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April 23, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Penn State softball team outplayed the Maryland Terrapins in game one of Thursday's double header by a score of 3-2 before falling in the night cap, 2-0. Penn State is now 17-21 on the season while Maryland is 23-22. Junior left fielder Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) went 4-for-4 in the night cap while senior first baseman Danielle Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif.) tied the all-time doubles record in the first game. With 44 in her career, she now shares the title with former teammate, Ashley Esparza.
In the opening game, Maryland proved they were more than capable of getting on base. In each of the first three innings the Terps had two on with scoring opportunities, but the Nittany Lion defense stayed solid and eliminated the threat with multiple fielder's choices and pop ups.
The Terps put up another scoring threat in the bottom of the fourth with two on and no outs. A sacrifice bunt gave Penn State the first out, but the two other runners advanced to scoring position. The Terrapins went for a sac fly in the top of the order, but junior left fielder Griffith held the runner at third. Vangie Galindo then reached on a walk to load the bases, but junior pitcher Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) maintained her composure and fanned her third batter of the day to keep Maryland scoreless.
The Lions had a big sixth inning as freshman catcher Danee Collett (Orange, Calif.) led off with a double. Senior first baseman Danielle Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif.) then stepped up to the plate and ripped a double to right field, tying the all-time doubles record at 44. In the process, pinch runner Christana Crivellaro (Coopersburg, Pa.) scored as Penn State took the lead. Griffith then used her speed to reach first on a bunt while also advancing Kinley to third. With runners on the corners Griffith easily stole second to put two runners in scoring position before the first out. Freshman right fielder Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) then placed a shallow single to left field while bringing in Kinley and Griffith and advanced to second on a ball handling error. The Lions were retired on a ground out to second, but the damage was done as Penn State took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
Maryland answered in the bottom of the frame, once again with two on and two outs. Nadine Blackie sent a long double to ricochet off the left field wall scoring Kathy McLaughlin and Galindo. Fortunately, Penn State got the next out and held on to a 3-2 lead going into the seventh.
It was three and out for the Lions in the bottom of the seventh as they took the field in an effort to hold the Terps. It wouldn't be easy as Kerry Hickey led off with a double and Kendra Knight came in to pinch run. A sacrifice bunt sent Knight to third with one out. Senior third baseman Shana Madura (Slate Hill, N.Y.) made a catch in foul territory near a fired up Maryland dugout for the second out and came up again with a pop fly to secure the win for the Lions.
Penn State scored three runs with six hits and left three on base while Maryland scored two runs with eight hits and stranded 12 on the bases. Each team committed one error. Hill took the win for the Lions becoming 12-7 in the circle.
The Nittany Lions were determined in the night cap, but had some trouble capitalizing on scoring opportunities leaving the bases loaded through the first two innings. Maryland wasn't letting up either as they worked to even the score. The Terrapins left a runner on third twice through the first two frames as the Lion defense continued to work through sticky situations.
The next few innings went by smoothly as each team went three and out until the fifth when Maryland got on the board. Penn State fielding errors put two runners on base in scoring position and a single brought Devon Williams to the plate for an unearned run. The Lions minimized the damage as the inning was retired with a strike out and a fly out, but the Terps took the field with a 1-0 advantage.
Maryland extended the lead in the sixth as Alex Schultz reached on a bunt. Jen Anderson followed with a long double to left field. Griffith began the relay to Giordano who followed to Collett with plenty of time, but Schultz literally somersaulted over Collett and got her hand on the plate to score. Lauren Ghent came in to pinch run at third and was tagged out at home on an attempted suicide squeeze. Collett then made a catch in foul territory to retire the inning. Unfortunately, Penn State wouldn't get past first in the seventh as the Terps took the night cap, 2-0.
Penn State scattered five hits whlie committing three errors and leaving nine on base while Maryland scored two runs with six hits and eight left on. Akamine took the loss becoming 5-11 in the circle.
The Nittany Lions will return to the diamond as part of the Blue and White weekend festivities to face Purdue nn the featured series of the Big Ten Network. The first pitch is slated for Saturday at 1:05 p.m.