Softball Beats Central Michigan, 2-0, to Finish Spring Break Trip
CLEARWATER, Fla.; March 13, 2005 - The Nittany Lion softball team defeated Central Michigan in the final day of the Speedline Invitational, 2-0, on a two-RBI double from junior Leigh Murray (Fairfax Station, Va.). The Lions finished their 10-day spring break swing between Orlando and Clearwater with a 9-3 record, improving to 10-7 on the year.
A single and an error in the first inning put runners in a dangerous position for the Lion defense. With Chippewas on second and third, Penn State was able to catch Karen Hohs trying to steal home and a strikeout by Lion starter Jenn Reynolds (Clovis, Calif.) got PSU out of the inning.
In the third inning, Penn State threatened to score, but came up empty. Third baseman Destinie Chavez (San Leandro, Calif.) was hit by a pitch to start the inning and sophomore Jen Williams (Stillwater, Okla.) bunted safely to first to put two runners on. Freshman Jen Acunto (Hollywood, Fla.) singled through the left side to advance all the runners safely, but that's as far as the Lions would get, leaving the bases loaded in the end.
Two hits and a sacrifice bunt put runners on first and third with one out in the top of the sixth for the Chippewas. Penn State brought in veteran pitcher Missy Beseres (Golden Valley, Minn.) to finish the game out. She struck out two Chippewa batters to end the threat and bring the Lions back to the plate.
A pair of walks earned by Meghan Wolfer (Northampton, Pa.) and Ashley Esparza (San Pedro, Calif.) put two runners on with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning for the Lions. Junior third team all-Big Ten pick Murray tagged one deep enough to score two runs before she was caught at third by a good relay by the Chippewas.
The damage was done, however, and all Beseres had to do was throw one more good inning to send the Lions home with a 9-3 record for their spring break trip. She delivered, despite giving up a single to Stephanie Crews, she struck three out in the inning. Overall, she struck out five of the seven batters she faced in the last one and 2/3 innings. Beseres is now 5-4 this season.
Penn State travels to the Kia Classic at Cal-State Fullerton for a Thursday, March 13, tilt vs. Depaul at 6:15 p.m. PT. The Lions will compete for four days in the Kia Classic, meeting Nebraska and Washington in pool play before advancing to championship play Saturday and Sunday. The Lions won't host their home opener for another two-plus weeks, when the hold a doubleheader vs. St. Francis on March 30 at 6 p.m.