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TROY, Ala.; March 10, 2004- The Penn State softball team (7-12) earned a split with Troy State (11-10) Wednesday, winning the first game 6-0 and dropping the second 5-1. The Nittany Lions begin Florida State Invitational action Friday.
GAME ONE: Penn State 6, Troy State
Penn State jumped out to an early lead in game one, with lead-off hitter Jen Williams (Stillwater, Okla.) hitting a single up the middle to get the Lions started. Freshman Meghan Wolfer (Northampton, Pa.) moved Williams to second on a sacrifice bunt. Another single from junior Leigh Murray (Fairfax Station, Va.) put runners on first and third, with Williams eventually scoring on an error by the shortstop. Penn State carried the 1-0 lead into the third inning.
In the third inning, Wolfer extended her hit-streak to six-straight games to start off the inning. Another hot-hitter, Murray singled to first, her seventh in the last six games. Junior shortstop Barbie Pierce (Citrus Heights, Calif.) reached on a fielder??s choice, pushing Wolfer to third, who eventually scored when Troy State catcher Tamra Howren threw the ball into the outfield trying to pick off pinch-runner Kelsey Francisco (State College, Pa.) at second. The inning ended with a 2-0 Penn State advantage.
Third baseman Destinie Chavez (San Leandro, Calif.) hit a solo shot over the leftfield wall with one out in the fourth inning to add another to the Lions?? total and give PSU a 3-0 lead.
Murray smacked her fourth double of the year to begin the fifth inning for the Lions before the Lady Trojans made a pitching change from Laine Harcourt to Tara Blackwell. Pierce hit a single up the middle off Blackwell to put Murray on third then junior Scarlett Neal (Huntingdon Beach, Calif.) walked. Murray was called out at third on a force the next play, but an error on the ensuing throw to first scored Pierce from third for the Lions?? first run of the inning. An error scored Neal to make the advantage a 5-0 one for Penn State. First baseman Steph Viola (Minersville, Pa.) eventually hit a grounder to second that scored pinch-runner Kari Lucas (State College, Pa.) for the Lions?? final run of the inning and a 6-0 lead heading into the sixth inning.
Redshirt-junior Missy Beseres (Golden Valley, Minn.) was credited with the win, and raises her record to 4-5 on the season. She struck out 11 in the victory to tie her career high. The win was Penn State??s sixth-straight.
GAME TWO: Penn State 1, Troy State 5
Penn State failed to capitalize on two hits in the first inning of game two and the bases were loaded in the second inning for the Nittany Lions, but the game continued to be scoreless the bottom of the second inning.
Lady Trojan Molly Homer hit a Marisa Hanson (Victoria, Texas) pitch over the leftfield wall to start the scoring in game two in the bottom of the second. The Lions retired the rest of the side, and Troy State led 1-0 heading into the third inning.
The Lions finally got on the board in the fourth inning. Freshman Meghan Wolfer (Northampton, Pa.) was credited with a hit in her seventh-straight game and shortstop Barbie Pierce (Citrus Heights, Calif.) hit one through the left side of the infield to start the inning. Wolfer was caught stealing home. Pierce??s pinch-hitter Kari Lucas (State College, Pa.) scored from second on a Scarlett Neal (Huntingdon Beach, Calif.) single to leftfield to knot the score at 1-1.
Troy State took the lead again in the bottom of the fourth inning when Hanson walked Bonnie Belin to start the inning and then committed an error on a throw to first to put Tamra Howren on first. Belin scored on the error to put the Lady Trojans ahead again 2-1. Troy State scored again when Howren crossed the plate when a broken rundown play at first ended in an error that advanced the runner.
Third baseman Destinie Chavez (San Leandro, Calif.) came just a few feet short of her second home run of the day in the fifth inning, sending a hard strike off the leftfield wall for a double. Despite the hit, Penn State left the inning with no runs and a 3-1 deficit.
Sally Jones hit a long double off the centerfield wall to begin the fifth inning, and eventually scored another Lady Trojans?? run on an RBI single from Stacey Dwyer. A single and an error set up an RBI single from Brittany Krebac to give the Lady Trojans a 5-1 lead at the end of the fifth inning.
Penn State looked like it might get something started in the sixth inning, when the Nittany Lions had runners at first and second but Pierce hit a looping pop with one out to Brooke Powell, the Lady Trojan shortstop, who made a nice grab and threw Wolfer out at second to end the inning.
Penn State tried to mount another comeback in the top of the seventh inning, with Kate Gentile (Endicott, N.Y.) hitting a double with one out, but it was not to be as the Lions fell 5-1 in game two.
Hanson took the loss in the second game, throwing four strikeouts.
Penn State opens Florida State Invitational action on Friday, March 12 vs. No. 17 Nebraska at 2 p.m. Action continues for the Lions vs. Florida A&M at 6 p.m.
Game One 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 F Penn State 1 0 1 1 3 0 0 6 Troy State 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Game Two 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 F Penn State 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 Troy State 0 1 0 2 2 0 x 5