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Feb. 17, 2014
L, 11-3 (5)
Baton Rouge, La. Tiger Park
BATON ROUGE, La.; Feb. 17, 2014 - The Penn State softball team turned in another split effort on Monday evening, falling to No. 21 LSU, 11-3, in five innings in game one before upsetting the Tigers 6-5 in the second game of the doubleheader. With the win, first year head coach Amanda Lehotak earns her first victory over a ranked opponent as the leader of the Blue and White.
Freshman Shelby Miller (Sugar Land, Texas) led the team in hits between the two contests, going 3-for-6 at the plate with two RBIs while freshman Marlaina Laubach (Northampton, Pa.) turned in another winning performance in the circle, improving to 4-0 on the season. Laubach earned three strikeouts in her third complete game of the season.
Sophomore Macy Jones (Ashburn, Va.) received all-tournament team recognition after posting four hits through four games and driving in five runs.
GAME ONE: No. 21 LSU 11, PENN STATE 3 (5)
The Nittany Lions (4-4) struggled early in the first game, allowing LSU (8-3) to jump out a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Sophomore Bianka Bell sent a single through the right side to drive in Sandra Simmons and Jacee Blades while Allison Falcon ripped a triple to right field, sending Kellsi Kloss and Bell across the plate.
The Tigers continued to dominate over the next two innings, tallying six additional runs in the second and third frames. A Blades triple brought Bailey Landry home and sacrifice fly from Simmons drove in Blades in the second inning. A pair of solo home runs from Bell and Kloss kicked off the third inning, pushing the score to 8-0 and a two-RBI double from Landry sent Baylee Corbello and Falcon in to put the count at 10-0.
Jones sparked the Nittany Lion offense in the fourth inning, sending a single up the middle to drive in Alyssa Sovereign (La Canada, Calif.) and put Penn State on the board. Miller followed suit with a two-RBI single down the left line, bringing Jones and Lexi Knief (Ramsey, N.J.) across the plate to cut the deficit to 10-3.
The fourth inning flare would not be enough, however, as LSU added one run in the bottom half and the Lions were unable to respond. Another triple from Falcon brought in the deciding run from Kloss to leave the final score at 11-3 after five frames.
GAME TWO: PENN STATE 6, No. 21 LSU 5
The start of the game two did not favor Penn State (5-4) as the Lions failed to get on the board and LSU (8-4) posted three runs in the opening inning. However, over the next two innings the Blue and White were able to even the score.
Freshman Sam Shanahan (Seattle, Wash.) grounded out to second base and sent Jones home to give the Lions their first run of the game in the second frame and Karlie Habitz (Newhall, Calif.) and Jones brought in two more runs in the top of the third to knot the game at 3-3. Habitz ripped a double to left center, driving in Knief, and Jones brought in Sovereign on a sac fly to left field.
The Tigers regained the lead in the bottom half of the third as Kloss hit a double to left field to send Simmons in, pushing the count to 4-3. PSU went scoreless in the fourth and LSU extended its lead to 5-3. Simone Heyward registered the Tigers’ final run of the game, scoring on a sac fly from Simmons.
Penn State responded in the fifth, pulling within one run on a single from sophomore Reina Furuya (Waipahu, Hawaii). Furuya punched a single to left field and brought in Sovereign to put the score at 5-4.
The Lions took over in the sixth, tacking on the deciding runs. Kasie Hatfield (Tampa, Fla.) singled to left field to drive in Miller and Jones reached on a fielder’s choice to send Hatfield home and give Penn State a 6-5 advantage.
Laubach and the PSU defense stepped up in the final two innings, allowing no runs and just one hit to seal the deal for the Nittany Lions as they upset the No. 21 Tigers, 6-5.
Penn State returns to action on Friday at the Florida Atlantic Invitational in Boca Raton. The Lions bookend the weekend against No. 7 Kentucky and will take on FAU twice and in-state rival Pitt once throughout the three-day competition.