Nittany Lion Offense Helps Split at Kent State
April 25, 2012
KENT, Ohio - The Penn State softball team gathered a doubleheader split at Kent State on Wednesday evening, falling 11-3 before striking a 9-0 victory in game two. Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.) was unstoppable going 4-for-4 with a pair of homers, four RBI, four runs scored and three walks as Kent State failed to get her out once in the twinbill. The Nittany Lions were impressive at the plate, tallying 17 hits including four home runs. Senior hurler Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif) threw 6.2 innings in the doubleheader, earning the shutout win in game two.
Between the two games, Penn State hit .378 at the plate with five extra base hits including four homers, slugging .667 in the process. The Lions were patient at the plate earning nine walks. Lauren Yao (Los Angeles, Calif.) added to Bell's outstanding performance with a 4-for-6 showing in the doubleheader with a double and three RBI.
Bell opened the game in impressive fashion crushing the fourth pitch of the opener over the centerfield wall for a quick 1-0 lead, her eighth home run of the year. PSU would put two runners on base after the homer, but KSU starter Emma Johnson wiggled out of the jam.
Kent State tacked three on the board in the bottom of the second on a double and two fielding errors for a 3-1 lead.
Bell responded with her second home run of the game to make it a 3-2 lead. Bell's two-homer performance was the ninth in Penn State history and the first since Desi Giordano (Mar. 22, 2009 at Illinois). The second homer was Bell's ninth of the year, ranking a tie for fourth in PSU single-season history with Shannon Salsburg (1996). The junior centerfielder also moved into a tie for sixth in career homers (17) at Penn State, matching Hollee Haines (2005-08).
Kent State answered in the third, scoring seven times on six hits and capitalizing on an error to take a 10-2 lead. KSU tallied two doubles to compliment four singles as the Golden Flashes sent 11 to the plate.
The Nittany Lions tallied their third home run of the day in the fourth as Wheatley led off the frame with her first collegiate dinger to right-centerfielder, cutting the KSU lead to 10-3. The leadoff homer represented Penn State's eighth of the year and second of the game. Penn State went on to load the bases after singles by Liz Presto (Bethlehem, Pa.) and Kailyn Johnson (Yorba Linda, Calif.), sandwiching a four-pitch walk to Bell. KSU's Johnson settled down to get her eighth strikeout of the game and hold the seven-run lead.
The Golden Flashes loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth and pushed a run across to gain the run-rule victory, 11-3. Joining Bell in the two-hit category was Johnson and Yao, each of whom had a pair of singles. PSU tallied 10 hits to Kent State's 14 as Emma Johnson improved to 14-11, allowing the three home runs and a walk.
Marissa Diescher (Livingston Manor, N.Y.) took the loss, falling to 5-8, starting the game and going two innings. Wheatley threw two-thirds of an inning and Akamine went 1.2 innings allowing two unearned runs with a pair of strikeouts.
Penn State leapt out to a 1-0 lead for the second consecutive game as Bell scored on a one-out Yao single to leftfield. Bell led the game off with a five-pitch walk, earning second on an Alyssa Renwick (Laurens, S.C.) sacrifice bunt and reached third on a her first stolen base of the season.
The Nittany Lions stretched the lead to 3-0 in the third inning as Yao doubled home Bell and Renwick. Bell led off with a single to centerfield and Renwick bunted her way on with a single as well. Johnson moved them over a bag with a grounder to second before the Yao double. Kasie Hatfield (Tampa, Fla.) took the next pitch over the leftfield wall for a 5-0 lead and her third home run of the season.
The massive third inning continued for Penn State as the Nittany Lions loaded the bases and Alyssa Sovereign (La Canada, Calif.) drove home Shannon Hutchinson (Sewell, N.J.) on a full-count walk. Bell was just inches away from her third home run of the day, which would've been a grand slam, as her lining shot caromed off the top of the wall to score Akamine and Presto, stretching the lead to 8-0.
Penn State loaded the bases in the top of the fifth as Johnson's bases-loaded walk scored Sovereign, the ninth run of the game. Sovereign and Bell walked, while Renwick's fielder's choice to second couldn't force Bell before Johnson earned the walk.
Akamine allowed a leadoff single in the fifth, as she finished the game by retiring 13 of the last 14 Kent State batters. The shutout was her sixth career blanking as she fanned 10 on Wednesday in the two games.
Penn State returns to conference play when it hosts Minnesota for a three-game set beginning Saturday at 2 p.m. with a doubleheader. Both games will be shown live on BTN.com while Sunday's Noon matchup is live on Big Ten Network.