April 1, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 1, 2014 - The Penn State softball team closes out its eight-game homestand on Wednesday evening, hosting in-state foe Saint Francis for a doubleheader. The Nittany Lions look to gain their 30th victory over the Red Flash and first home win of the 2014 campaign in the midweek clash.
The first of two games is set to begin at 5 p.m. with the second slated for a 7 p.m. start. Fans can listen to the action live via Penn State ComRadio’s audio stream or can follow through GameTracker or on Twitter (@PennStateSB).
All tickets are general admission for $6 per game. Penn State students with ID are free of charge and groups of 15 or more are $3 per person.
The season ticket price has been lowered from $45 to $20 for 2014, which includes general admission seating for every game for the price of less than four contests. Fans can purchase by calling 1-800-NITTANY or by visiting the Athletic Ticket Office Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Parking for all Penn State softball events is free. Fans will be permitted to park to the Orange B lots located just west and south of the ballpark. Should the two Orange B lots become full; fans will also be permitted to park in Lot 82, which is adjacent to the parking lot at Nittany Lion Softball Park.
SERIES HISTORY vs. SAINT FRANCIS
The Nittany Lions hold a 29-2 record over the Red Flashes heading into the midweek matchup. Penn State won the most recent contest between the two teams, defeating SFU, 4-1, last April.
The Blue and White’s only two losses to the Red Flashes came in back-to-back seasons as SFU claimed victories in 2009 and 2010.
SCOUTING THE RED FLASH
Saint Francis enters the weekend at 17-7 overall and has won three consecutive games. The Red Flash most recently took down North East Conference foe Robert Morris in a pair of contests. SFU’s last loss came on March 22 to Kansas in a 10-2 decision. Senior Chelsy Consentino has led the charge for the Red Flash, hitting at a .409 clip with 14 RBI on 16 hits.
The Saint Francis pitching staff has combined for 102 strikeouts in 150.2 innings. Freshman Alexis Bower heads into the weekend with a 9-3 record and has registered an ERA of 2.95 through 61.2 innings with a team-best 40 strikeouts.
LAST TIME OUT
The Nittany Lions faced one of its toughest opponents yet last weekend, hosting No. 6 Michigan in the second weekend of Big Ten action. PSU dropped all three games over the weekend, moving to 7-56 against the Wolverines all-time. Sophomore Karlie Habitz led the Lions offensively vs. Michigan, putting together a 4-for-8 effort at the dish.
Sophomore Lexi Knief is off to a great start in 2014. The outfielder is 28-for-79 at the plate for a team-best batting average of .354 and has scored a team-high 23 runs. She is tied for second in the league and 29th in the nation in triples with three and has posted three doubles on the year.
The Ramsey, N.J. product leads the Lions with an on-base percentage of .457 and is currently the 65th-toughest hitter to strike out in the nation.
LAU OF THE LAND
Freshman pitcher Marlaina Laubach has done the bulk of the work in the circle for Penn State, earning wins in four of PSU’s six victories, including a signature win over No. 21 LSU. The Northampton, Pa. native has a team-best ERA of 4.31 through 63.1 innings. She has thrown 38 strikeouts on the season, including a season-high six vs. FAU (2/21).
FORMING GOOD HABITZ
Sophomore Karlie Habitz has come out of the gate swinging, literally. The Newhall, Calif. native leads the Lions and is tied for with 22 RBIs. Habitz also leads Penn State in slugging percentage at .558 and has registered four doubles and a team-best four home runs. The catcher, who is hitting at a .351 clip, broke up to no-hitters last weekend vs. No. 6 Michigan and went 4-for-8 at the dish.
Habitz posted six RBI in the season opener vs. Oregon State (2/7), a mark that ties for the second most in program history.
Senior Kasie Hatfield is currently tied for fifth in the league in doubles, having notched nine this season. The Tampa, Fla. native surpassed her previous season-best of eight doubles from 2012 in the second game of PSU’s doubleheader with Purdue.
Penn State hits the road for its first Big Ten away series this weekend, traveling to East Lansing, Mich. to take on the Michigan State Spartans. PSU and MSU open the three-game series on Friday at 3 p.m. followed by 1 p.m. matchups on Saturday and Sunday.