Penn State Softball Wins Senior Day Game over Wisconsin in Walk-Off Fashion
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. –– Penn State softball celebrated its six seniors on Senior Day and captured a 4-3 walk-off win over Wisconsin in the final home game of the season.
The Nittany Lions defense shined once again and was able to secure one last victory for their seniors as the bats finally came alive late in the game.
“To end this weekend on a win for our seniors was incredible,” head coach Clarisa Crowell said.
After losing the first game of the series in extra innings and the first game of the doubleheader by a score of 8-1, Penn State looked to avoid the sweep in the second game of the day.
The game began as a pitching duel between Penn State senior Bailey Parshall and Wisconsin senior Maddie Schwartz in a rematch of the first game of the series that ended in a 1-0 Badgers win in the 10th inning.
Neither team was able to take advantage of their opportunities and through the first two innings, there were no runs for either side.
Wisconsin was finally able to strike first in the third inning after a controversial call that deemed a ball down the third base line to be fair and then Morgan Kummer gave the Badgers a 1-0 lead with an RBI double.
The Nittany Lions bats finally came alive in the fourth inning and after two hits, a hard-hit ball by sophomore Lauren Marcotte forced an error from Wisconsin shortstop Lauren Foster and tied the game up at 1-1.
Penn State would take the lead in the inning with a beautiful sacrifice bunt by junior Kaitlyn Morrison to take the lead.
The scoring would halt until the sixth inning when a two-RBI bases loaded single by Wisconsin’s Fiona Girardot gave the Badgers a 3-2 lead.
The seventh inning of play was a wild roller coaster for both teams and neither fanbase was sure what the outcome would be.
In the top of the seventh, Wisconsin began with a leadoff double from freshman Ellie Hubbard. She was then heading for home after a single by Lauren Foster but a beautiful throw by Lilia Crouthamel from center field was in time to get Hubbard out and save a run.
Soon after, the Badgers threatened again and loaded the bases, but the Nittany Lions defense wasn’t phased. Parshall was able to get a big strikeout and then forced another Badger to pop out to end the inning unharmed.
In the bottom of the seventh, Schwartz was able to get a strikeout and then force a groundout, but a Badger error allowed Cassie Lindmark to get on base and bring the winning run up to bat.
Wisconsin elected to intentionally walk senior Ally Kurland to put her on first and senior Shelli Rivard pinch ran on second with two outs and Lexie Black up to bat.
“Pinch runner was really my role the past three years that I’ve been here,” Rivard said. “If that’s what I have to do to help our team win, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Lexie Black, who had previously flown-out three times, grounded one down the third base line that got past the Wisconsin third basemen and reached the wall, allowing both runs to score and the Nittany Lions to get the victory.
“When I was rounding third, I knew I was going to score and it was just so exciting,” Kurland said.
The Nittany Lions avoided the sweep with a 4-3 walk-off victory and got one last win for their seniors at Beard Field.
“I think our kids have done it all year,” Crowell said. “I thought they did a great job of being gritty for sure.”
Thomas English is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at email@example.com.