Softball Suffers 1-0 Setback at Minnesota
April 16, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Facing a tough game following a long and arduous travel day, the Nittany Lion softball team fell 1-0 at Minnesota on a cold and blustery Saturday. Penn State tallied five hits, but left eight on base in a frustrating day of hitting. Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) scattered four hits, but walked three and allowed one earned run despite striking out five Golden Gophers, falling to 13-9 in the process.
Penn State (22-17, 4-5 Big Ten) put a runner in scoring position in the second, fourth and sixth innings, starting with Lauren Yao (Los Angeles, Calif.) in the second following her one-out single. A ground out pushed her to second and following an Alyssa Renwick (Laurens, S.C.) walk, UM hurler Sara Moulton (22-10) struck the first of seven batters out to get out of the jam.
In the third inning, Minnesota (25-17, 3-4 Big Ten) mounted a scoring opportunity for the third consecutive inning after stranding a runner on third in each of the first two innings. With two outs, Sara DePaul laced an opposite field double scoring Dannie Skrove from second, but Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.) delivered a perfect throw to Renwick, the cut-off, who gunned down Alex Davis trying to score from first. The damage had been done as Minnesota made the 1-0 lead hold up.
Penn State's best opportunity to score came in the fourth when Alyssa Sovereign singled to lead off the inning. Mary Ostman (Northbrook, Ill.) swiped second as a pinch runner before a passed ball sent her to third base. Consecutive pop ups were induced by Moulton before a strike out ended the threat.
The Nittany Lions tallied singles in each the fifth, sixth and seventh innings by Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.), Sovereign and Bell, respectively, but all three would be stranded on base as Penn State couldn't scratch a run across. Sovereign was left on second in the sixth as she went 2-for-3 on the afternoon.
Moulton notched her 12th shutout of the season in the game as Penn State lost a 1-0 game for the fifth time this season. The Nittany Lions out-hit the Gophers 5-4 and no errors were committed on a day that saw temperatures barely rise above 40 and winds gusted over 20 mph.
The game, originally scheduled for 1:00 p.m. CT, was pushed to a 3:00 p.m. start following traveling issues suffered by the Penn State squad. The Nittany Lions arrived in Minneapolis at 6:30 a.m. due to a diverted flight and a long bus ride from Milwaukee.
Penn State will meet the Golden Gophers in the series finale on Sunday starting at Noon ET in Minneapolis. The game will be covered through GameTracker as well as commentary and analysis on Twitter (www.twitter.com/PSULionSoftball).