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March 17, 2011
FULLERTON, Calif. - Nittany Lion softball held the hot-hitting No. 6 Arizona State Sun Devils to just five hits, but costly errors gave ASU a 5-1 win Thursday morning. Freshman Alyssa Sovereign (La Canada, Calif.) highlighted the Penn State offense with a solo home run in the second inning.
Arizona State (27-1) began its two-run first inning fairly conspicuously as Lesley Rogers reached on an error to left field. A few pitches later, slugger Sam Parlich smashed a homer for a 2-0 Sun Devil lead. The Devils would back that up with two more runs in the second on a wild pitch and an error to second base for a four-run advantage.
Nevertheless, Penn State (11-9) would fight back when Sovereign took a 1-2 offering from ASU starter Mackenzie Popescue over the right-field wall, her second homer of the year. PSU looked to add to the rally when Kasie Hatfield (Lutz, Fla.) reached safely on an error and Lauren Yao (Los Angeles, Calif.) got on base with two outs after her fielder's choice decision. Lauren Rossi (Yardley, Pa.) legged out an infield single, seemingly to extend the Penn State rally, but Yao was thrown out at third on the play as she tried to grab an extra base.
The error-riddled game continued into the top of the third as ASU's Alix Johnson would score on a two-error play with two outs in the inning for a 5-1 Sun Devil lead. Starting pitcher Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) was the hard-luck loser as she went the distance, giving up just two earned runs, five hits and striking out the Sun Devils seven times. Coming into the game, Arizona State was hitting .407 collectively as a team. Akamine's record drops to 6-4 on the year despite the strong performance.
PSU will continue play at the highly competitive Judi Garman Classic on Thursday against Fresno State. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. ET against the Bulldogs with live stats coverage through GameTracker as well as commentary and analysis on Twitter (www.twitter.com/PSULionSoftball).