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April 15, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State softball team won the series finale against Indiana, 9-4, on Sunday afternoon at Beard Field behind the bat of Kasie Hatfield (Tampa, Fla.). Hatfield's second-inning grand slam capped a seven-run frame as the sophomore catcher went 2-for-4 with five RBI. Danee Collett (Rogersville, Tenn.) had a key pinch-hit double that started the second-inning onslaught, driving home three runs. Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.) struck again with her sixth home run of the year, all since her comeback (Mar. 24) from an appendectomy.
The Nittany Lions (13-23, 5-7 Big Ten) were tied at one with Indiana (21-20, 5-7 Big Ten) entering the bottom of the second as Lauren Yao (Los Angeles, Calif.) led off with a single to center and Jordan Wheatley (Troy, Mich.) lofted a fly to left that was dropped by Indiana's Kelsey Brannon. Ashley Todd (Mill Creek, Wash.) walked on a full count and Collett delivered an RBI double for the second straight day to make it 4-1.
Penn State's offense continued to click as Bell walked and Alyssa Renwick (Laurens, S.C.) laid down a bunt single to load the bases. IU starter Lora Olson got the next two outs on a grounder and a foul out before Hatfield crushed a 1-0 pitch to centerfield for an 8-1 lead. Hatfield's slam was the first of her career and the first for Penn State since Bell launched a grand slam at Michigan State last season.
Bell opened the game with her sixth home of the year, a solo shot and the seventh lead-off home run for the Nittany Lions this year. Indiana responded with one run of its own in the second to tie it.
Indiana started chipping away at the eight-run lead with a single tally in the top of the fifth on a two-out single and two more in the sixth on a bases loaded walk and a wild pitch. Penn State responded with Hatfield's double to left-centerfield to score Kailyn Johnson (Yorba Linda, Calif.) from first base in the bottom of the sixth. The last Nittany Lion to notch five RBI in a game was Desi Giordano on Mar. 22, 2009 at Illinois.
Johnson went 2-for-4 on the day as did Renwick as both scored a run. Bell scored twice on a 1-for-3 afternoon with a walk, while Wheatley walked twice. Marissa Diescher (Livingston Manor, N.Y.) earned the victory pitching her sixth complete game of the year. She allowed six hits, three earned runs and nine walks, while striking out one to improve to 5-5 on the season.
Penn State won its second straight Big Ten series and has won six of its last seven overall. The Nittany Lions capped an eight-game home stand with a 6-2 record and improved to 24-30 all-time against the Hoosiers.
The Nittany Lions return to road for the first time in 20 days to take on Wisconsin on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. ET for a doubleheader. The three-game series wraps up on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET.