Collett, Hill Power Softball Past UCSB, 3-1; Lions Fall to Western Kentucky, 5-4
Feb. 20, 2010
SAN DIEGO, Calif.--The Nittany Lion softball team opened play at the 20th Annual Campbell/Cartier Classic hosted by San Diego State with a split day: falling to Western Kentucky, 5-4, before defeating UC Santa Barbara, 3-1, in the nightcap. Danee Collett (Orange, Calif.) paced Penn State, accounting for all three of the team's RBI against the Gauchos with a solo home run and a two-run double.
Penn State (4-3) got on the board first in the top of the second inning when Collett blasted a 1-1 pitch over the left-center field wall, well past the 225-foot sign, for a 1-0 lead. After senior Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) worked out of a two-on, two-out jam in the bottom half of the inning, PSU staged a two-out rally in the third supplied by a Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.) double and walks from Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) and Kailyn Johnson (Yorba Linda, Calif.). Collett stepped to the plate and hit a liner down the right field line off the end of her bat, bringing home Bell and Griffith for a 3-0 Penn State lead.
That was all the offense Hill would need, as she cruised through the first five innings of the game. It wasn't until the bottom of the sixth did UC Santa Barbara (4-6) touch her, which is when Keilani Jennings knocked a 1-0 pitch over the same wall Collett sent her homer four innings prior, cutting the lead to 3-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, UCSB threatened when Jessica Ziegler reached on a one-out single. Ziegler stole second, narrowly beating the tag by Alyssa Renwick (Laurens, S.C.). After a fly out to center, Hill walked Jessica Beristianos for a two-on, two-out situation. Hill would exact her revenge on Jennings striking her out on a 2-2 pitch to end the ball game. Hill (3-1) went seven full innings, allowing five hits, one earned run, four walks, while striking out nine for her third win of the year.
In the opening game of the tournament, the Nittany Lions held a 2-1 lead after the opening inning against Western Kentucky (2-3). Bell led off the bottom of the first with a single and Griffith walked. A Johnson single brought home Bell safely, while Griffith managed to score, beating the throw to the plate thanks to some sloppy defense in left field.
Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.), who came on in relief of Kimi Wong (Goleta, Calif.), pitched her way through three innings of scoreless play until things started to unravel in the fourth. With the bases loaded and one away, a chopper to third brought a run home to tie things up at two apiece. The very next pitch was sent to the right-center gap, bringing home all three runs and giving the Hilltoppers a 5-2 lead.
Akamine (1-2, 6.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 6 BB) would settle down after that, not allowing a run the rest of the way and Penn State would fight its way back into the ballgame. Johnson led off the sixth with a single and was run for by Renwick, who advanced to second on a wild pitch. Collett smashed a double on a 1-1 pitch, forcing WKU to bring in another pitcher. Mary Ostman (Northbrook, Ill.) came in to run for Collett and Hill would pop up for the first out of the inning.
After a Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J.) lineout, Ostman broke for third. No one from WKU covered third despite a throw being made and Ostman rounded third, poised to score. She would get tripped rounding third, but somehow still beat the tag at home plate to cut the lead to one at 5-4. PSU would go down in order in the bottom of the seventh, and PSU would fall to 3-3 for a short period of time.
Bell and Johnson both posted two-hit afternoons versus the Hilltoppers while Lauren Yao (Los Angeles, Calif.) went 1-for-3 on the day. For all of Friday, Johnson and Collett both went 3-for-5 with Collett banging two doubles, a homer and four RBI, while Bell was 3-for-7. Penn State pitchers stranded 19 opposing runners between the two games.
Penn State continues its tournament as it takes on Utah State, winners over No. 1 Washington on Friday, and host San Diego State. Game times are tentatively scheduled for 1:15 p.m. ET and 10:30 p.m. ET, respectively. Live stats will be run through Gametracker and live commentary on Twitter (@PSULionSoftball).
NOTES Head coach Robin Petrini won her 399th career game in the 3-1 defeat of UCSB...Jackie Hill lowered her ERA from 4.57 after three appearances in New Mexico to 3.45 thanks to her one-run outing vs. UCSB...Hill is holding opposing batters to .236 hitting...PSU improved to 2-2 vs. UCSB, but fell to 0-1 against Western Kentucky...Penn State's home run streak ended at five as the Lions failed to knock one out against the Hilltoppers, but PSU has hit homers in six of the first seven games of the season...Danee Collett is on a seven-game hitting streak to start the year, as is Kailyn Johnson...Collett is slugging .909, while Johnson moved up the No. 3 hole in the lineup for the first time all year...As a team, Penn State is slugging .542, as opposed to its foes, who are slugging .482...UCSB turned two double plays on Penn State in very similar fashion as the shortstop snagged a lineout and picked off a runner at first to end the inning in both the fifth and sixth innings...The Nittany Lions are capitalizing on its opponents' errors and miscues as 13 of the team's 51 runs are unearned this season...Leadoff batters are reaching base at a .468 clip and hitting .560 with runners on third with less than two outs in an inning...The Lions are outscoring their opponents 24-7 in the second and third innings combined.