Softball to Host Wisconsin in Big Ten Contest
April 10, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Also the ace in the circle, Olivarez has an ERA of 2.89 while striking out 113 batters in 152.1 innings of work. She has pitched 16 complete games with three shutouts, one of which was a combined effort with Leah Vanevenhoven and has collected two saves.
This weekend will be the 30th and 31st meeting between the Badgers and the Nittany Lions. In a series that began in 1996, Penn State holds the advantage 18-11.
SCOUTING PENN STATE
Junior pitcher Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) recently returned to dominance in the circle with an ERA of 0.98 and a 7-5 record. She has struck out 73 batters in 78.1 innings of work averaging 6.54 per seven innings.
Penn State has notable wins against then-No. 13 DePaul, 4-1, and then-No. 12 Arizona, 9-6. The win over the Blue Demons came at the NFCA Leadoff Classic as the Nittany Lions rallied in the sixth to plate four and never looked back. Hill threw a one-hitter in the victory. More recently, the Lions upended the Wildcats of Arizona at the Judi Garman Classic with an explosive first inning as they drove in four runs with the help of a three run blast by Hovanec. Arizona threatened as the Wildcats brough the score to 4-5 in the fifth, but Penn State mimicked the success of the first inning in the sixth with four more runs as Giordano added a three-run shot of her own.
LAST TIME OUT
The first score and only score of game one came at the hand of the Nittany Lions in the top of the sixth. With one out, senior center fielder Sam Hovanec (Pittsburgh, Pa.) singled through the right side. As the next batter was retired with a strike out, Hovanec made a crucial steal to move into scoring position as freshman designated player Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) stepped up to the plate. Akamine then drove a single through the right side to score Hovanec.
The Hawkeyes were looking to respond with the meat of their lineup in the bottom of the frame as Lindsey Digman singled with one out. Colleen McGlaughlin went down swinging as junior pitcher Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) fanned her fifth batter in her first game back in the circle. Digman then stole second, and as the ball escaped senior second baseman Kayce Zielinski (Arlington, Texas), Digman proceeded to third. But Zielinski and Madura teamed up to make the tag and retire the inning.
Penn State got started early in the nightcap as the bases were loaded with two outs in the top of the first. Junior left fielder Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) got things started when she reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second as Hovanec singled through the right side. Sophomore shortstop Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J.) then walked to load the bases. Freshman catcher Danee Collett (Orange, Calif.) the stepped up to the plate with two outs and singled to score Griffith, but as Hovanec followed she was tagged out to end the inning.
Iowa threatened in the bottom of the frame with two on and one out as Liz Watkins got a rip up the middle. Fortunately, Hovanec scooped up the grounder and connected with Collett to tag out Taylor Leichsenring at the plate.
The Lions extended their lead in the sixth as Akamine singled and advanced to second on a passed ball. Collett then connected for her second single of the game as Akamine was plated when the ball went through the right side. But Iowa wasn't going down without a fight as the Hawkeyes closed the gap with a run in the bottom half of the frame. Katie Brown doubled with two outs as Callie Adreon came in to pinch run. A single by Chelsey Carmody to right field allowed Adreon access to home as she barely beat the throw. The final out was secured with a ground out to second and Penn State held on to take the 2-1 decision.
LAST TIME AGAINST WISCONSIN
In the first game the Nittany Lions got on the board early off a Danielle Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif.) RBI single in the top of the first to give them the early 1-0 lead. The very next inning, Ashley Esparza (San Pedro, Calif.) and Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) hit back-to-back RBI singles giving PSU a 3-0 lead. The Badgers would respond in a big way in the third scoring six earned runs off of six hits giving them a lead they would never relent. Esparza got the start in the circle going 2.2 innings while striking out three. She was relieved by senior Jenn Reynolds (Clovis, Calif./Clovis) who went 3.1 innings while striking out four.
Both Griffith and Kinley went 2-for-3 while Esparza, Hill and Shana Madura (Slate Hill, N.Y.) added one hit a piece.
Penn State is 13-3 when playing Wisconsin at Nittany Lion Field. The 2007 series produced two wins for Penn State in decisions of 3-1 and 8-3.
HILL RETURNS TO THE CIRCLE