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Feb. 25, 2012
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Penn State softball came from 3-0 down to sprint past James Madison, 5-4, on Saturday night at Anderson Stadium. The four-run fourth-inning rally was highlighted by RBI singles from senior Danee Collett (Rogersville, Tenn.) and freshman Lauren Anderson (Valencia, Calif.).
Penn State (2-4) got off to a rocky start, falling behind 3-0 after an inning, but kick-started its offense in the fourth inning to overtake the Dukes (2-4). One-out walks by Kasie Hatfield (Tampa, Fla.) and Lauren Yao (Los Angeles, Calif.) set the table for Alyssa Renwick (Laurens, S.C.), Collett and Anderson. The trio notched three straight singles as Collett cut the lead to 3-1 and Anderson tied the game at three on the first pitch she saw. The game-tying hit was Anderson's first collegiate base knock and her first runs batted in.
Pinch-hitter Morgan Long (Oro Valley, Ariz.) continued the rally with a walk to load the bases. Following a strikeout, Collett came home to score on a passed ball to take the lead, 4-3. Penn State went on to extend the lead in the fifth when Collett's single to left-centerfield score pinch-runner Meghan Bradley (Santa Monica, Calif.), as Bradley scored her first collegiate run.
From there James Madison was forced to try and come back, getting one run back in the bottom of the fifth on a solo home run by Ashley Burnham off Marissa Diescher (Livingston Manor, N.Y.). Diescher pitched her way out of several jams, working around six hits and six walks, while giving up four runs. In the fifth, Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) later came in with two walks and got a strikeout of Megan Shinaberry with two on base and the tying run at second base. Diescher returned to throw the sixth and seventh innings, earning her first collegiate win and improve to 1-2 on the season.
For the game, Renwick and Collett had matching 2-for-4 nights as Penn State out-hit JMU, 7-6. Hatfield and Hutchinson went 1-for-2 apiece on the night. Penn State improved to 2-0 all-time against James Madison and faces the Dukes in a re-match tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. Before that game, the Nittany Lions play host North Carolina, ranked 24th in the USA Softball poll, at 2:00 p.m.