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By Brian McLaughlin, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - A career of ups and downs has made Jess Cummings one of the toughest players on the Penn State softball team, if not Penn State as a whole.

While nothing in her college career has gone exactly to plan, Cummings credits all the people surrounding the Penn State program to her success and to help her become the person and player she is today. They have supported her through multiple years of injuries, which in a way have made Cummings much stronger.  After pitching a combined 184.0 innings in the first three years of her career battling injuries, Cummings has fought through pitched 154.0 this year alone. 

"It's really given me a new perspective on it and enjoying the moments and enjoying it rather than being completely like consumed with the end result or getting really frustrated. I think I've been able to find the joy and happiness and just be more grateful for the moments as opposed to my perfectionist personality taking the joy and fun out of it which it may have if it hadn't been shown how lucky I am to be playing." 

Head coach Amanda Lehotak has described this team as a bunch of fighters all season, and none can truly fit that description more than Cummings. Lehotak thanks the seniors for all they have brought to the program and what they have made it today. 

"These seniors are the ones who have changed our program," Lehotak said. "You won't always see it on the stat sheet but behind the scenes in the dugout in the locker room. That's got to be culture wise and they are going to be so greatly missed."

Throughout her tumultuous career Cummings has not always been the go-to pitcher on the pitching staff.  This year however she has been placed in that role alongside Madison Shaffer. Cummings had a team high six wins, as well as 24 starts in the circle while making 40 appearances. 

"I don't think I have a specific moment (that sticks out)," Cummings said on her favorite memories in Happy Valley.  "I think when I look back on it or when I am talking about it when I'm older will be the people. I think that I have a group of friends and especially the upperclassman like Gianna that I am graduating with and the juniors that will be part of my life for the rest if my life. There are people that I can count on for absolutely anything from the illness and injury so I think I am going to be able to value the relationships that I formed with them than like a specific moment or pitch."

 She gave the prior answer before Senior Day, but she created a special moment with a performance on Senior Day she will never forget, throwing five scoreless innings in relief and earning the win against Illinois. 

"It's the goal every day, it makes it more special as just a memory to just remember it," Cummings said following the win. "Obviously the win was just fantastic but really it's just going to be the memories of just getting to play and fight with the 18 other people that I've gotten to play and fight with all season and finally get the win that I think that we've deserved." 

The relationships formed and the people met will stick in with Cummings forever. While they have impacted her life she has surely made an impact on theirs as well.  

"I've talked with Tori (Dubois) a lot about it and we both said we are going to need to cry before Senior Day so we are able to take the field. But I am very sad about it, a lot of people are ready for a break when they are done, I wish that I could do it for another 113 games. It's really difficult and I'm really upset about it but I am really grateful for the four years."

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By Andy Kuros, GoPSUsports.com student staff writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As a native of Pembroke Pines, Florida, there was no doubt some uncertainty in going to a school over 1,000 miles away from home. However, after four years in Happy Valley, shortstop Gianna Arrizurieta knew she made the right decision in coming to Penn State - and all thanks to her teammates.

 "It's bittersweet," Arrizurieta said about graduating and leaving her fellow Nittany Lions. "I'm excited to move on into the real world and focus on my career and my future, but at the same time softball has been a huge part of my experience at Penn State and I'm going to miss being a part of this team. Being with my teammates all the time has been my favorite part of Penn State. (Leaving my teammates) is going to be the saddest part." 

"It's been awesome to get really close with everybody on the team and get to build those bonds that will last forever," she added. 

On the field, the biochemistry and molecular biology major started 43 of the team's 47 games at shortstop this season and set career-highs in almost every offensive category, including hits, doubles, and runs batted in. She was also terrific defensively at shortstop, recording 60 putouts on the season. 

Head coach Amanda Lehotak talked about how her senior infielder was crucial to the program's culture and identity.

 "Obviously win-loss wise, it's been a rough year for a multitude of reasons, but the one thing that hasn't changed has been our culture and our love for each other, and that's been because of (Gianna) and Jess (Cummings) and what they've brought to our program."

Lehotak continued her high praise for Arrizurieta as both a person and a leader. 

"Gianna, if you're lucky enough to get to know her as a person, you'll know that she's amazing," Lehotak said. "If you get to be in her life, you're the blessed one, not her. She's just that special. Not everybody talks about it, but her leadership, her grind, and her work ethic are amazing." 

"She's just such a good person in that everything she does is with high character, high quality, high morals, and high ethics," Lehotak added. "I'm going to be really sad to see her go." 

Arrizurieta talked about how Penn State's softball program over the years has helped shape her into the person she is today.

"(This program) has molded me into who I am," Arrizurieta said. "Obviously this season hasn't gone the way we wanted it or expected it to, but I think that builds a lot of character. It shows what kind of people we are." 

This mindset helped her become the 2017 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, an honor that she has shown she's absolutely worthy of. 

No matter where Arrizurieta chooses to go after her graduation from Penn State, one thing is certain - she left her mark on the program in the most positive of ways.

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By Brian McLaughlin, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Tori Dubois came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning 0-4 on the day, but launched her team-high ninth home run of the season over the left field wall to give the Nittany Lions a 4-3 victory over Illinois on Sunday. 

Player of the Game- Tori Dubois

The Nittany Lions fell behind early but were able to manufacture three runs to stay in the game. Following a run by Penn State in the bottom of the fourth inning, both teams pitching staffs were outstanding, not allowing a run until Dubois' shot in the ninth.

"I've had probably five or six at-bats off her the whole series so I was just waiting for my pitch," Dubois said. "I was all over the place at the beginning of the day so I just relaxed and looked for what I knew I could hit hard and I got it." 

For a team that has to fight through adversity all season, everything finally came together for a big win in the final home game at Beard Field in the 2018 season.

"What an exciting day. I'm so excited for our seniors and our kids for grinding away and playing hard to the end especially in front of all of our fans again," head coach Amanda Lehotak said. "I can't say enough about really the entire for never giving up. Shaffer started us off great and Jess came in and really shut it down then Tori. She didn't have a weekend that she's used to having and she could've gone mental during that situation, but that just shows that poise and mental toughness of her to come through when we needed her."

Pitching Out of Jams

Penn State's pitching was in the zone all day once Illinois had runners reach base, putting out multiple fires. Madison Shaffer walked seven batters in her four innings in the circle and Jessica Cummings walked two. However, between the two pitchers they stranded 15 Illinois runners over nine innings.

"It's not ideal, we would like to limit those walks, but they just really kept their composure and kept attacking," Lehotak said. "I felt like yesterday we were more emotional and frustrated, today they were just like, you know what we're just going to go for it, and that's what they did."

The pitchers' execution was huge with runners on finally making the big pitch when it mattered.

"We work on pressure situations all the time, we do it with base runners and we do it in the bullpen where you have to make a pitch," Cummings added.  "We struggled all season making the big pitch so it just came together today where it just came together when we needed it." 

Senior Day Success

Every program wants to get a big win on their senior day, and it was a dream come true for the Nittany Lions, delivering a big win for their seniors.

"They are the ones who have changed our program," Lehotak said. "You won't see it on the stat sheet but they've changed our program, and behind the scenes in the dugout, in the locker room they are the ones who have really started us on the right path cultural wise and so know from here on out we can actually kind of go forward."

Dubois, a junior, was thinking of her teammates when she hit the game-winning home run, noting their outstanding performances throughout their careers.

"Jess and Gianna are my best friends so to be able to do that for them was great," Dubois said. "Jess put out an amazing performance coming in and Gianna's been stellar all year so to be able to that for them was just amazing for everybody." 

For Cummings, it was a one of her best pitched games all season, and Senior Day only adds to the moment.

"It's the goal every day to do that well, it makes it more special as a memory just to remember today. Really the win is obviously fantastic but just the memories of getting to play and fight with all the 18 other people I've gotten to play and fight with all season. It's just nice to finally get the win I think we've deserved for a long time."

Penn State's final Big Ten series of the year will come next weekend when they travel to Minnesota.

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By Andy Kuros, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -1,411 fans filed into their seats Saturday at Beard Field as Penn State took on in-conference Illinois for the conclusion of Friday's rain delayed game and Saturday's scheduled contest. This marks the second time the Nittany Lions broke its attendance record this season, passing the previous high of 1,410 that was set on April 7th when Michigan came to Happy Valley.   

"I'd just like to thank all the fans that came out and really represented for our seniors this weekend because they deserve it," head coach Amanda Lehotak said postgame.

Following inclement weather that suspended Friday night's game after just a half inning of play, the Blue and White and Fighting Illini concluded the first game of their series Saturday afternoon and played game two shortly after. 

Here are some takeaways from Saturday's action-packed day of softball.

 Player of the Day - Paige Johnson

Junior third baseman Paige Johnson was on a fire at the dish in the first two games of the Nittany Lions last home series of the year. In game one she hit a two-out, three-run homerun to left-center field to give Penn State an early 3-0 lead. She then added a two-run homerun to right center field in game two, as she led Penn State offensively.

"It was just about see ball-hit ball," Johnson commented. "I just tried to get back to the simplicity of my swing and be myself again."

"There's honestly no words to describe it," Johnson said about finally hitting her stride at the plate. "I'm so happy to be able to contribute the way I want to contribute to our offense. It's just been a blast the last couple of days."

Johnson hit her fifth and sixth homeruns of the season and pushed her RBI total to 21 on the season, which ranks second on the team.

"It was great to see Paige Johnson get back to her offensive self," Lehotak said about the bio behavioral health major who broke out of her slump in a big way. 

"Paige has had really bad luck, where she's hit it right at the (defense)," Lehtok added. "So for Paige, her hard work is finally paying off. She's been frustrated for a while, so it's a relief that it's finally come together."

Johnson will look to continue her hot streak, both offensively and defensively at third base, and add to her new career high mark in homeruns.

Gianna's Big Moment 

Shortstop Gianna Arrizurieta, one of the program's three seniors playing in their second to last game at Beard Field, came through in a big spot for the Blue and White Saturday. With Penn State trailing by five and Arrizurieta coming up with the bases loaded and two outs, she hit a line drive down the right field line to score two, cutting down the Illinois lead during game two.

Arrizurieta, with both her good play on the field and good leadership in the locker room, will most certainly be missed by the rest of the Nittany Lions. 

"Getting to know the three seniors this year, they're amazing people and I wish the absolute best for them in whatever they choose to do with the rest of their lives," Johnson said about Arrizurieta and the two other senior teammates. 

What's Next? 

Penn State will conclude its series with Illinois Sunday afternoon at noon in the regular season home finale.

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By Brian McLaughlin, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Dani Fey has gained more experience than she could ever imagine as a freshman for the Penn State softball team, starting 39 games so far this season.

An invaluable part of this Penn State team, primarily because of her versatility and athleticism, Fey has had an up and down season. She settled in early as the Nittany Lions leadoff hitter, before some ups and downs in Big Ten play. Despite that, Fey has continued to work hard and has truly earned her significant amount of playing time. 

"It's been really exciting," Fey said. "I just came in with my head low, grinding, just trying to do my best and work hard every day and it has paid off, I haven't exactly had the freshman year that I wanted but it's definitely something that I've learned from and stuff that I've taken from this season that I will be able to fix better for next season."

Coming from a small town, Bangor, Pennsylvania (population just over 5,000), Fey has been able to perform much of her first season with the Nittany Lions in front of family and friends.

"I get to see my family every weekend basically which is really nice. I feel bad for the kids that don't so I'm really thankful for that," Fey said. "Just being from Pennsylvania and growing up around Penn State stuff and a whole bunch of Penn State fans, and being the first kid from my high school to go to Penn State was huge and my town blew up which was really cool. I've always been a Penn State fan and always followed the stuff going on here."

That was one of the big aspects of Fey's decision to attend Penn State. The atmosphere at Penn State was more comfortable to her allowing her to succeed. 

"It was a really easy decision for me (to come to Penn State)," Fey said. "It came down to two schools and it was really late in the recruiting process and this felt more like a home. It's better for me academically and from an athletic standpoint too." 

Since arriving at Penn State, Fey has been a staple throughout head coach Amanda Lehotak's lineup, providing a spark with her ability to draw walks and cause havoc on the bases. Despite the ups and downs, her attitude has never changed and continues to work to improve.

"We call (Dani) Tori Dubois Jr. because she is kind of sporadic like Tori was her freshman year," Lehotak said. "For Dani I think she is only going to get better and better. She has had a pretty good, productive freshman year and doesn't even give herself enough credit."

 Fey boasts an impressive .376 on base percentage thanks to a team high 26 walks. This patience is what once had her at the top of the order despite her inexperience. 

"My roles models are probably Gianna (Arrizurieta) and Tori (Dubois)," Fey said. "Tori basically said in another article I'm her mini me. We are very similar and I love looking up to her in the outfield and as a hitter because she is obviously really good at both." 

Fey has also been a huge contributor on the defensive side, making multiple highlight reel catches in right-field while appearing multiple times at catcher. It was this versatility that allowed her to see the field so early as a true freshman. 

With the season winding down Fey knows she has a lot to improve before coming back as a sophomore. She also has plenty to be proud of and has lots of accomplishments from her freshman season. Likely an impact player next year, Fey will be a mainstay in the lineup and be a table setter once again in Lehotak's offense.

"She's athletic, has an arm, has speed so once she goes home and relaxes this summer she is just going to get better and better," Lehotak said. "We are very excited to have her back next year."

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By Andy Kuros, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -After falling behind 5-3 in the fifth inning of game one vs Bucknell, the Nittany Lions clawed their way back into the game and nearly completed a late comeback. Senior Gianna Arrizurieta's RBI triple and sophomore Kennedy Legg's game-tying RBI groundout in the 6thinning helped Penn State tie the game at 5-5, forcing extra innings. 

Even though Bucknell eventually scored two runs in the 10thresulting in a victory, the Blue and White showed tremendous fight in their valiant comeback effort.

"I was really proud of our fight in game one," head coach Amanda Lehotak said postgame after the Nittany Lions' doubleheader against Bucknell. "I feel like it could've gone either way. We again continued to be fighters, we just couldn't get the big hit."

Here are some takeaways from the Nittany Lion's doubleheader with the Bison Wednesday evening. 

Player of the Game- Haley Vallejos 

Although seven different players registered a hit in game one of the series, Penn State was led offensively by freshman Haley Vallejos. The Arizona native went 3-4 from the six spot in the order, setting a new career high in hits in a single game.  

"I've been in the cages doing different things with my swing," Vallejos credited to her big game. "What I was doing originally wasn't really me. I had a great individual (practice) beforehand and I'm definitely more relaxed and not overthinking anymore. I'm just letting the ball come to me and trying to hit it as hard as I can." 

Vallejos' offensive success led Lehotak to move her catcher to the cleanup spot in the lineup. Despite the change in batting order, to a new role with much greater importance, it was business as usual for Vallejos. 

"I don't really think about where I'm hitting (in the order). I just try to get on base no matter what," Vallejos said. "Where I bat in the lineup doesn't affect how I play." 

The first year Nittany Lion has certainly come into her own as of late. Vallejos' three-hit performance rose her average to .217 to go along with her strong defense behind the plate. Even though she went 0-2 in game two, her great defense behind the plate and seven combined put-outs in the two games proved to be a great help for the Nittany Lions defensively.  

Outfielders Tori Dubois and Christa Wagner also made big contributions in the first contest, recording a combined 3 hits and 3 runs batted in. 

Mensinger's Moment

The senior pitcher, and former team manager, turned in two good performances in the circle Wednesday night. Mensinger threw 3.1 innings over the course of the doubleheader and only allowed a total of two earned runs. Her season ERA now stands at 3.45, a very impressive for someone who is pitching in their first season since high school.   

What's Next? 

Penn State will now turn its attention to Illinois, as the Fighting Illini will visit Beard Field for a three-game series this weekend. 

 

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By Andy Kuros, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Former high school softball all-conference honoree Ashton Mensinger came to Happy Valley with the game she loved as a mere afterthought. The current senior had no idea she would eventually become not only a Penn State student-athlete, but a valuable Nittany Lion pitcher in the circle. 

It all started Mensinger's sophomore year, when she decided to become the softball program's team manager. The supply chain and information systems major once again served as manager her junior year, marking a full two years that she was involved with the team. 

However, Mensinger was more than just your average team manager. She would pitch to the players as often as she could, whether it was during batting practice or throughout specific hitting drills. 

"I would throw in the cages a lot and I would throw front-toss and different things for the hitters," Mensinger said.

Head coach Amanda Lehotak, who noticed how Mensinger would take every opportunity to throw to the team's batters when serving as manager, talked about her transition from not playing softball for three years to pitching for the Nittany Lions. 

"We put it out that we were looking for managers and pitchers, because your pitchers can only throw so much and there's nothing like a live arm," Lehotak said. "She's been pitching for us for a year or two and this year with some injuries coming in, we knew we needed someone else and asked her to join the roster."

 "I don't think she believed me at first," Lehotak joked.

Mensinger reminisced about being told the news of a lifetime.

"All the coaches came in and sat down and asked if I would like to join the team," Mensinger remembered. "I didn't know what to expect. It was just crazy going from a manager to actually being on the team."

"I grew up watching softball and watching all these games on tv, especially Division 1 schools," Mensinger added. "I never thought that I would be on the field." 

For the Pennsylvania native and four-time high school softball letter winner, the process of transitioning to a player that coach Lehotak can turn to in times of need in the circle wasn't as hard as it seems.

"I love the competitive aspect of it and just being able to play. I don't really think I got nervous," she said about transitioning from a manager to an official Nittany Lion pitcher. "I feel like I was prepared and ready." 

"She's been a great addition to our team," Lehotak added.

With regards to her long journey to get the opportunity to wear the blue and white on the diamond, Mensinger didn't hesitate in crediting her teammates when asked about her favorite part of joining the program. 

"Just getting to travel with the team, getting to spend time with everybody on and off the field, and getting to know everybody," she said. "It's been really fun." 

Mesinger and the rest of the Nittany Lions will prepare to host in-conference Illinois for a three-game series this weekend at Beard Park. First pitch for game one is Friday at 8 p.m.

 

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By Andy Kuros, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After being cut during Penn State's softball tryouts in the fall of her freshman year, Amanda Grieco spent the majority of her first year in Happy Valley playing for Penn State's club softball team. Fast forward a year and the now-sophomore once again attended the team's tryouts hoping to earn a spot in the program as a walk-on. 

Although Grieco admitted the second time around was another difficult week of practice, she got the news of a lifetime by head coach Amanda Lehotak and her staff - she made the team.

"It was just so surreal. It was awesome," Grieco said.

 "Another great walk-on," Lehotak said of her new sophomore infielder. "She tried out last year but we didn't take her because our roster size was pretty big, but luckily she came back this year. Her and Ashton (Messinger) have probably been two of the best things that have ever happened to us. (Grieco's) so appreciative to be here, and so badly wants to be here." 

Just making the team, however, wasn't enough for Grieco. Without a doubt, the nursing major has been a great addition on the field for the Blue and White. She's started a total of 28 games and is tied for first on the team in runs with 17 over the course of her first season. 

"I just think getting on base is really important in any way you can. It doesn't really matter how," Grieco said. "Scoring runs is the biggest aspect of the game."

"I just show up and work hard every day," Grieco added about her early success. "I think hard-work pays off."

Coach Lehotak has certainly noticed Grieco's hard work and drive that has helped her become an impact player in such a short amount time. 

"Her work ethic is amazing in the classroom and on the field," Lehotak commented. "And just who she is as a person, too. She's high character and will do anything for the team. A very selfless person, which is just so contagious." 

"Amanda's worked her way into the lineup. She's had a really good year for not playing for two years (since high school). If this is her baseline now, I can't imagine how much better she's going to be next year." 

Grieco credited the upperclassman on the team for helping to make her transition from a club player to a varsity starter easier.

"I think everybody's great, but all the seniors, Jess (Cummings), Gianna (Arrizurieta), Toni (Polk), Tori (Dubois), and (Madison Shaffer) have all been here for me since day one," Grieco said. 'It's be awesome."

 "When I was deciding if I wanted to join the team, the players were a big part of it. The players on the team helped me decide to say yes to coach," Gireco added. "They helped me a lot. I think if it was a different team I don't think I would've said yes. I played club and was really close with those people, so leaving them was hard. But I think my teammates here really confirmed my decision to say yes."  

Grieco will look to continue her good play on the field as her and the Nittany Lions prepare to take on Indiana for a three game road series this weekend.

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By Brian McLaughlin, Student Staff Writer GoPSUsports.com
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions fell in both games of a doubleheader Wednesday night to St. Francis, but despite the outcome the team is looking to take away positives from players that stepped up at Beard Field. 

Here are some takeways from the home action. 

Player of the Day: Gianna Arrizurieta
Between the two games Penn State's senior starting shortstop went 2-for-4 with a double. After a slow start to the season, Arrizurieta is starting to hit her stride at the plate.

"Gianna really in the past couple weeks is getting better and better. To me it seems like she has hit her stride," Lehotak said. "Poor kid had 'At Em's Disease' where you hit it right at them for the first part of the season. Then you get frustrated so I think she has just relaxed. She is now playing the best ball she's played all year and is playing a great shortstop right now as well. Today she had some hard hit balls at her, like some real rockets that she made some great plays on so that's the beauty of experience right there." 

Quick Start
Penn State jumped off to a 1-0 lead in game one after Tori Dubois lead off the first inning with a hit by pitch and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Kennedy Legg. Dubois moved to third base on an infield single from Paige Johnson. With two outs in the inning Penn State executed a double steal to perfection, with Johnson taking second and Dubois scoring on the throw.

Scattered Hits
Penn State scattered 11 hits over the two games bringing in three runs to show for it. The Nittany Lions were one hit away from breaking the game open at times but never could find the big play to mount the comeback.

"We didn't have one big hit today and in the first game we really only had one hard hit," Lehotak said "We might've matched their hits on the day but we've got to hit the ball harder. I felt good about our preparation yesterday and today, and I'm not sure what the disconnect is but we're not doing it on game day right now but we need to figure it out." 

Outside of Arrizurieta's big day, Kennedy Legg added two hits and a solo home run in game two and Dubois had one hit in each game for Penn State.

The team will look to continue that preparation and translate it to gameday in the coming weeks.

Hackenberg's First Appearance
Tori Hackenberg made her Nittany Lion debut and had quite the cheering section with some of her high school teammates in attendance.

"I'm not totally sure what happened with that, but I heard through the grape vine that maybe her old high school was here," Lehotak said. "Hackenberg's been doing a good job, she was injured for a while and now she's finally healthy so we were just trying to get her at bat's going into the weekend just seeing what she can do since she's missed so much. I didn't put her in there because of her cheering section, I was surprised when I heard it but it was pretty cool to see." 

Penn State travels to Indiana this weekend before returning home next Wednesday to take on Bucknell.

Penn State Falls Short in Spartan Series Finale

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By Brian McLaughlin, GoPSUsports.com student staff writer 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Big first innings for Michigan State doomed Penn State in both games of a double header Saturday. Michigan State took the first game, 7-1 and the second leg, 6-2 after scoring three first-inning runs in game one and four runs in the first frame of game two.

"I'm really disappointed in us today, head coach Amanda Lehotak said. "In game one we didn't show up early or at all until the second half. I think in game two we had a little more fight but we didn't make adjustments today and Michigan State did, so they won and we lost." 

The Nittany Lion offense was limited all day due the strong performance from Kristina Zalewski, who threw all 14 innings on the day for the Spartans. Tori Dubois was a bright spot for the Nittany Lions, constantly having the answer to Zalewski in the circle. 

Player of the Day: Tori Dubois
Most of the offense Penn State was able to produce came from Dubois, who earned her way to the leadoff spot this weekend. 

"What makes Tori special is that she just plays ball," Lehotak said. "Some hitters are really particular about four spot or three spot, but Tori just sees ball, hits ball and that's why she's really effective anywhere." 

Dubois registered the only two hits for Penn State in the first game of the day, including a solo home run while the rest of the offense struggled to adjust to Zalewski's pitching.

"My preparation going into the game (worked well)," Dubois said. "I do the same thing before every single game and the same thing in practice to I try to bring what I do in practice to the games,"

Dubois leads the Nittany Lions in most offensive categories including batting average and home runs. She has carried the offense recently with her consistent approach.

Pinch Hitting Success
Looking for a spark late in the first game, coach Lehotak inserted pinch hitter Christa Wagner who worked a walk to reach base for Dubois. 

In game two, Penn State was in a similar situation in the fourth inning and Paige Johnson entered the game for Destiny Weber and singled up the middle. This further emphasizes Lehotak's assessment that her team never gives up and fights to the end. The Nittany Lions were prepared to succeed right away off the bench.

In the sixth inning of game two, Penn State loaded the bases with nobody out on three straight hits. A fielder's choice helped them push across one run but were unable to add any more, stranding two runners.

"The (fighting attitude) is just the players. That's the attitude the bring," Lehotak said. "As you saw they had bases loaded no outs and that's a team that fights constantly late in the game. That's just something where it's who they are as people, so that's an area of the game I never have to worry about which is great because that's just so hard to motivate. They've taken that upon themselves and I think that's why they are so special and I praise them in that area. They could have quit many times today and they didn't."

Penn State returns to action Wednesday when Pennsylvania rival Saint Francis travels to Happy Valley for a double header.

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