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April 4, 2009
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The eight game losing streak was finally snapped as the Penn State softball team swept the Iowa Hawkeyes in a Big Ten double header this afternoon. The Nittany Lions took game one in a 1-0 decision and followed with a 2-1 victory in the night cap. Penn State is now 11-18 overall and 2-6 in Big Ten play as Iowa falls to 29-9 (3-3). Junior pitcher Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) was the hero of the day as she made a triumphant return to the circle after a three week hiatus picking up both wins.
The first score and only score of game one came at the hand of the Nittany Lions in the top of the sixth. With one out senior center fielder Sam Hovanec (Pittsburgh, Pa.) singled through the right side. As the next batter was retired with a strike out, Hovanec made a crucial steal to move into scoring position as freshman designated player Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) stepped up to the plate. Akamine then drove a single through the right side to score Hovanec.
The Hawkeyes were looking to respond with the meat of their lineup in the bottom of the frame as Lindsey Digman singled with one out. Colleen McGlaughlin went down swinging as Hill fanned her fifth batter in her first game back in the circle. Digman then stole second, and as the ball escaped Zielinski, Digman proceeded to third. But Zielinski and Madura teamed up to make the tag and retire the inning. Penn State scored one run with five hits while Iowa had four hits. Hill claimed the victory and the shutout for the Lions striking out six batters to become 6-5 in the circle while Brittany Weil took the loss becoming 14-7.
Penn State got started early in the nightcap as the bases were loaded with two outs in the top of the first. Junior left fielder Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) got things started when she reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second as Hovanec singled through the right side. Sophomore shortstop Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J.) then walked to load the bases. Freshman catcher Danee Collett (Orange, Calif.) the stepped up to the plate with two outs and singled to score Griffith, but as Hovanec followed she was tagged out to end the inning.
Iowa threatened in the bottom of the frame with two on and one out as Liz Watkins got a rip up the middle. Fortunately, Hovanec scooped up the grounder and connected with Collett to tag out Taylor Leichsenring at the plate.
The Lions extended their lead in the sixth as Akamine singled and advanced to second on a passed ball. Collett then connected for her second single of the game as Akamine was plated when the ball went through the right side. But Iowa wasn't going down without a fight as the Hawkeyes closed the gap with a run in the bottom half of the frame. Katie Brown doubled with two outs as Callie Adreon came in to pinch run. A single by Chelsey Carmody to right field allowed Adreon access to home as she barely beat the throw. The final out was secured with a ground out to second and Penn State held on to take the 2-1 decision.
The Nittany Lions scored two runs with 10 hits while the Hawkeyes scored one run with eight hits. Hill fanned six Hawkeyes in her second win of the day improving to 7-5 in the circle while Amanda Zust took her second loss for the Hawkeyes bringing her to 15-2 in the circle.
Penn State will return to Nittany Lion Field next weekend for a two-game series with Wisconsin. The Think Pink event will take place on Saturday, April 11 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, April 12 at 1 p.m.