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April 11, 2014
(11-28-1, 3-9 B1G)
Bloomington, Ind.. Andy Mohr Field
(11-22, 4-6 B1G)
BLOOMINGTON, Ind.; April 11 2014 - A hot start gave the Penn State softball team all the fuel it needed on Friday evening as the Nittany Lions defeated Indiana, 4-1, for their fifth consecutive victory. The five-straight wins are the most for the Blue and White since the 2011 season, when PSU ended the regular season on a five-game streak.
Kasie Hatfield (Tampa, Fla.) led the charge for Penn State, posting a perfect 3-for-3 effort at the plate as she scored one run and brought in two on a single, a double and her first home run of the year. Freshman pitcher Marlaina Laubach (Northampton, Pa.) picked up the win to move to 8-9 on the season after throwing three strikeouts and allowing just one run through 6.1 innings.
Penn State (11-22, 4-6 Big Ten) and Indiana (11-28-1 3-9 Big Ten) turned in an even seven hits each but the Hoosiers were unable to make them count as they left seven runners on base compared to PSU’s four.
Pitcher Brooke Boetjer was the star of the game for IU. The sophomore doled out a career-high 10 strikeouts for the Hoosiers through 6.2 innings and did not give up a single walk.
The Nittany Lions came out of the gate hot, posting two runs on four hits in the opening frame. Knief led off with a double to left field and made it to third on an error by IU left fielder Jenna Abraham. Reina Furuya (Waipahu, Hawaii) drove Knief in on the following at-bat, punching a single up the middle to put PSU up 1-0.
Hatfield stepped up to the plate next and delivered her first hit of the game, a double to right field. Macy Jones (Ashburn, Va.) loaded the bases after drawing a walk and set things up for Alyssa Sovereign (La Canada, Calif.), who sent Furuya across the plate with a single up the middle. Boetjer entered the circle for the Hoosiers after Sovereign’s base hit and retired Kristina Brackpool (Valencia, Calif.) and Sam Shanahan (Seattle, Wash.) to close out the frame and strand three PSU runners.
The Nittany Lions added their final two runs in the next inning. Miller led off with a single to shortstop and it looked as though she may end up stranded as Boetjer earned two straight strikeouts. Hatfield came through for Penn State once again, however, shooting a two-run bomb over the right field wall to send in Miller and put the score at 4-0.
Neither team crossed the plate again until the Hoosiers posted their lone run of the game in the bottom of the seventh. CaraMira Tsirigos kick started the Indiana offense, smacking a one-out double to left field on a full count. Katelyn Connena entered the game to pinch run for Tsirigos and moved to third on the following at-bat as Shelby Gogreve notched a base hit to shortstop and Erin Lehman loaded the bases for IU as Laubach walked her second opponent of the day. Jones entered the circle for Penn State and forced a groundout on her third pitch against Brianna Meyer but the Hoosiers still managed to score as Connena crossed the plate.
Indiana’s rally attempt was not enough however, as Jones took the next hitter down swinging to close out the inning and give the Nittany Lions a 4-1 victory.
The Lions and the Hoosiers return to the field on Saturday for the second game of the series. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Andy Mohr Field.