Feb. 26, 2009
Complete Release in PDF Format
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
After taking a break from competition last weekend, the Nittany Lions are looking to renew their fire at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga. The Leadoff Classic has established itself as one of college softball's premier tournaments, sending seven of its 13 previous champions to Oklahoma City for the Women's College World Series. This year's field once again features some of the top collegiate teams in the nation, including nine teams that were ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Preseason Top 25 Poll and another three that received votes. Fifteen teams in this year's field advanced to the 2008 NCAA tournament, including three Women's College World Series participants, making the 14th Annual Leadoff Classic another battle of some of the nation's best collegiate teams. Penn State will play back-to-back on Friday first against No. 13 DePaul at 1:30 p.m. followed by Nebraska at 4 p.m. Saturday will see the Nittany Lions match up with SEC powers No. 14 Georgia and South Carolina at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. respectively. Penn State will wrap up the classic with the final game against Georgia Tech Sunday at 10 a.m.
The No. 13 Blue Demons enter the NFCA Leadoff Classic with a 9-2 record on the season after a 4-1 showing at the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament, with the only loss coming from the host Eagles, 5-4. Amber Patton and Becca Heteniak lead DePaul in batting with averages of .548 and .516 respectively. Heteniak and Jackie Tarulli-Fisher have combined for six home runs 33 RBI. Heteniak is a double threat in the circle with an ERA of 2.86 while Lindsay Dean matches her and has an unblemished record of 5-0. Friday will be the sixth meeting between Penn State and DePaul. The Blue Demons lead the series 5-0.
The Corn Huskers enter this weekend 6-3. Their only three losses of the season came last weekend with tough competition at the Cathedral Classic where they fell to Cal State Fullerton, 2-4, No. 12 Northwestern, 4-5, and No. 7 Washington, 0-6. Crystal Carwile leads Nebraska at bat with an average of .421 while Kelli Linke follows at .400. Heidi Foldand makes it count when she connects accounting for three doubles and three home runs for 11 RBI. Molly Hill is the ace in the circle with an impressive ERA of 0.80 and a record of 4-1. Friday will be the fifth meeting between Nebraska and Penn State. The series is tied at two each.
The No. 14 Bulldogs are fresh off a sweep of their home tournament, the Georgia Classic. They defeated every opponent this weekend in five innings and are now 12-1 on the season. Alisa Goler boasts an impressive .615 batting average with nine home runs and 36 RBI. Taylor Schlopy isn't far behind hitting .500 with three home runs and 12 RBI. Christie Hamilton leads the way from the rubber with a 0.43 ERA, a perfect 5-0 record and holding opponents to only .147 in the batters' box. Saturday marks the fourth meeting between Georgia and Penn State. The Bulldogs lead the series 2-1.
SCOUTING SOUTH CAROLINA
The Gamecocks are riding a nine-game winning streak dating back to Feb. 13 for an 11-1 record. Ashton Payne is maintaining a .333 batting average while Evan Childs acconts for three home runs and a slugging percentage of .486. Audrey Broyles holds an ERA of 0.80 while striking out 52 batters in 44.0 innings of work. Saturday marks the ninth meeting between South Carolina and Penn State. The Gamecocks lead the series 7-1.
SCOUTING GEORGIA TECH
Last weekend the Yellow Jackets went 3-2 at the Cathedral Classic and more recently shut out Kennesaw State 8-0. They are currently 9-5. Christy Jones and Jen Yee are each batting in the 400s while Whitney Haller and Tiffany Johnson have three home runs each and 35 RBI combined. Kristen Adkins leads in the circle with a 1.36 ERA and a 4-2 record. Johnson also poses a threat at the rubber striking out 38 batters in 36 innings of work. Against KSU, Haller became the all-tme ACC and Georgia Tech RBI leader with 195. Sunday will be the second meeting between Georgia Tech and Penn State. The Nittany Lions lead the series 1-0.