Bell's Five-Hit Day Not Enough as Purdue Sweeps Twinbill
March 31, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Nittany Lion softball team dropped a doubleheader at Purdue on Saturday afternoon, 2-1 and 7-0. Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.) paced the Nittany Lion offense with a 5-for-8 effort, extending her hit streak to four games. Penn State and Purdue cap the series at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
The Nittany Lions (7-19, 0-4 Big Ten) got on the board in the fourth when Morgan Long (Oro Valley, Ariz.) singled home Lauren Yao (Los Angeles, Calif.) from second base with no outs. Yao got on when she was plunked with the first pitch of the inning and moved up on Kailyn Johnson's (Yorba Linda, Calif.) single to center and Kasie Hatfield (Tampa, Fla.) sacrificed those two forward a bag.
Purdue starter Lexy Moore (13-2) got out of the jam by inducing a chopper back to the mound before Danee Collett (Rogersville, Tenn.) was thrown out by a hair at first from short that would've scored another run.
Akamine worked in traffic for much of the afternoon and in the fifth was the biggest as the bases were loaded full of Boilers with no outs. She registered two strikeouts and a fly out to left to quell the threat. Akamine threw the complete game of six innings, allowing seven hits, five walks and two earned runs will notching a season-high nine strikeouts.
The bright spot for Penn State on the afternoon was Bell, who went 3-for-4 in the first game with three singles. Penn State knocked seven hits in the opener with Johnson going 2-for-3 and Akamine tallying a single. Purdue was led by Andie Varsho (2-for-4, run) and Ashley Courtney (2-for-2, two RBI) at the plate. Akamine fell to 5-13, while Moore picked up her 13th win with three strikeouts and a walk allowed.
The victory by Purdue broke Penn State's three-game unbeaten streak against the Boilermakers. The Boilers also leapt out to its best start to a Big Ten season in program history at 4-0.
Penn State had a scoring opportunity in the third when Alyssa Sovereign (La Canada, Calif.) led off with a walk and pinch-runner Shannon Hutchinson (Sewell, N.J.) reached second on a wild pitch. Alyssa Renwick (Laurens, S.C.) earned a one-out walk, but Purdue relief pitcher Katie Hackney induced a fielder's choice to the mound and got a swinging strikeout to get out of the jam.
Purdue mounted an attack in the third as a lead-off triple, a walk and a double scored two runs to push the score to 3-0, forcing Wheatley from the game in favor of Marissa Diescher (Livingston Manor, N.Y.) with no outs. Diescher induced a sacrifice fly to leftfield for the first out before an error brought home another run for a 5-0 Boilermaker lead.
The Lions attempted to rally with two outs in the fourth as Long laced a double to deep centerfield. Liz Presto (Bethlehem, Pa.) walked, moving up to second and pinch-runner Rachel Myers (Millheim, Pa.) to third, on a wild pitch by Hackney. A strikeout kept Penn State off the board.
Purdue's bats added two more in the bottom of the sixth and Penn State was held scoreless in the top of the seventh for the final 7-0 scoreline. Renwick went 2-for-2 with a walk in the second game. Hackney improved to 4-2, while Wheatley fell to 0-2.
Penn State and Purdue wrap up the three-game series on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Live stats can be found through GameTracker on GoPSUsports.com with live updates on Twitter (@PSULionSoftball) and Facebook (PennStateSoftball). PurdueSports.com will stream free audio on its website as well.