Softball Falls to Kansas and Texas-Arlington at Crimson Classic
Click here for Kansas box score.
Click here for Texas-Arlington box score.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala., February 28, 2003 - The Penn State softball team lost both games on the opening day of the Crimson Classic in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Friday at the UA Softball Complex. The Nittany Lions fell to Kansas, 4-2, in game one then dropped a 3-2 decision to Texas-Arlington to close out the day. The Nittany Lions fall to 1-6. It is their worst start since beginning the season 1-6 in 1999. The Jayhawks, who are receiving votes in this week's USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll, improve to 11-3 and UTA is 9-7.
Kansas scored runs in back-to-back innings and grabbed a 2-0 lead after the third inning. The Jayhawks used a double from Jessica Moppin and an Ashley Frazer RBI-single to take a 1-0 lead in the second inning. KU then took advantage of a Penn State error in the third inning to score Destiny Frankenstein who reached on a walk for the two-run lead.
Kansas pitcher Kirsten Milhoan had a perfect game going into the top of the sixth inning until sophomore Mandy Nuxoll (Kelso, Wash./Kelso) extended her hit streak to six games with a single to left field. She then scored on a hit from senior Erin Norton (Orange, Calif./El Modena) to cut the lead to 2-1. The Lions then had an opportunity to tie the game and even take the lead, loading the bases with two outs. However, Kansas forced a ground out to end the threat.
The Jayhawks secured their lead, tallying two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning pushing the advantage to three runs, 4-1. But junior Kate Gentile (Endicott, N.Y./Endicott-Union) tacked on another run for the Lions in the top of the seventh inning to make the score 4-2. The home run was Gentile's first hit as a Nittany Lion.
Sophomore Scarlett Neal (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison), who made her first start of the season, knocked out her first hit of the season in the top of the seventh.
In game two, the Mavericks took a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning. The first batter of the game, Falon Kwasnick led off with a walk and eventually scored on a deep double to right field by Jenna Fortune.
UTA held onto that lead until the fourth inning when PSU tied it up, knocking out three hits in the inning. Senior Gina Bianchini (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) reached base on an infield hit then advanced to second on a sacrifice hit but Nuxoll. Another Penn State hit, this time coming from senior Megan Humphrey (San Diego, Calif./Mount Carmel), put Bianchini on third which allowed her to score on a clutch single from Gentile, tying the game, 1-1.
The Mavericks regained the lead in the top of the fifth inning. A hit, an error, two sacrifice hits and a walk loaded the bases with two outs. The Lions then walked both runs of the inning to give UTA 3-1 lead.
Penn State tried to rally back. Gentile knocked out her second solo-homer of the day to make the score 3-2 to lead off the top of the seventh. Coming off the bench to pinch hit, freshman Katie Stauffer (Manassas, Va./Osbourn Park) reached base, representing the tying run. However, the Mavericks were able to get the final two outs of the game to cut short the Lion rally. Gentile ended the game going 2-for-3 with two RBI and was 3-for-6 while driving in three runs.
Penn State plays No. 14 Alabama at 2:30 p.m. ET. Bracket play is at 5 or 7:30 p.m. ET. Every game of the tournament can be followed with live stats by clicking on the link to the tournament site at www.GoPSUsports.com.