Softball Crushes Morehead State, 11-0; Edged by East Carolina, 2-0
Feb. 28, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C.--The Penn State Nittany Lion softball team split its games on Sunday, downing Morehead State 11-0 in five innings before falling to host East Carolina, 2-0 at the ECU Softball Field. Penn State finished its time at the ECU Pirate Classic with a 3-1 record, finishing second to East Carolina.
In Game One against Morehead State (1-7), Penn State (9-4) laid down the hammer in the opening inning, capitalizing on sloppy fielding and clutch hits. The Nittany Lions exploded for nine runs on six hits for its biggest inning of the 2010 season, bringing 14 batters to the plate.
The inning started off with a Cassidy Bell (Bakersifled, Calif.) liner to right that was dropped and rolled to the fance, allowing the speedy centerfielder to reach third base, setting the table for a disastrous inning for Morehead State hurler Sarah Funston (1-2). Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) reached first on an infield single to short and would steal second base on the next pitch. Kailyn Johnson (Yorba Linda, Calif) walked and Danee Collett (Orange, Calif.) was hit by a pitch bringing home Bell for an early 1-0 lead. After a Jackie Hill strikeout, Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J.) walked to drive home Griffith making it 2-0 and the bases still loaded.
Mary Ostman (Northbrook, Ill.) walked for the second-straight bases loaded base on balls, bringing home Collett. Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) singled to left allowing Johnson to score and Morgan Long (Oro Valley, Ariz.) struck out for the second out of the first inning, bringing Bell back to the plate for the second time in the inning. She ripped a laser the opposite way, clearing the bases and opening a 7-0 lead. Griffith singled to move Bell to third and a Johnson single brought home Bell at 8-0. Funston gave way to Ashley Boyd and Collett added a double down the rightfield line driving home Griffith to cap the scoring at 9-0.
Penn State was back at it in the second inning when the Nittany Lions again got the leadoff batters on base when Giordano singled and Akamine walked. Boyd was relieved by Eagle ace Alex Gjevre. Ostman singled immediately off Gjevre loading the bases yet again. After a popup by Long, Bell cracked a single up the middle scoring Giordano. Griffith smacked a grounder to short that was mishandled and scored Akamine for the last run at 11-0.
Meanwhile, in the circle, Akamine (4-2) was dealing as the threw three perfect innings in 28 pitches in the circle, upping her total for the weekend to 11.2 innings pitched with just two earned runs and three hits against. Kimi Wong (Goleta, Calif.) came in relief of Akamine and fired four-straight outs, nearing a perfect game for Penn State. With Kelsea Bullock at the plate, she swung through a third strike, but the ball got past Collett, allowing Bullock to reach first safely. Wong would fan the next Morehead State batter, but Kayla Ashbrook laced a single to left, breaking up the no-hitter. Wong induced a grounder to the mound to end the game, garnering Penn State's first shutout of the 2010 season.
Against East Carolina (6-7), the Lions got off to a slow start, failing to score a run for the first time all season. With Hill in the circle, ECU's Kai Clark sent a homer over the leftfield fence for a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The two runs were all the Pirates would need as the loss snapped Penn State's six-game winning streak.
Penn State mounted a rally in the sixth inning when Johnson got on first with a flair single to left and Danee Collett's single to right moved Lauren Rossi (Yardley, Pa.), who pinch ran for Johnson to second base. After a Giordano pop up, Hill flew out to right field to end the threat.
In the seventh, Long led off with a pinch hit double deep down the leftfield line. Ostman struck out looking and Lauren Yao (Los Angeles, Calif.) fouled out. Bell smacked a deep flyball to rightfield but it was corralled to end the game.
Hill (5-2) threw six innings allowing six hits and the two earned runs, walking just one and striking out six. Her counterpart Toni Paisley tossed seven innings giving up six hits and striking out nine batters.
The Nittany Lions will venture south yet against next week for 12 games in Clearwater, Fla. Penn State will participate in the USF Under Armour Invitational, opening with Central Michigan on Mar. 5 before playing two mid-week games against Central Michigan (Mar. 9) and Saint Joseph's (Mar. 10). The Lions wrap up play in Florida with the USF Under Armour Showcase from Mar. 12-14. All the games can be followed through Gametracker and Twitter (@PSULionSoftball).