Lions Fall in Another Pitchers' Duel to Indiana, 1-0
April 10, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State and Indiana fought in another tight pitchers' duel on Sunday at Beard Field, with the Hoosiers winning 1-0, on an Amanda Wagner single in the seventh inning.
The Nittany Lions (18-16, 4-4 Big Ten) took a more aggressive approach to IU hurler Morgan Melloh (18-14), earning safe passage in each the second, third and fourth innings in an attempt to score.
"We made a lot of adjustments," Head coach Robin Petrini said. "We had much fewer strikeouts and put the ball in play a lot more. I thought we competed a lot better today."
Kasie Hatfield (Tampa, Fla.) had a single in the second with two outs, but pinch-runner Rachel Myers was stranded. In the third, Alyssa Renwick (Laurens, S.C.) led off with a walk but a pair of strikeouts and a grounded ended the threat.
Penn State's best opportunity to score came in the fourth when Kailyn Johnson (Yorba Linda, Calif.) opened with a single, giving way to Mary Ostman (Northbrook, Ill.) as a pinch runner. Ostman advanced to second on a sacrifice before gaining third on a ground out to the right side of the infield. Unfortunately, Hatfield couldn't drive her home as Melloh worked out of the jam.
Melloh's counterpart, Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) kept the Nittany Lions in it by shutting down the Hoosiers (22-15, 4-2 Big Ten). Hill struck out five while scattering two hits through the first six innings, easily retiring 18 of 20 Indiana batters. Hill was undone in the seventh, however, as she plunked Sara Olsen with a pitch. After getting a fielder's choice for the first out, three consecutive singles by Cassie Gogreve, Jenna Abraham and Wagner earned Indiana the crucial run it needed for Melloh. On the Wagner RBI single, Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.) gunned down Gogreve trying to score a second run.
The damage was done as the Nittany Lions went down in order in the final inning. Melloh finished the game with a two-hitter, striking out seven and walking one as she moved into ninth all-time in the NCAA record books for strikeouts. Hill fell to 12-8, despite an excellent performance, dropping her second straight start to Melloh and the Hoosiers.
Penn State returns to Nittany Lion Softball Park and Beard Field on Wednesday for a doubleheader against non-conference foe Kent State at 3:00 p.m. The game will be featured on BigTenNetwork.com and will have live stats coverage through GameTracker as well as commentary and analysis on Twitter (www.twitter.com/PSULionSoftball). Wednesday's doubleheader is going to be followed by a doubleheader on Thursday against Buffalo beginning at 4:00 p.m. That series is a make up for a rain out on March 24.