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April 12, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State softball team kept its winning streak alive in a 4-0 victory over Wisconsin this afternoon. Penn State is now 13-18 overall and 4-6 in Big Ten play while Wisconsin falls to 12-28 and 1-7. Junior pitcher Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) struck out nine Badgers in the shutout while junior left fielder Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) went 2-for-3 in the effort.
The first inning was reminicent of yesterday's game as senior first baseman Danielle Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif.) led off with a double and came around to score with a single from senior center fielder Sam Hovanec (Pittsburgh, Pa.). The offensive demolition continued in the second as senior third baseman Shana Madura (Slate Hill, N.Y.) doubled with two outs as Kinley ripped her second extra-base hit of the day to plate Madura. Griffith then placed a single just beyond the short stop as Kinley came around to score. The two-run inning brought the score to 3-0 in favor of the Lions.
Hill and the Nittany Lion defense continued to dominate through the next few innings as no Badger got beyond second base. The play of the day was a huge catch by Griffith in the fourth when she reached over the fence eliminating the would-be home run to keep the shutout alive.
Penn State scored once more in the fifth via Hovanec. She reached on a walk and proceeded to steal second base. Hovanec then advanced to third as freshman designated player Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) grounded out. A wild pitch by Badger hurler Letty Olivarez allowed Hovanec easy access to home as the Lions took the score to 4-0 and never looked back.
The Lions scored four runs on eight hits while leaving eight on base as Wisconsin had two hits on the day. Hill fanned nine batters to take her ninth win of the season (9-5) while Leah Vanevenhoven took the loss becoming 4-8 in the circle. Kinley added two to her career doubles total. At 42, she is now two shy of tying the record currently held by former teammate Ashley Esparza.
Penn State will return to the diamond in non-conference action to play host to Kent State in a double header Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET at Nittany Lion Field.