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Feb. 19, 2011
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Nittany Lion softball team used a strong pitching performance by Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) and timely hitting for a 2-1 win over host Florida Atlantic at the FAU Softball Stadium Saturday night. At the plate, Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.) paced Penn State with a 3-for-4 day at the plate with two RBI, while Akamine went 6.2 innings without allowing an earned run for her first win of the season.
Akamine got the start for Penn State (2-2) and cruised through a 1-2-3 inning to open the game. In the bottom of the first inning, Bell knocked her first hit of the year to the opposite field that rolled through FAU's centerfielder Brittany Walker and to the wall allowing Bell a free pass to third base. PSU was unable to score Bell after three consecutive groundouts to finish the frame and Florida Atlantic (2-4) escaped unscathed.
Bell would again be a catalyst for the Penn State offense in the second inning. Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J.) led off with a single and would end up on third when Alyssa Sovereign's (La Canada, Calif.) sacrifice bunt was thrown away allowing Sovereign to get to second. Following a pair of strikeouts, Shannon Hutchinson (Sewell, N.J.) drew a crucial walk on a 3-2 count to load the bases. Bell smacked a shot to the left side that was snagged by FAU's Diandra Fernandez, but her throw to second wasn't in time to get Hutchinson as Giordano scored for a 1-0 Penn State lead.
The third inning saw both teams go down in order before an eventful fourth frame took place. FAU's Rose Gressley singled and Jordan Stovall doubled her to third with no outs. Akamine would buckle down forcing a grounder to short and on the play Stovall was caught in a rundown as Johnson threw to Lauren Yao (Los Angeles, Calif.) on second base. Meanwhile, Gressley took off for home and Yao gunned her down as Danee Collett (Rogersville,Tenn.) applied the tag to complete the double play. A first-pitch fly out to left ended FAU's half-inning.
The Nittany Lions came to the plate in the bottom half when Alyssa Renwick (Laurens, S.C.) singled to left with one out. Hutchinson reached on a fielder's choice for the second out and Bell drove her home with a long double to left field and a 2-0 lead.
After scoreless frames in the fifth and sixth, Akamine got into some trouble in the seventh as lead-off hitter Ashlyn Parmenter had a single. Akamine recorded a strikeout before an error allowed Parmenter to reach second and have two runners on the paths with one out. A ground out that should've ended the game advanced the runners and a wild pitch scored Parmenter to cut the lead in half.
Head coach Robin Petrini elected to bring Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) in on a 1-0 count to FAU's Brittany Walker, who would eventually walk to put runners on the corner. Hill was her steady self, however, and caught Kerri Croney looking at a third strike to end the ball game.
Penn State will return to the FAU Softball Stadium on Sunday when it will face Tulsa at 11:00 a.m. That game will have live stats through GameTracker and updates on Twitter (@PSULionSoftball). On Friday morning, Penn State defeated Tulsa, 3-1.