Penn State Softball Splits Doubleheader with Purdue

Story posted April 18, 2013 in Sports, CommRadio by Jason Shawley

The Penn State Nittany Lion softball team (11-27, 2-11 Big Ten) split an evening doubleheader Wednesday night with Purdue (20-23, 7-7 Big Ten) at Beard Field. Penn State overcame a slow start in game one, winning 8-4. The Boilermakers came back strong in the finale, winning by a score of 12-3.

Macy Jones started game one for the Nittany Lions and was opposed by Lilly Fecho for Purdue. Both pitchers got off to strong starts in the first inning with Jones allowing just an infield hit and Fecho sitting Penn State down in order.

Jones had a little bit of trouble in the second inning, allowing three baserunners on a single, a hit batsman and an error by 2nd baseman Alyssa Renwick. Despite receiving help from a shaky Penn State defense, Purdue failed to plate any runs in the inning and the game was still scoreless after two.

Purdue opened up the scoring in the 3rd by bringing across three runs thanks to four Boilermaker hits and an error by first baseman Kailyn Johnson. Danielle Fletcher drove in the first two with a two-run double followed by an RBI single from Tori Chiodo. Ashley Burkhardt and Erika Petruzzi also contributed with base hits in the inning.

Penn State responded quickly to the Boilermakers, plating three of their own in the bottom of the frame. Following a walk and a Cassidy Bell double, Jones drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly. Johnson and Reina Furuya followed with back-to-back RBI doubles to knot the game at three. Fecho was then replaced by Alex Whittemore after just two and two-thirds innings pitched.

Penn State kept the momentum going, taking the lead in the 4th on a Bell RBI single. Macy Jones was solid for the remainder of the game, giving up just one more run - a 5th inning solo home run by Fletcher - the rest of the game.

Following back-to-back hits by Furuya and Karlie Habitz to lead off the bottom of the 5th, Fecho re-entered the game and replaced Whittemore after just one and one third innings pitched. Purdue didn’t record an out in the inning until the Nittany Lions established a 6-3 lead. Renwick, Alyssa Sovereign and Shannon Hutchinson all contributed to the inning with RBIs.

Jones finished strong, retiring the final six Boilermakers. Penn State took game one by a score of 8-4, winning just their second conference game of the season.

The Nittany Lions carried the momentum into the first inning of game two. Cassidy Bell led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run, helping Penn State jump out to an early 1-0 lead.

Macy Jones started game two despite throwing well over 100 pitches in game one. Jones started strong, allowing just one hit in the first two innings.

Andie Varsho got Purdue on the board in the 3rd inning, driving in two on an RBI single. Lauren Grant - the only new starter in either lineup - along with Lindsey Rains singled and scored for the Boilermakers.

Neither team scored again until the 5th when Varsho drove Jones out of the game with a 2 RBI double to give Purdue a 4-1 lead. Marissa Diescher replaced Jones after 11.2 total innings pitched between both games.

Penn State came back in the bottom of the inning with two of their own to pull the score to 4-3. Hutchinson led off the inning with a single and Bell followed by reaching on a fielder’s choice. Hutchinson managed to score on a stolen base attempt by Bell. After moving up to 3rd, Bell later scored on a Johnson groundout.

That was all the Nittany Lions could manage the rest of the night, while shaky pitching took Penn State out of it. Diescher walked five over the last two innings, including walking the bases loaded to begin the 7th. Andrew and Grant added to the lead in the 6th with an RBI each.

Purdue blew the game open in the 7th, scoring six times in the final frame. Chiodo collected the first RBI of the inning by drawing a bases loaded walk, scoring Varsho. Monchek and Andrew followed by driving three more runs. Purdue’s final two runs came on a Diescher wild pitch, scoring Monchek, and a Grant RBI groundout.

Bell doubled in the bottom of the 7th, but the Nittany Lions couldn’t mount any kind of an offensive threat to close out the game. Macy Jones picked up the loss following the win in game one.

The Nittany Lions play again on Friday at Beard Field as they welcome the Northwestern Wildcats. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

Jason Shawley is a junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email jts5353@psu.edu.