Nittany Lions Drop Eight-Inning Sprint to Indiana, 3-0
April 9, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State and Indiana battled through seven scoreless innings in just 78 minutes, but the Hoosiers scored three eighth-inning runs to win, 3-0, on Saturday evening at Beard Field. Alyssa Sovereign (La Canada, Calif.) notched Penn State's lone hit as the Nittany Lions stranded five runners in the shutout.
Penn State (18-15, 4-3 Big Ten) had its first 14 batters retired before a two-out walk by Lauren Yao (Los Angeles, Calif.) gave PSU its first scoring opportunity. Danee Collett (Rogersville, Tenn.) was hit by a pitch putting two runners on for pinch-hitter Ellen McNair (Niceville, Fla.), but IU hurler Morgan Melloh (17-14) struck her out to quell the threat.
The Nittany Lions again had two runners on base in the seventh inning as Collett strode the plate after Sovereign broke up the no-hitter and Yao was hit by a pitch. Melloh was able to wiggle out of the jam when Collett grounded to third, setting up the pivotal eighth inning.
Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) was matching Melloh step-for-step as she allowed just two lone singles to Sara Olsen as Indiana's (21-15, 3-2 Big Ten) only base runners. At one point, Hill retired 17 straight Hoosiers, but a lead-off walk by Jenna Abraham in the eighth set the wheels in motion. Abraham would come around to score on a Sam Heyman check-swing single to left before Breanna Saucedo brought home the second run in the inning on a single to left as well. Olsen capped the scoring with an RBI single of her one to score Heyman and Indiana had its advantage it needed.
Melloh allowed a lead-off walk to pinch-hitter Liz Presto (Bethlehem, Pa.), but three straight strikeouts ended the game as Melloh fanned five of the last six Nittany Lions. Melloh, who ranks second in the NCAA in strikeouts, ended the game with 12 Ks. Hill's line ended with six hits against along with three earned runs a lone walk and six strikeouts.
The final game time was 1:47, as the first six innings were played in just over an hour as Hill and Melloh worked through the respective opposing lineups. Indiana improved its record to 28-22 all-time against Penn State, while winning just its sixth game in the last 21 tries against the Nittany Lions.
The Nittany Lions and Hoosiers return to Beard Field to conclude the two-game series at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. The game will feature have live stats coverage through GameTracker as well as commentary and analysis on Twitter (www.twitter.com/PSULionSoftball). The matchup is also being aired live on 1390 AM WRSC in State College and online on Penn State All-Access.