Nittany Lions Complete Series Sweep of Wisconsin with 3-0 Win
April 11, 2010
MADISON, Wis.--The Nittany Lionsoftball team used efficient pitching and timely hitting for a 3-0 win at Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon. Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) hit a two-run single in the fifth, while earning the win, while Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) went 3-for-3 with a second-inning RBI.
Penn State (25-11, 4-2 Big Ten) put together a rally in the top of the first inning, loading the bases after one-out singles by Griffith and Danee Collett (Orange, Calif.) and a two-out walk by Morgan Long (Oro Valley, Ariz.). Nevertheless, the Nittany Lions couldn't push any runs across, stranding three.
Just like Saturday, where Penn State failed to score any in the first, Griffith came up with two outs and runners on the bases in the second frame. In a déjà vu moment, Griffith singled home Rossi for an early 1-0 PSU lead.
In the bottom half of the second, Wisconsin (9-22, 0-5 Big Ten) put two on with two outs after a single, stolen base and another single. Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) induced a high fly to centerfield to end the threat, upping the Badgers left on base to three through two innings.
After scoreless frames in the third and fourth for Penn State at the plate, Akamine came into relieve Hill in the bottom of the fourth inning. A fielding error by Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J.) allowed Shannel Blackshear to reach first safely and pinch runner Abby Gregory stole second before Akamine got Karla Powell to swing for the sophomore's first strikeout of the day. Giordano made up for her mistake by fielding a hard chopper and throwing Gregory out at second and snagging a crushed liner to end the UW half.
Penn State put pressure on the Wisconsin defense in the fifth with a Griffith bunt single and Collett sacrificed the speedy senior to second base for the first out of the inning. Kailyn Johnson (Yorba Linda, Calif.) lifted a liner to left that Kendall Grimm of Wisconsin almost snagged, but everyone was safe, allowing Alyssa Renwick (Laurens, S.C.) to pinch run at first for Johnson. Renwick stole second on a Long strike out before Akamine helped herself out with a clutch single to left field scoring two and giving Penn State a three-run cushion.
The Nittany Lions strung together another pair of hits by Lauren Rossi (Yardley, Pa.) and Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.) in the sixth sandwiched around two force-out bunts. Mary Ostman (Northbrook, Ill.) had the first bunt, reaching on a fielder's choice for the first out and Griffith had her league-leading 15th sacrifice push Ostman and Bell over to third and second, respectively. Unfortunately, Collett popped out to second base ending the threat and keep the game at 3-0.
The Lions loaded the bases again in the seventh with just one away, but Rossi struck out and pinch hitter Lauren Yao's (Los Angeles, Calif.) hard grounder had eyes for the outfield but a quality play by Whitney Massey ended the threat and kept the game to a three-run margin.
Akamine struck out Grimm on four pitches to start off the seventh. Back-to-back one-out doubles put runners on second and third with one away and giving Wisconsin its best chance to score all day. A sharp grounder to short bounced off Renwick to Giordano, who fired home to get Ashley Hanewich who tried to score on the play. A harmless grounder back to the mound ended the game for Penn State's fifth shutout of the season.
For the game, Penn State pounded nine hits, compiling 16 hits for the weekend, while allowing Wisconsin to knock seven hits. Penn State is now riding a three-game winning streak overall and captured its fifth-straight against Wisconsin in the series. Akamine improved to 14-3 on the year for her ninth straight winning decision of the year. She is 13-1 since February 19.
The Nittany Lions return to action on Wednesday when they take on Michigan State in Happy Valley for a doubleheader. First pitch is slated for4:00 p.m. ET as the game will have live stats on GameTracker, live streaming audio through GoPSUSports.com All-Access and radio coverage on 1390 AM WRSC.. Live commentary will also be available through Twitter (@PSULionSoftball).