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April 19, 2014
(27-15, 9-5 B1G)
University Park, Pa.. Nittany Lion Softball park & Beard Field
(14-26, 5-10 B1G)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 19, 2014 - Penn State softball failed to put numbers up offensively and committed costly errors on defense, leading to a pair of losses to Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon at Nittany Lion Softball Park and Beard Field. The Badgers (27-15, 9-5 Big Ten) limited PSU (14-26, 5-10 Big Ten) to just eight hits through both games to take the contests, 4-0 and 5-2, respectively.
Sophomore Reina Furuya (Waipahu, Hawaii) and senior Kasie Hatfield (Tampa, Fla.) led the charge for the Blue and White, turning in two hits each, including Furuya’s first double of the season. Karlie Habitz (Newhall, Calif.) and Alicia Walker (Los Alamitos, Calif.) accounted for both of Penn State’s RBI.
Sophomore Macy Jones (Ashburn, Va.) (1-9) and freshman Marlaina Laubach (Northampton, Pa.) (9-12) both pitched complete games for the Lions with Jones starting in the early game and Laubach making the start in game two. Jones struck out four opponents and gave up just one walk while Laubach earned one strikeout and did not walk a single opponent.
WISCONSIN 4, PENN STATE 0
Penn State and Wisconsin held each other scoreless through the first three innings before the Badgers tallied their first run in the top of the fourth. Marissa Mersch led off with a double to center field, stole third and headed home on a passed ball, giving UW a 1-0 advantage.
A three-run sixth inning pushed Wisconsin’s lead to 4-0 as Mersch, Stephanie Peace and Chloe Miller crossed the plate for the Badgers. Mersch registered a double to left center for her second extra-base hit of the game to and scored on a two-out Peace single to left field. Miller stepped up next and blasted a two-run shot off the scoreboard in left field to bring in Peace.
The Lions posted two of their three game-one hits in the bottom of the sixth. Lexi Knief (Ramsey, N.J.) extended her hitting streak to 12 consecutive games with a single up the middle and Furuya produced a double to left center but neither would reach home as UW pitcher Taylor-Paige Stewart retired the following two hitters to end the frame.
Each team went down in order in the final inning, resulting in a 4-0 victory for Wisconsin.
WISCONSIN 5, PENN STATE 2
Errors got the best of the Nittany Lions in game two as none of UW’s five runs were earned. The Badgers did most of their damage in the top of the third, turning in three runs on two hits and two PSU errors.
Mersch headed to first on a miscue by freshman third baseman Sam Shanahan (Seattle, Wash.), Mary Massei punched a double to left field and Michelle Mueller reached on the following at-bat to load the bases. Peace stepped up next and sent a fly ball to left field, which was dropped by senior Alyssa Sovereign (La Canada, Calif.) and resulted in all three of Wisconsin’s third inning runs.
The Badgers added two more runs in the fourth, scoring Megan Tancill and Ashley Van Zeeland. Van Zeeland shot a single up the middle to start the frame and Laubach responded by forcing a groundout and a fly out before Tancill reached on an error by freshman Shelby Miller (Sugar Land, Texas). A Massei double to left field brought in both runs, putting the score at 5-0.
Penn State cut the deficit to three in the bottom half of the inning, scoring two runs on three hits. Furuya reached first after getting hit by a Cassandra Darrah pitch and advanced to second as Hatfield sent a single to right field. Miller followed with a double to right center to load the bases and Habitz ripped a single up the middle to send in Furuya. A Walker groundout to shortstop brought in PSU’s second run, pushing Hatfield home before Darrah retired the final hitter.
Laubach gave up just one hit in the final three innings but the Penn State offense failed to rally as the Badgers won, 5-2.
The Blue and White return to action on Wednesday with a midweek doubleheader at Ohio State. The twinbill is set for a 4 p.m. start and will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network with Lisa Byington and Garland Cooper on the call.