Softball Stuns No. 9 LSU While Picking Up a Pair of Wins
March 1, 2008
BATON ROUGE, La. - Using a pair of outstanding pitching performances, the Penn State University softball team (6-4) picked up two wins in the Easton Purple and Gold Challenge. The first victory came over the University of Southern Mississippi (9-9) before PSU stunned #9 Louisiana State University (12-4) by scores of 3-0. Senior Ashley Esparza (San Pedro, Calif./San Pedro) and redshirt-freshman Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif./Leigh) shut down both their opponents en route to complete game shutouts.
In game one, Hill (3-1) used a three hit, six strikeout performance to pick up her third win of the season. On the offensive side of the ball freshman Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J./Caldwell) and senior Jen Acunto (Hollywood, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) used lead-off homeruns in the second and the third to push the Nittany Lions ahead by two. PSU would tack on one more run in the seventh off of a hit and three walks.
Acunto, Giordano and junior Danielle Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad) all picked up RBIs while sophomore Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J./Lenape), senior Hollee Haines (Riverside, Calif./Martin Luther King), Hill and Esparza all added hits.
USM's Samantha Davis (2-4) picked up the loss while pitching 6.1 innings.
In game two Esparza (3-3) pitched a near flawless game holding LSU to only one hit while striking out three. The one hit is the fewest hits the #9 Tigers have mustered all season.
PSU would get on the board for the first time in the bottom of the fourth innings off a blast from Kinley to dead center field. The Nittany Lions added two more runs in the fifth off three hits by Griffith, Kinley and Giordano.
Both Kinley and Griffith went 2-for-3 with Griffith picking up a double while Kinley added a pair of RBI. Giordano and Haines added a hit a piece to PSU's total of six.
Giordano extended her team-leading hitting streak to eight games today as well as adding to her team-high three homeruns.
With the two wins today the Nittany Lions clinched the #1 seed going into tomorrow's tournament play as they will take on the #4 seed at 10:45 a.m. (ET) who has yet to be determined. Due to flight schedules if the Nittany Lions win their opening round game they will be unable to play in the championship game of the Purple and Gold Challenge.