Softball Drops Doubleheader at No. 2/2 Michigan
April 21, 2010
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Penn State softball team was unable to produce an upset of No. 2/2 Michigan in a pair of 8-0 losses on Wednesday evening at Alumni Field.
The Nittany Lions (26-16, 5-7) Big Ten worked themselves into a bit of trouble as the first two Wolverines (35-5, 11-0 Big Ten) reached base successfully and moved to second and third on a wild pitch. Starter Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) got Maggie Viefhaus to fly out to center and Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.) threw out Bree Evans at the plate as Danee Collett (Orange, Calif.) applied the tag. Akamine got Roya St. Clair to strike out and end the first-inning threat.
Akamine cruised through the next inning retiring the side and seemed ready to do the same in the third, but with two away, Evans slapped a single to left and Angela Findlay smacked a ball to right field. Viefhaus lifted a pitch into the right field bleachers for an immediate 3-0 lead. St. Clair made it back-to-back shots when her hit landed over the left field wall for a four-run Michigan advantage.
Michigan mounted another two-out rally in the fourth when Angela Findlay hit a three-run home run to center field. By the time the fourth ended, Penn State trailed UM, 7-0. The Wolverines ended it when Kristin Larsen singled to center field in the fifth inning for an eight-run advantage, giving pitcher Jordan Taylor a perfect game in five innings. It was Taylor's second perfect start, matching a five-inning performance at Minnesota last week.
In Game Two, Penn State snapped out of the hitless funk when Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) got on board with an infield single and a subsequent throwing error allowed her to reach second base in the first inning. UM starter Nikki Nemitz was up to the task, downing the next two batters on strikes to get out of the jam.
In the bottom half of the inning, starter Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) retired the first two Wolverines without trouble on soft grounders to third. A double and two walks brought up Amanda Chidester who hit a single off the center field wall to give UM a quick 2-0 lead. Nemitz stepped to the plate and promptly homered for a five-run advantage.
Bell looked to jumpstart the team's offense in the third with a two-out walk, but Griffith's high chopper up the middle was snagged by Chidester to end the frame. In the third, Michigan scored a pair of unearned runs when Molly Bausher doubled home down the right field line for an 8-0 advantage.
The Nittany Lions couldn't eat into the lead in the fourth or fifth innings and fell for the second time in run-rule fashion. The two losses gave the Nittany Lions' first at Michigan since a 2-0 decision on April 11, 2004.
The Nittany Lions return home for a four-game home stand starting Saturday against second-place Iowa at 1:00 p.m. Special parking arrangements have been made for Saturday's game, please check GoPSUsports.com on Thursday for more information.
Penn State continues its series with Iowa on Sunday at Noon before capping the four-game set with a doubleheader against Syracuse on Tuesday starting at 3:00 p.m. Sunday's game and the first game against Syracuse will be carried live by 1390 AM WRSC and GoPSUsports.com All-Access. All four home games will have GameTracker live stats coverage as well as live commentary through Twitter (@PSULionSoftball).