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May 10, 2013
LINCOLN, Neb. - Penn State's run at the Big Ten tournament came to an end Friday evening as third-seeded Minnesota earned a 4-0 win in the quarterfinals at Bowlin Stadium. The 11th-seeded Nittany Lions (16-34) advanced out of the first round with a 5-2 victory against No. 5 seed Illinois Thursday.
Seniors Lauren Yao (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Shannon Hutchinson (Sewell, N.J.) accounted for both of Penn State's hits against the Golden Gophers (34-16). The squads combined for just five hits in the clash.
Second-year hurler Marissa Diescher (1-7) (Livingston Manor, N.Y.) started the game for Penn State, allowing three earned runs on just three hits through 4.1 innings of work. Freshman Macy Jones (Ashburn, Va.) relieved Diescher in the fifth and retired all five batters she faced while striking out one Gopher. Minnesota's Sara Moulton (30-9) earned the win in the circle with a two-hit, complete-game effort.
Yao looked to start a rally for the Blue and White in the top of the seventh as she led off with a double driven over the head of left fielder Erica Meyer, but Moulton and the Gophers closed the door with a double play two batters later to earn the win.
Hutchinson reached safely earlier in the game with a bunt single in the third inning, beating out a throw by third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson.
Minnesota plated a pair of runs in the second before adding one run in both the fourth and fifth to set the final score at 4-0.
The game marked the final contest for Penn State's six seniors, including first-team All-Big Ten center fielder Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.), left fielder Hutchinson, first baseman Kailyn Johnson (Yorba Linda, Calif.), pitcher Rachel Myers (Millheim, Pa.), second baseman Alyssa Renwick (Laurens, S.C.) and third baseman Yao. The group combined to produce 174 hits, 89 RBI, 26 home runs and 115 runs in 216 starts this season.
Minnesota advances to face the winner of the final Friday game between No. 2 Nebraska and No. 10 Purdue. The other semifinal matchup is between No. 1 Michigan and No. 4 Wisconsin.