Softball Knocks-off No. 1 Michigan, 1-0
GAINESVILLE, FLA.; February 18, 2006- Penn State (2-2) upset No. 1 Michigan for the second-straight meeting, 1-0, on a total team effort highlighted by a strong relief appearance from redshirt-senior Missy Beseres (Golden Valley, Minn.) and an RBI single from third baseman Destinie Chavez (San Leandro, Calif.). The Nittany Lions also took down the 2005 NCAA champions in their only meeting last season, a 2-1 victory in Ann Arbor.
The Nittany Lions won both contests they played Saturday, after defeating Longwood, 5-0. Penn State plays its final game of the GRU Gator Invitational when it meets No. 21 DePaul again Sunday morning at 9 a.m.
Penn State 1, No. 1 Michigan 0
After a scoreless first inning, the Lions got a base runner in top of the second inning when catcher Hollee Haines (Riverside, Calif.) drew a walk off Michigan's Lorilyn Wilson. Pinch running for Haines, Kari Lucas (State College, Pa.) advanced to second base on a passed ball strikeout. With two outs, senior Destinie Chavez (San Leandro, Calif.) ripped an RBI single up the middle to put the Lions out in front, 1-0, heading into the bottom of the second inning. It would prove to be the game-winning hit.
From there on, Penn State's pitching and defense held the Lions' lead. Michigan tried to tie the game in the bottom of the second inning when Alessandra Gaimpaolo singled up the middle to begin the inning. Giampaolo advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt, but Penn State starter Jenn Reynolds (Clovis, Calif.) struck the next batter out and the Penn State defense took care of the groundout to end the inning without a Wolverine run.
Penn State got in a jam in the bottom of the fifth inning when three of the first four Michigan hitters in the inning loaded the bases for the Wolverines. Lion ace Missy Beseres then checked into the game for Reynolds in the circle with just one out. Beseres got the next batter, Tiffany Haas, to hit one back to the circle where she was easily able to complete the force out at home. She then struck out Rebekah Milian on a swinging third strike to end the inning and the Michigan threat.
Penn State scattered four hits throughout the contest to the Wolverines' five.
Reynolds struck out four batters in the win, while Beseres pitched an outstanding 2.2 innings of relief throwing six strikeouts. Lorilyn Wilson took the loss for Michigan.
Penn State 5, Longwood 0
The Nittany Lion softball team cruised to a 5-0 victory over Longwood in the first of two games for the team Saturday at the GRU Gator Invitational.
Penn State got hot early, tagging four hits and taking advantage of two Lancer errors in the bottom of the second inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead. Sophomore Jenn Reynolds (Clovis, Calif.) smacked a double to right center field with one out to start the Lions' offense. Next up, second baseman Rebecca Bautista (Elk Grove, Calif.) hit a single that got runners on the corners. Freshman Danielle Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif.) reached on an error to send Reynolds home and leave two runners on for pinch hitter Katie Stauffer (Manassas, Va.). Stauffer went down swinging, but sophomore shortstop Jen Acunto (Hollywood, Fla.) followed her with the hit of the day, a three-RBI double to right center field. Penn State ended the second inning with a 4-0 advantage.
A lead-off single for Acunto and a stolen base got the sophomore in scoring position in the bottom of the fifth inning. Acunto advanced on an Ashley Esparza (San Pedro, Calif.) groundout and eventually scored on an RBI looper from Hollee Haines (Riverside, Fla.) to make the final score a 5-0 advantage for the Nittany Lions.
Esparza struck out a career-high 12 batters in the victory, bringing her record to 1-1 on the year.