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April 26, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - A five-run fifth supported by three doubles and a two-run blast from Kasie Hatfield lifted Penn State softball to a 6-3 victory over Iowa Friday evening at Pearl Field in Iowa City, Iowa. The Nittany Lions (13-30, 3-14 Big Ten) out-hit the Hawkeyes (25-22, 4-14 Big Ten), 9-6, to take the series opener.
The teams meet again at 3 p.m. ET Saturday before wrapping up the three-game set at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Macy Jones (11-14) (Ashburn, Va.) earned her 11th victory of the year with the complete-game effort while striking out five Hawkeyes. Iowa's Kayla Massey (14-12) picked up the loss while lasting 4.2 innings in the start.
Seven Nittany Lion starters recorded at least one hit while Reina Furuya (Waipahu, Hawaii) and Hatfield (Tampa, Fla.) led the team with two apiece. Hatfield was also one of three players with two RBI, joined by Kailyn Johnson (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Alyssa Sovereign (La Canada, Calif.).
Tied at one apiece, Penn State made its mark with five runs in the fifth. Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.) led off with a double, her 11th of the season, on the ground to the wall in right center before moving to third on a fielding error by the second baseman on a grounder from Jones. Johnson then hammered a double to right to bring home Bell and Jones before moving to third as the right fielder had trouble scooping the ball. Sovereign sent a liner off the glove of the third baseman and into left field to bring home Johnson with a double before Hatfield blasted her second home run of the year to left to bring the score to 6-1. Both of Hatfield's homers have come in the last four games.
Furuya opened the second by slicing a single to right center before being replaced on first by Sovereign on a fielder's choice. Lexi Knief (Ramsey, N.J.) singled through the gap to right before Hatfield blooped a full-count pitch to center to load the bases with one out. The Hawkeyes escaped the jam with a quick 3-2-4 double play off a bunt down the right line.
Back-to-back walks put Shannon Hutchinson (Sewell, N.J.) and Bell on base to lead off the third before Furuya singled on a pop shot to shallow right. After Furuya's second single of the day loaded the bases for the second time of the day, Sovereign watched a ball miss the plate on a full count to walk and bring home Hutchinson for the first run of the contest.
Iowa tied the score at one apiece in the bottom of the frame with a pair of singles. After Brianna Luna drew a walk, the Lions erased her on a rundown following Johnnie Dowling's single to center after Bell fielded and fired to Knief at third, who then made an attempt on Dowling with a throw to Johnson, who found Jones covering third to tag Luna on the slide. Dowling advanced to second on the play and scored in the next at-bat as Bradi Wall drove her home with a single to right to tie it up.
Hutchinson walked to lead off the sixth before Jones rocketed a one-out single off the Iowa pitcher and advanced to second on a bad throw from relief pitcher Micaela Whitney but the two were left there as a grounder ended the threat.
Iowa earned a pair of runs back in the sixth on a sac fly from Massey and an RBI single from Holly Hoffman down the left line, but Jones spun into three quick outs in the seventh to close out the win for the Nittany Lions.