Sovereign Shines as Softball Sweeps FIU & Georgetown
Feb. 26, 2011
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The Penn State Nittany Lions put together its first back-to-back wins of 2011 with a 3-0 victory over FIU and a 6-0 triumph over Georgetown at Anderson Stadium in the Carolina Classic Saturday afternoon. Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) tossed a one-hitter against FIU, while Alyssa Sovereign (La Canada, Calif.) went 6-for-6 with two doubles, a homer, a walk and three RBI in seven plate appearances between the two games. In the Georgetown game, pitcher Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) recorded her first shutout of 2011 with 10 strikeouts.
PENN STATE 3, FIU 0
Sovereign's fantastic day continued in the bottom of the fourth when she ripped a lead-off home run to deep center field for a quick 2-0 lead. In the fifth inning, Sovereign doubled home Lauren Yao (Los Angeles, Calif.) after Yao reached safely on a single for a three-run PSU margin. Sovereign' completed the morning game with a 3-for-3 outing, scoring twice with two doubles and a homer.
Meanwhile, Hill was tossing zeroes across the board in the circle. Hill was masterful, allowing just a single walk through six full innings without a hit allowed. The redshirt-senior was one strike away from her second career no-hitter before Brie Rojas of FIU (5-7) looped a single to centerfield to break it up. Hill got Jessie Alfonso to ground out to third to end the game and improve her record to 2-1.
Hill's line for the day read seven full innings of work with a hit and a walk against with four strikeouts. The shutout was Hill's 15th of her career. The redshirt-senior's ERA stands at 1.25 with opposing batters hitting a meager .163.
PENN STATE 6, GEORGETOWN 0
Sovereign lofted her fifth-straight hit of the day to left field, which dropped for a double to lead off the fifth inning. Akamine singled to the shortstop who looked Sovereign back to second base. Rachel Myers (Millheim, Pa.) pinch ran for Akamine before Ellen McNair (Niceville, Fla.) sacrificed the two runners over a base. Head coach Robin Petrini opted to use Morgan Long (Oro Valley, Ariz.) in a pinch as Long split the infield with a single up the middle to score both runs and extend the lead to 3-0. Unfortunately for Penn State no more runs would score despite a single by Mary Ostman (Northbrook, Ill.) to continue the scoring run.
Penn State (4-3) would further add to the lead in the fifth inning when they loaded the bases with a single by Kailyn Johnson (Yorba Linda, Calif.) a walk by Sovereign and a fielding error at shortstop. McNair came through with a tough grounder to first that hit off the first-baseman and to Kristi Preuss while Johnson scored for a 4-0 Penn State lead.
The Nittany Lions went on to pad the lead in the sixth when Ostman singled back to the pitcher and stole second base. Bell sent a ball down the right-field line for an RBI double and a five-run cushion. After a Yao ground out moved Bell to third, Johnson walked to put runners at the corner. After a Liz Presto (Bethlehem, Pa.) pinch-hit fly ball, Sovereign knocked her sixth hit of the afternoon and her third RBI in two games for a 6-0 Penn State lead.
In the circle, Akamine settled down after allowing three hits combined in the second and third innings as just two base runners reached the rest of the afternoon. The Californian righty finished the game with 10 strikeouts with just four hits allowed and a single walk, which lowered her ERA to 1.02.
The Nittany Lions will return to Anderson Stadium for a 10:00 a.m. game against FIU tomorrow before taking on host North Carolina at Noon. Visit GoPSUsports.com for live stats provided through GameTracker and follow along with commentary on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PSULionSoftball.