Nittany Lions Lose Close Battle with No. 2 Sun Devils
Feb. 7, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Penn State softball team had its biggest test to date Saturday afternoon with the No. 2 and defending national champion Arizona State in the second day of the Kajikawa Classic. The Nittany Lions battled through all seven innings keeping it close, but came up short in the 4-3 decision. Penn State is now 1-2 on the season while ASU remains perfect at 4-0.
The Sun Devils struck in the first inning as Taylor Haro scored on a Kaitlin Cochran double. In the second, ASU made it 2-0 when Kaylyn Castillo reached the plate on an Ashley Muenz double. But the Nittany Lions answered in similar fashion as freshman right-fielder Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) doubled to bring in sophomore shortstop Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J.) and freshman catcher Danee Collett (Orange, Calif.).
The tie was short-lived as Cochran cleared the center field wall for a two-run homer. The Nittany Lions connected for a double play in their third consecutive game as senior outfielder Christana Crivellaro (Coopersburg, Pa.) caught the fly ball in right field and fired to freshman infielder Ashley Todd (Mill Creek, Wash.) to pick off the runner at first.
Penn State kept the Sun Devils to three up-three down through the next two innings and narrowed the gap with a third run in the bottom of the sixth. Giordano doubled down the right field line and advanced to third when Collett grounded out to short. Junior pitcher Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) brought Giordano in with a single down the left field line before a fielders choice ended the inning.
With two outs and the bases loaded with Sun Devils in the seventh, senior outfielder Sam Hovanec (Pittsburgh, Pa.) made the catch to prevent another score. Despite going up to bat with the top of their lineup, the Nittany Lions went three-and-out as Arizona State remained unscathed.
Giordano was 1-for-3 with two runs scored while Akamine went 1-for-4 with two RBI. Hill struck out a season high seven batters in the loss.
Penn State will take the field again at 9:30 p.m. ET to face Cal State Bakersfield. Fans can follow the action live on Gametrackrer.