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Feb. 6, 2009
In the season opener at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., the Nittany Lions fell to Wagner by a score of 1-0 Friday morning before defeating Western Michigan 4-2 in the afternoon. Penn State is now 1-1 on the season.
The matchup with the Seahawks was fairly evenly matched in the opening innings. The Nittany Lions had an opportunity in the sixth as Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) fired a single up the middle. A Danielle Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif.) shot to left field nearly brought her home, but the throw beat Akamine.
Wagner then responded in the bottom of the sixth with one out. An error put the winning run on second, but quick thinking in the infield diffused the situation and placed the second out on a force to third. Before the Nittany Lions could get out of the inning, however, a single to right field by Andrea Lazzari brought in the first and only score of the game.
Penn State had one more chance in the top of the seventh, but two strikeouts and a pop fly ended the game. Kinley went 2-for-3 with her 36th career double while Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) struck out four batters in six innings of work in the loss.
The Nittany Lions had little down time between games before they got to work on the Western Michigan Broncos. Penn State threatened to score early in the first as Akamine advanced to third on a passed ball, but the inning ended before she crossed the plate. Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J.) was the first to score in the second inning. A walk got her on base while Kayce Zielinski (Arlington, Texas) brought her to third with a single through the left side. She crossed the plate as Akamine got to first on a fielding error. With the bases juiced, Kinley ripped her second double of the day to right center clearing the field to score Zielinski, Akamine and Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.).
The Broncos eliminated the shutout in the top of the third as Lexi Jager score on a Mandi Sayers single to left field. With no outs and runners on second and third, Akamine took the circle and the Nittany Lions turned a double play as Griffith caught a fly ball and connected with Danee Collett (Orange, Calif.) who made the tag at home. WMU scored once more on a leadoff homerun in the top of the fourth before the Nittany Lions cruised to their first victory, 4-2.
Kimi Wong (Goleta, Calif.) took the win while Akamine went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored while picking up the save. Griffith had two hits in three at-bats and scored a run of her own.
Penn State will return to the Kajikawa Classic on the ASU campus Saturday at 5:30 p.m. ET against host and defending national champions Arizona State before facing off with Cal State Bakersfield at 9:30 p.m. ET.