May 12, 2017
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Penn State softball team was unable to pull out a win in the quarterfinal of the Big Ten Softball Tournament, falling 3-0 at the hands of the Fighting Illini in the quarterfinals at the Wilpon Complex on the campus of the University of Michigan Friday, May 12.
The Blue and White bats started strong but Illinois ace Breanna Wonderly was able to silence them after the first inning to lead Illinois to a win. Sophomore Toni Polk (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) went 2-for-3 at the plate for the Nittany Lions, while Rebecca Ziegler (Tucson, Ariz) ripped a leadoff single for Penn State. Senior Marlaina Laubach (Northampton, Pa.) suffered the loss in her final outing donning the Blue and White, throwing six innings with two strikeouts.
The Nittany Lions put back-to-back hits on base before moving them into scoring position with one out in the first but were unable to bring across in the top of the first inning. Penn State fell behind in the bottom of the first inning as Illinois used a triple and a suicide squeeze to score two runs and give it the 2-0 lead over the Blue and White.
After its first two hits in the top of the first inning, the Penn State bats had trouble finding a hit but the defense settled in to tally back-to-back three up, three down innings. A leadoff error in the bottom of the fifth inning proved detrimental to the Penn State defense as it would come around to score on a Fighting Illini single through the left side. Following the error a double play turned by senior Shelby Miller (Sugar Land, Texas) hoped to start a defensive surge but the Illinois defense continued to impress get all three outs before Penn State could push a run across the plate.
The Blue and White were unable to get anything going in the final inning of action, falling 3-0 in its final game of the 2017 season.
The Nittany Lions ended the 2017 campaign with a 23-33 overall record, while sophomore Tori Dubois (Mt. Vernon, N.H.) was named First Team All-Big Ten.