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March 7, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - Penn State recovered nicely in Friday's night cap of the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic defeating Vermont 10-1 in five innings. Penn State is now 6-6 while Vermont falls to 6-1. Senior first baseman Danielle Kinley (Escondido, Calif.) was the top performer for the Lions going 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored.
The Nittany Lions proved they were tough in the infield as the first inning was closed out with a rare double play. Just as junior pitcher Jackie Hill struck out Rachelle Boone, freshman catcher Ellen McNair (Niceville, Fla.) connected with junior shortstop Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J.) to catch Laura Stagliano stealing second.
Penn State scored quickly in the second as Kinley ripped a triple to right field. She later scored as the shortstop made a throwing error immediately following a fielding error to allow Hill to reach second. Hill later scored on a Kayce Zielinski single to right field. McNair reached first on a walk allowing Zielinski claim to second, and later advanced to third as senior third baseman Shana Madura (Slate Hill, N.Y.) flied out. With runners on first and third, McNair created a diversion by stealing second and the Catamounts took the bait as Zielinsky completed the double-steal taking home on the throw.
The Lions didn't miss a beat in the third as freshman designated player Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) singled to right field. Kinley brought her home with her 38th career double and scored herself on a Hill single to right center.
Once again, Penn State made big things happen in the fourth as McNair got things started with a single. She then advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved around to third on a single from junior left fielder Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.). Senior center fielder Sam Hovanec (Pittsburgh, Pa.) then singled to left center to score McNair, and Kinley followed with her second double of the game to clear the bases.
Vermont narrowly avoided the shutout in the bottom of the fourth as Boone reached on a fielders' choice and later scored on an error, but the Nittany Lions answered in the top of the fifth. Freshman shortstop Ashley Todd reached first on a single while Danielle Noll followed on a walk. McNair then fired a double to left center scoring Todd and bringing Noll around to third. Griffith then reached first on a fielding error as Noll crossed the plate making the score 11-1.
Hill and Kimi Wong (Goleta, Calif.) combined for the no-hitter as Hill fanned six batters in three innings. McNair went 2-for-2 with an RBI double as Kinley narrowed the gap between herself and career doubles leader and former teammate Ashley Esparza. Kinley now has 39 doubles while Esparza had 44 in her four years at Penn State.
The Nittany Lions will return to Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium on the Stanford University campus Saturday at 2:15 p.m. ET to face the UC Davis Aggies before challenging the Illinois State Redbirds at 9 p.m. ET. Fans can follow the action live via Gametracker at www.GoPSUsports.com.