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Feb. 8, 2014
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Penn State softball team split its first two games the 2014 season at the Kajikawa Classic on Friday, defeating Appalachian State, 10-4, after falling to Oregon State, 12-10. The win over the Mountaineers marks Amanda Lehotak'sfirst victory as head coach for the Blue and White.
OREGON STATE 12, PENN STATE 10
Penn State (0-1) came out of the gate hot against Oregon State (2-1), earning six runs by the end of the second inning. The highlight of the game came in the second inning as sophomore Karlie Habitz (Newhall, Calif.) registered her first-career grand slam, a bomb sent over center field that drove in Alyssa Sovereign (La Canada, Calif.), Lexi Knief (Ramsey, N.J.) and Macy Jones(Ashburn, Va.).
The Beavers gained momentum in the bottom of the second, notching two runs to bring the count to 6-2. Penn State was unable to answer through the next two innings and OSU cut the gap to two runs by the end of the fourth.
The Nittany Lions regained control in the top of the fifth as Sam Shanahan(Seattle, Wash.), Knief and Sovereign scored to extend the lead to 9-4. The lead did not last long, however, as the Beavers shot back with three runs in the fifth and five in the sixth to take the lead at 12-9.
A Habitz single gave PSU one more run before the game expired but it was not enough to push the Lions ahead as they fell 12-10 to Oregon State.
Habitz finished the contest with a career-high six RBIs, crushing her previous best of three. Sovereign also turned in an exceptional performance, going 4-for-5 with two runs and an RBI.
PENN STATE 10, APPALACHIAN STATE 4
The beginning of the second contest mirrored the first in that the Lions (1-1) showed great offensive power, registering five runs in the first inning alone. Sovereign, Habitz, Reina Furuya (Waipahu, Hawaii), and Alicia Walker(Los Alamitos, Calif.) each recorded RBIs and Furuya was brought home on a wild pitch from Appalachian State's (0-3) Alissa Schoelkopf.
The Mountaineers responded with one run on a single from Ashley Seering for their first run of the game. ASU held off the Lions in the second and notched two additional runs to get within two but could not keep pace as Penn State added five runs over the next three innings to bring the score to 10-3 by the end of the fifth.
Appalachian state posted their final run of the night in the top of the sixth inning, a solo homerun from sophomore Alex Sohl. The Blue and White closed out the game in the top of the seventh, allowing zero runs and stranding two runners on base to put the final count at 10-4.
Furuya finished the game a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate with two singles and an RBI while Knief also gave a veteran performance, going 2-for-3 with a double, a single and a walk.
Penn State returns to action on Saturday, taking on Bradley and Arizona State in the second day of competition at the Kajikawa Classic. First pitch against the Braves is set for 4 p.m. (ET) at Farrington Stadium and the contest at Arizona State is slated for a 6:30 p.m. (ET) start.