win. She was also given the save. Hitchcock struck out two batters and only gave up two hits in just over five innings pitched.
Both pitchers played very solid games as there were only eight combined hits from both teams. Kayla Bock got the scoring started with a two run double in the top of the fifth inning.
Penn State responded quickly with a run of their own in the bottom of the fifth inning. Ally Kurland scored Lilia Crouthamel on a deep triple to right center field to make the score 2-1 at the end of the fifth.
The scoring continued in the top of the sixth inning for Rutgers when Anyssa Iliopoulos hit a solo home run to left center field. The last three innings felt like a completely different game than the first five as the bats started to get going.
The score remained 3-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh and final inning and Penn State needed a rally. They were able to put together some semblance of a rally with a RBI-single up the middle from Melina Livingston.
As mentioned earlier, the Scarlet Knights were not going to let the rally go any longer, so they put their starter, Ashley Hitchcock, back into the game to get the final strikeout and she took care of business.
Penn State is now holding onto a slim advantage in the all time series record against Rutgers with a 31-27 record. The Nittany Lions will certainly be itching to get a win in this series and their second win of the season.
Game two of the series will take place Friday night, and games three and four will be played in a double header at Beard Field on Saturday afternoon starting at 1 p.m.
Trevor Grady is a junior majoring in management information systems. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.