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March 17, 2011
FULLERTON, Calif. - Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) scattered six hits and Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) singled home the winning run in Penn State's 1-0 victory over Fresno State on Thursday at the Judi Garman Classic.
Hill, a redshirt senior pitcher, earned her fourth shutout of the year with another stellar performance going the distance, scattering six hits and two walks, while striking out eight Bulldogs for Penn State (12-9). Hill (7-5) was locked in a scoreless pitcher's duel with FSU's Michelle Moses (5-5) through four and a half innings before the PSU bats came through in the clutch.
The scoring rally began when third baseman Ashley Todd (Mill Creek, Wash.) walked with one out on the board, allowing Alyssa Renwick (Laurens, S.C.) to pinch run for her. Mary Ostman (Northbrook, Ill.) attempted to sacrifice Renwick to second and as her bunt went down the third-base line, FSU's Brooke Ortiz picked it up before it rolled foul, giving Ostman a single. Following a strikeout for Moses, Akamine sent an opposite field single through the left side as Renwick scored from second for the first, and only, run of the game.
Fresno State (14-7) looked to get the run back the following half-inning with a one-out single and a walk before Hill got Courtney Moore to strikeout. A double steal put runners on second and third, but Casey Stiglich lined softly to Lauren Rossi (Yardley, Pa.), ending the FSU threat. It was the second straight inning the Bulldogs left multiple runners on base as Hill worked out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the fifth before the Akamine RBI single.
FSU attempted to mount another charge in the seventh when pinch-hitter Alexis Lujan doubled on a one-out pitch. Lujan would advance to third on a grounder, but Hill was able to get Haley Gilleland swinging, the eighth strikeout of the afternoon for Penn State's ace. The win gave Hill her 50th victory in her PSU career, while she is two shutouts off from 20 in the Blue and White.
The Nittany Lions sought the game's first run in the second inning when Kailyn Johnson (Yorba Linda, Calif.) led off with a single and Danee Collett (Rogersville, Tenn.) followed with a single of her own. After a strikeout, the two base runners were moved up a bag on a sacrifice fly, but another strikeout from Moses put an end to PSU's scoring chances. For the game, Penn State left five runners on, while the Bulldogs were tabbed with seven stranded.
Penn State won its first game against the Bulldogs after previously losing three games to FSU since the series began in 2002. Fresno State was the first team left out of the NFCA Top 25 this week.
PSU will continue play at the highly competitive Judi Garman Classic on Friday morning against Oklahoma. Game time is set for 9:00 a.m. PT/Noon p.m. ET against the Bulldogs with live stats coverage through GameTracker as well as commentary and analysis on Twitter (www.twitter.com/PSULionSoftball).