Clutch Hitting and Dominant Pitching Lifts the Nittany Lions to a Sweep over Maryland, 7-0 and 3-2
April 16, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State University softball team (30-15) completed a sweep of the Terrapins of the University of Maryland (30-14) today (April 16) at Nittany Lion Field. In game one, the Penn State bats came to life registering eight hits and seven runs including two extra base hits. Game two came down to the wire as junior Danielle Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad) hit a two-run homerun in the bottom of the seventh to cap off a three-run inning by the Nittany Lions who won 3-2.
The opening round of the doubleheader started with a two-strikeout top of the first and a two-run homerun in the bottom of the first by senior Ashley Esparza (San Pedro, Calif./San Pedro). Esparza would continue her dominating performance en route to a complete game two-hitter and a 2-for-2 performance at the plate. She struck out six opposing batters and assisted in eight other putouts in the game.
Six other Nittany Lions registered hits in the contest including Kinley, sophomore Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J./Lenape), junior Kayce Zielinski (Arlington, Texas/Kennedale), freshman Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J./Caldwell), redshirt freshman Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif./Leigh) and senior Hollee Haines (Riverside, Calif./Martin Luther King). Zielinski, Giordano, Hill and junior Sam Hovanec (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) all added an RBI in the five-run fifth inning.
The nightcap was a different story as the Nittany Lions relied on a strong pitching performance by Hill to keep them in the game for the seventh inning heroics. Hill went the distance while striking out four and allowing just one walk.
Down 2-0 entering the seventh with the seventh, eighth and ninth batters scheduled to hit the outlook for the Nittany Lions looked bleak. Hill would open things up with a single through the right side. She would score on the very next pitch as Haines roped a triple down the left field line for the RBI. This hit would wrap up a 3-for-3 performance in the game for Haines.
Two batters later down the their final out and the tying run on third the Nittany Lions looked to their leading hitter, Kinley. Kinley would waste no time as she ripped the first pitch thrown to her over the right field fence cementing PSU's 3-2 win.
The Nittany Lions will return to action this Sunday, April 20 at noon as they travel to Columbus, Ohio for a doubleheader with Big Ten rival Ohio State University.