Lions Drop Two to Close Out Carolina Classic
Feb. 27, 2011
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Penn State softball suffered some tough breaks in frustrating losses to FIU and North Carolina at Anderson Stadium in the Carolina Classic Sunday afternoon. The Nittany Lions dropped a controversial eight-inning 1-0 game to the Panthers before falling 3-0 to the Tar Heels.
FIU 1, PENN STATE 0 (8 innings)
The second inning saw FIU try to be aggressive and take the lead with two outs when Rachel Slowik singled to right-field and sent Megan Horne home from second. Alyssa Sovereign (La Canada, Calif.) threw a bullet to home as Kasie Hatfield (Lutz, Fla.) applied the tag.
In the midst of a pitcher's duel, controversy arose when Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.) launched a homer over the right-field fence in the fourth inning. Upon arriving in the dugout, FIU appealed and the home-plate umpire ruled Bell out for not touching the plate, wiping out the run. Bell's hit wiped out McClain's perfect game she had going through three innings.
FIU looked to score in the bottom of the sixth inning when Jessy Alfonso lifted a double to left field. In came Hill who relieved Akamine's five-inning, four-hit outing. Following a first-out sacrifice to move Alfonso to third, Ashley McClain lined a shot right at Alyssa Renwick (Laurens, S.C.) and Renwick tossed it over to Lauren Rossi (Yardley, Pa.) to complete the exciting, and crucial, double play.
Hill worked out of another jam in the following inning when she had a runner on third with two outs and got Jackie Tetlow to swing at strike three. When the international tiebreaker rules took a hold in the eighth, Kailyn Johnson (Yorba Linda, Calif.) sacrificed Sovereign to third base with just a single out. Following a ground out and a walk by Danee Collett (Rogersville, Tenn.), Hill popped up to end the half-inning.
The bottom half of the inning saw a sacrifice put a runner on third with one away for the Panthers. A fielder's choice and a stolen base put runners on second and third. A heads up play by Hatfield to Renwick started a run down for the second out leaving a runner on third base. Alfonso hit a grounder to third where Rossi fielded it cleanly and looked to have thrown out Alfonso, but she was ruled safe at first and the game ended with an RBI single.
NORTH CAROLINA 3, PENN STATE 0
At the plate, Penn State (4-5) could get nothing going as UNC hurler Lori Spignola threw a perfect game despite the Nittany Lions lining some hard-hit balls to the outfield.
In the fifth inning, North Carolina tacked on another when they blooped a two-out single to left field for a 2-0 run. UNC added another on a squeeze play in the sixth inning.
Sovereign nearly broke up the perfect game in the top of the seventh when she looked to nearly have a single to left field, but UNC's shortstop made a diving catch to end the game.
The Nittany Lions' record at the Carolina Classic slips to 2-2 in 2011 and 9-7 all-time in the event. Penn State travels south next week to take part in the Buzz Classic in Woodstock, Ga. beginning Friday, March 4 at the Twin Creeks Softball Facility.