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Feb. 21, 2014
Boca Raton, Fla. • FAU Softball Field
BOCA RATON, Fla.; Feb. 21, 2014 - The Penn State softball team dropped its first two games of the Florida Atlantic Invitational on Friday evening, falling to No. 5 Kentucky, 5-0, and host FAU, 3-2, in eight innings at the FAU Softball Field. Senior Kasie Hatfield (Tampa, Fla.) and sophomore Lexi Knief(Ramsey, N.J.) led the Nittany Lions offensively as each posted three hits on the day.
Freshman pitcher Marlaina Laubach (Northampton, Pa.) registered her first loss of the season in the extra-inning battle against the Owls after notching a season-high six strikeouts.
No. 5 KENTUCKY 5, PENN STATE 0
The Nittany Lions (5-5) struggled to find their rhythm offensively in the opening game of the FAU Tournament, falling to No. 5 Kentucky (11-0), 5-0. The loss marks the Nittany Lions' first scoreless outing of the 2014 campaign.
Junior Alicia Walker (Los Alamitos, Calif.) and sophomore Knief posted the only two hits of the game for the Blue and White while UK registered six hits.
Penn State held the Wildcats to just two runs in the first four innings. UK senior Lauren Cumbess drove in Christian Stokes on a sac fly for the initial run in the first inning and senior Emily Jolly scored on an error by Sam Shanahan (Seattle, Wash.) on a sac bunt from Stokes in the third to put Kentucky up 2-0.
The Wildcats crossed home plate twice in the fifth inning to extend their lead to 4-0. Cumbess ripped a double to right center to bring in Sarah Frazer and scored on an error by Karlie Habitz (Newhall, Calif.).
The final run of the game came in the sixth inning as Darington Richardson scored on a single from Jolly after walking and stealing second. The Blue and White were unable to respond in the final inning, putting the final count at 5-0 in Kentucky's favor.
FAU 3, PENN STATE 2 (8)
Despite leading for the majority of the game, Penn State (5-6) could not hold off FAU (6-6) as the Owls overcame a two-run deficit to defeat the Lions, 3-2, in eight innings.
Each team went scoreless until a two-RBI triple from Macy Jones (Ashburn, Va.) gave the Lions both of their runs in the third inning. The sophomore ripped her first triple of the season to right field to drive in Alyssa Sovereign (La Canada, Calif.) and Hatfield and put the count at 2-0.
The Owls responded with their first run of the game in the next frame. Shelby Knox sent a sac fly to center field with the bases loaded to send Whitley Herb home and bring the score to 2-1.
The Lions kept FAU off the board over the next two innings but could not escape with the win as the Owls notched the game-tying run an inning later. A single up the middle from FAU's Mickey Bell brought Carnesha Thompson in and knotted the game up at two runs apiece and Penn State failed to add a third run in the bottom of the seventh, sending the contest into extra innings.
With the international tie-breaker rules in place it did not take long for FAU to take over in the eighth. Christina Martinez was placed on second and quickly advanced to third on a sac bunt from Knox. Martinez scored on the next play as Jordan Stovall sent a sac fly out to center, giving the Owls a 3-2 advantage.
Sovereign was placed on second for the Nittany Lions in the bottom of the eighth and advanced to third on a sac bunt from Walker but could not make it home as a line out from Jones and a Furuya pop up to third ended the game with a final score of 3-2.
The Blue and White return for the second day of the FAU Tournament on Sunday. Penn State is set to face Pitt and FAU in a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m.