PSU Goes 1-1 In Opening Day of the Easton Purple and Gold Challenge
Feb. 29, 2008
BATON ROUGE, La. - The Penn State University softball team (4-4) went 1-1 in the opening day of the Easton Purple and Gold Challenge hosted by LSU. They opened up the day with an eight-inning 1-0 loss to the University of South Alabama (8-6) before picking up a 4-1 victory over the University of Tulsa (6-8).
In game one, senior pitcher Ashley Esparza's (San Pedro, Calif./San Pedro) 13 strikeout three hit performance was not enough as PSU lost 1-0 in eight innings to the University of South Alabama. Esparza was mowing down batters all day long on her way to her 13 K's. Unfortunately Tiger Park was just a few feet too deep for the Nittany Lion bats as many of PSU's fly balls fell just shy of the fence.
Junior Danielle Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad), freshman Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J./Caldwell), senior Rebecca Bautista (Elk Grove, Calif./Elk Grove) and sophomore Kimi Wong (Goleta, Calif./Don Pueblos) all recorded hits for the Nittany Lions while Kinley and Giordano hit doubles.
USA's decisive run came with an out in the bottom of the eighth as Jenny Stevens hit a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Ashley Elmore.
The bats came alive for game two as PSU recorded eight hits. Senior Hollee Haines (Riverside, Calif./Martin Luther King) got the scoring started as she blasted a two-run homerun over the center field fence in the bottom of the second. Tulsa would come back to score it's only run in the top of the sixth cutting the Nittany Lion lead to just one.
PSU would respond in the bottom half using a pair of hits by Kinley and Haines and an error by the Golden Hurricane to score two more runs and capture the team's fourth win of the season.
Haines and senior Jen Acunto (Hollywood, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) led the team in game two both going 2-for-3 with Haines picking up three RBI including the game-winning homerun. Kinley, Giordano, junior Kayce Zielinski (Arlington, Texas/Kennedale), redshirt-freshman Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif./Leigh) and sophomore Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J./Lenape) all joined the hit party with Hill picking up her first career hit.
Hill also picked up the win from the circle going all seven innings with six strikeouts to improve her record to 2-1.