Nittany Lion Softball Sweeps Series From Iowa with 5-2 Victory
April 25, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Nittany Lions (28-16, 7-7 Big Ten) used a big second inning and consistent hitting to take their second win of the weekend, 5-2, against the Iowa Hawkeyes (23-16, 8-3 Big Ten) on Sunday. Lauren Rossi's (Yardley, Pa.) three-run homer in the second inning and Lisa Akamine's (Escondido, Calif.) complete-game, seven-strikeout performance led Penn State to victory.
Akamine looked solid in the circle for the Nittany Lions and gave up two runs on five hits in a complete game. Amanda Zust started for the Hawkeyes and was pulled in the second, only to re-enter the game in the third, giving up five runs on seven hits.
Iowa started trouble in the first after a lead-off single and stolen base from Taylor Leichsenring put a runner in scoring position with only one out. After advancing to third on a sacrifice, Leichsenring was thrown out at home after a ground ball to second baseman Lauren Rossi resulted in a play at the plate. Akamine was then able to get out of the jam after a ground ball to shortstop Alyssa Renwick ended the trouble.
The Lions quickly got on the board in the bottom of the second after a leadoff walk by Kailyn Johnson (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and single by Lauren Yao (Los Angeles, Calif.) put runners on board for Lauren Rossi (Yardley, Pa.). With a 1-2 count, Rossi drove one to deep centerfield for a three run homerun to put the Lions up 3-0. Rossi's home run was the third of the year for the second baseman and her first since Mar. 24 against Saint Francis.
The rally continued as Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J.) and Mary Ostman (Northbrook, Ill.) each singled and forced the Hawkeyes to make a pitching change to Chelsea Lyon. After the change, Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif) hit a fly ball to deep left center and scored Giordano from second and advanced Ostman to third with a double for a four-run cushion.
The Hawkeyes closed the gap in the top of the third after Iowa loaded the bases with a pair of singles from Katie Keim and Leichsenring and a walk from Lindsey Digmann. With the bases loaded, a passed ball advanced the runners and scored Keim. With runners on second and third, Liz Watkins hit a sacrifice fly to right field, narrowing the gap to 4-2. The damage ended there, as Akamine worked out of the inning with a strikeout and ground ball to third.
The hitting continued in the bottom of the third for the Lions as Johnson and Yao singled up the middle. A walk by Rossi loaded the bases for the Lions as the Hawkeyes brought back in starting pitcher Amanda Zust. Zust came back strong after being pulled earlier in the game, retiring three straight Penn State batters and escaping the inning without any runs.
Giordano and Ostman continued hitting in the bottom of the sixth as both singled to start the inning. A ground out to third by Bell advanced the runners before Morgan Long (Oro Valley, Ariz.) hit a sacrifice fly to right, widening the margin to three at 5-2.
Akamine used two strikeouts and a grounder to short to cut off any chances the Hawkeyes had of a comeback in the seventh, giving Penn State its second Big Ten series sweep of the season and the first at home.
Penn State returns to action Tuesday in a doubleheader against Syracuse at Nittany Lion Field. First pitch is slated for 3:00 p.m. ET as the game will have live stats on GameTracker, live streaming audio through GoPSUSports.com All-Access and radio coverage on 1390 AM WRSC.. Live commentary will also be available through Twitter (@PSULionSoftball).