Penn State Softball Hosts St. Francis Wednesday, Travels to Michigan Sunday
Penn State Nittany Lions (14-21, 2-2 Big Ten)
Penn State Softball Finishes Six-Game Homestand, Continues Big Ten Schedule at No. 9 Michigan Sunday... The Nittany Lion softball team (14-21) will host St. Francis of Pa. (4-14) on Wednesday, April 7, in a doubleheader at Nittany Lion Field beginning at 6 p.m. The games will be broadcast live by WMAJ-AM ESPN Radio 1450. PSU then travels to Michigan on Sunday, April 11, to meet No. 9 Michigan, the highest ranking team in the Big Ten. The game will be the Lions first Big Ten road contest. They swept Wisconsin opening weekend before dropping two to Minnesota to carry a 2-2 conference mark into the weekend series.
Talkin' Tough: Lions To Meet No. 9 Michigan, Fifth Top 10 Team On Slate This Season... Head coach Robin Petrini has once again slated the Nittany Lions for a challenging path to the NCAA tournament. To be the best you have to play the best, and the Lions are certainly facing the nation's elite from the first week of the season on.
Looking at the St. Francis Series... Penn State hosts the Red Flash Wednesday night at Nittany Lion Field for a doubleheader starting at 6 p.m. Penn State leads the all-time series 17-0, winning last year's contests 11-0 and 5-0 on April 15 at Nittany Lion Field. The Red Flash are 4-14 coming into the game and are led by Cassie Scofield , who is batting .357 on 20-of-56 hitting and Richele Hall, who is hitting .326 after going 15-of-46. Pitchers Amanda Pighetti (3-5, 3.83 ERA) and Christine Chasko (1-8, 4.93 ERA) lead the Red Flash's assault from the circle.
Looking at the Michigan Series... Penn State trails No. 9 Michigan 3-34 in the all-time series after earning a split vs. the Wolverines last year. The Lions lost the first game of the doubleheader 3-1 and won the second game 1-0 in 10 innings on April 25 at Nittany Lion Field. Michigan currently has five hitters above .300, including hit leaders Jennifer Olds (.392, 38-for-97) and Megan Doe (.342, 38-for-111). All three Wolverine pitchers have an ERA under 1.00: Lorilyn Wilson (6-0, .049), Nicole Motycka (11-3, 0.61) and Jennie Ritter (12-3, 0.86). The team's ERA is the lowest in the conference.
Wolfer, Williams, Murray Lead Team in Hits Department... Two freshman are currently leading the Nittany Lions in both batting average and hits. Meghan Wolfer is tops with a .333 average with 32 hits in 96 at-bats while classmate Jen Williams is batting .324 (35-for-108). Junior outfielder Leigh Murray (Fairfax Station, Va.) is tallying a .296 average on 29-for-98 hitting. Murray leads the team in slugging percentage (.469), RBIs (12), doubles (5), and homeruns (4).
Stealing Home... Freshman Jen Williams leads not only the team, but also the conference in stolen bases thus far. Penn State's lead-off hitter, Williams has 19 steals in 22 attempts.
Going, Going, Gone!... Both of Penn State's first two scoring sequences came off homeruns to begin the season. First, Penn State's Katie Stauffer (Manassas, Va.) logged the only Lion RBIs at the Palm Springs Classic, smacking a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth to draw the Lions within one run of No. 1 UCLA. The Bruins went on to win 5-2. The homerun was only Stauffer's second of her career. Then, teammate Leigh Murray slammed the Lions' second homerun of the season, scoring runs No. 3 and No. 4 on the year, giving Penn State its first four runs scored all off two-run bombs.
Hanson Closes In On Record... Senior pitcher Marisa Hanson is just three wins away from tying the Penn State career record for victories. The record, 49, is currently held by Jaci Kalp (1997-2000). Hanson started the season seven wins away, and after three over spring break an another at Virginia sits at 46 career wins, closing in on Kalp's mark.
Beseres Named Co-Big Ten Pitcher of the Week... Penn State's Missy Beseres (Golden Valley, Minn.) was named the co-Big Ten pitcher of the week for her outstanding performance on the homestretch of Penn State spring break trip to Tallahassee, Fla. Beseres joined Michigan Wolverines Tiffany Haas (player of the week) and Jennie Ritter (co-pitcher of the week) as the conference's honorees this week. The conference accolade is the first of her career.
WMAJ Radio Schedule... A potential of 11 dates will feature Nittany Lion softball broadcasts on WMAJ-AM ESPN Radio 1450 this spring. Broadcasts began with April 2's game vs. Wisconsin and continue with the doubleheader with Minnesota later that weekend on April 4. The following is the schedule for 2004's live broadcasts:
2004 WMAJ 1450 AM Softball Broadcasts
Coming Up... Travel to Michigan on April 11 for a Big Ten doubleheader.
Upcoming Promotions... In addition to numerous in-game promotions, look for contests like dizzy bat races, a dash for cash, relay races and more this season at Nittany Lion Field. Softball bingo makes its return each game and the first home contest vs. Wisconsin on April 2 will feature a schedule magnet giveaway to start the season. Stay tuned for more upcoming promotional events all season long.