Nittany Lions Break Out of Slump in 6-3 Win over Saint Joseph's
March 10, 2010
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Penn State Nittany Lion softball team broke out of its four-game hitting slump in which it batted .144, getting eight hits and a four-run sixth inning to beat Saint Joseph's, 6-3, on Wednesday. Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) threw seven strong with just one earned run, while Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.) went 2-for-3 with two runs in the third spot in the lineup.
Penn State (13-7) got on the board in the first inning after three straight singles loaded the bases and Lauren Rossi (Yardley, Pa.) got a two-out walk to bring home the first run. Rossi started only her second game of the year, her first at second base.
After Saint Joseph's (6-5) knotted the score in the second due to an unearned run, Penn State would tally its second marker of the game in the fifth when Bell scored on an RBI grounder to short by pinch hitter Morgan Long (Oro Valley, Ariz.), but the throw was a bit high and a tag couldn't be made on the play. Bell got on with a single before stealing second base and getting to third on a wild pitch.
In the sixth, the Nittany Lions broke things open when Kailyn Johnson (Yorba Linda, Calif.) ended a 0-for-15 slump with a double to right center. Alyssa Renwick (Laurens, S.C.) hit a single to center and Johnson slid clear of a tag at home plate to make it a 3-1 game. Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) sacrificed Renwick to third and Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) was promptly beaned on the foot. Hill left the game with a bruise and was replaced by Lauren Yao (Los Angeles, Calif.) on the base paths and Johnson in the field.
Yao stole second, forcing Saint Joseph's to intentionally walk Bell to load the bases. After a pitching change, Danee Collett (Orange, Calif.) hit a chopper to the right side of the infield that she beat out at first after the second baseman made a diving stab just to keep it in the infield, scoring Renwick from third. Akamine came up and ripped a shot at the first baseman who could not control the ball as it skipped into right field scoring Yao and Bell for a 6-1 lead.
Saint Joseph's tacked on a run in the bottom of the sixth on a delayed double steal of second and home before tacking one more on in the seventh in an unearned fashion for the final 6-3 score line.
Both teams left 10 runners on base apiece while Penn State stole four bases on the afternoon. Akamine finished with eight strikeouts, giving up seven hits and walking four. It was the 20th-straight time Penn State defeated Saint Joseph's in softball.
The Nittany Lions will stay in Clearwater for five more games this weekend at the Eddie C. Moore Complex, starting Friday evening. Penn State is scheduled to play Stony Brook (4:00 p.m.) and Toledo (6:00 p.m.). There is a threat of rain for Friday, so check GoPSUsports.com for updates on each game's status.