Penn State Softball Series Grades vs Iowa
The Nittany Lions opened Big Ten play at Beard Field hosting the Hawkeyes for a three-game series over the weekend.
After a trifecta of competitive games, Iowa ultimately topped Penn State, claiming the series 2-1. There is a lot to unpack from the weekend both offensively and defensively from State’s side.
Here’s the breakdown of the positional performances on the weekend:
The hits from Penn State’s side were impressive. A walk-off homerun Friday night set the tone for the weekend at-bats.
There were consecutive singles, saucy sneaky bunts, long balls and huge triples. The hits were a clear bright spot for the Nittany Lions. They were able to carry two out rallies through the execution from the box.
Penn State totaled 25 hits across the trifecta of games despite the split record. The team was unable to capitalize on those runners, leaving 24 on base. Yet, these runs give hope for the continuous season ahead.
It was an interesting pitching rotation throughout the weekend.
The ace, Bailey Parshall, had originally started Friday night but was replaced by Kylee Lingenfelter. The Nittany Lions had secured the win, however, that was after Parshall reentered the game in extra innings.
Other pitchers did see the mound including Paige Maynard and Vanessa Oatley. Although, overall they seemed rattled for the opening weekend of Big Ten Conference play.
A smaller, tighter strike zone combined with a nitpicky ump proved to be a challenge for Penn State and a large cause of frustration on the field.
Penn State relies heavily on its pitchers and this was not its best outing against a competitive Iowa team. We’ve seen aggressiveness in the circle previously this season, but it was not present at Beard Field.
This is generous for the outcomes of the weekend.
Noting only two errors on Sunday, the Nittany Lions played relatively well. There were a few sloppy plays, including a missed catch by Liana Jones in left field and an overthrow from Michelle Leone.
Both allowed Iowa to claim an extra base and may have had a hand in the losses.
It was a relatively solid weekend for PSU, nonetheless, the right side of the field dominated the lack of aggression on the left.
Kaitlyn Morrison missed a few grounders that could have possibly stayed inside the dirt if she had laid out for it. Lydia Coleman, Mel Coombs and Lexie Black were luckily defensive powerhouses to balance the weekend, making clutch plays and keeping runs to a minimum.
Despite the back-to-back losses on Sunday, the dugout’s vibes were immaculate.
Bench players were up chanting for their teammates and seen getting rowdy when the umpire made a bad call from behind the plate.
On the flip side, everyone was on the railing when the Nittany Lions were in the batter's box. They had cheers for each player and lifted one another up after a tough at-bat.
Whether they were making their own songs up or bouncing to the music blasting throughout the stadium, the dugout’s show was a star-studded performance.
Meghan Strange is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her email email@example.com.