Lion Softball Defeats North Dakota State 7-0 to Win Lady 'Back Invitational
FAYETTEVILLE, ARK.; February 26, 2006- Penn State swept the Lady 'Back Invitational with a 7-0 victory over North Dakota State Sunday to go 5-0 on the weekend. Sophomore Jenn Reynolds (Clovis, Calif.) threw the second no-hitter in as many days for the Lions, striking out 10 batters along the way and helping her cause with two RBIs.
A day after redshirt-senior Missy Beseres (Golden Valley, Minn.) fanned eight against Missouri State en route to pitching the third no-hitter of her career, Reynolds showed the Penn State staff to be a veteran one no matter who was in the circle. The California-native struck-out 10 and improved her record to 3-0 on the year, including the Lions' win over then-No. 1 Michigan last weekend.
The Penn State offense didn't waste time, jumping out to a quick lead on the Bison. A one-out bunt single from Meghan Wolfer (Northampton, Pa.) gave the Lions a base runner. Sophomore Jen Acunto (Hollywood, Fla.) singled, advancing Wolfer to third. Sophomore Ashley Esparza (San Pedro, Calif.) walked to load the bases for veteran outfielder Leigh Murray (Fairfax Station, Va.). Murray delivered with an RBI-single that would signal the game-winning run, but the Lions weren't done yet. Two more runs scored on an error in the next play, giving the Lions a 3-0 advantage heading into the top of the second inning.
To start Penn State's half of the second inning, freshman Danielle Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif.) and junior outfielder Jen Williams (Stillwater, Okla.) both singled to get runners on. A sacrifice bunt from Wolfer advanced the runners and a 2-RBI single from Acunto sent both runners home for the 5-0 Penn State lead.
Reynolds continued to control things in the circle, striking out four Bison hitters and allowing no hits through the opening four innings.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, freshman Sam Hovanec (Pittsburgh, Pa.) hit a one-out single and junior Kelsey Francisco (State College, Pa.) benefited from an error to reach on a fielder's choice, giving the Nittany Lions runners at first and second. Reynolds then stepped to the plate to help her own cause and provided two more insurance runs with a two-out RBI-double with outs. That made the final score a 7-0 Penn State win, as Reynolds went the distance for her first career no-hitter.
The Nittany Lions won the Lady 'Back Invitational with a 5-0 record, and are now 7-3 on the year. Penn State has a weekend off before opening Spring Fling action in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Nittany Lions kick-off action on March 6 at 6 p.m. vs. host Hawaii.