Lions Record Second Consecutive 3-0 Shut-out Over Gophers, Beseres Gets Win Again
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 15, 2006 - The Penn State softball team shut out Minnesota for the second day in a row Saturday at Nittany Lion Field, as red-shirt senior pitcher Missy Beseres (Golden Valley, Minn.) made her second consecutive appearance vs. the Gophers, leading the Nittany Lions to another 3-0 win. With the win, Penn State improves to 25-11 (3-7 Big Ten), while Minnesota falls to 12-23 (1-9 Big Ten).
In the top of the second inning, Penn State's Jenn Reynolds (Clovis, Calif.) tallied her fifth home run of the year when she sent a long, towering shot over the center field wall. The homerun ball marked the fifth time in five games that a Nittany Lion has hit a homerun, and put Penn State up 1-0 early. After some good pitching and quality defense, the run was the eventual game-winner for the Lions.
To start out the top of the third inning, pinch-hitter Meghan Wolfer (Northampton, Pa.) drew a walk and advanced to second on a Jen Willilams (Stillwater, Okla.) groundout then reached third on a wild pitch. Freshman outfielder Danielle Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif.) ripped a single into left field that scored Wolfer standing for the 2-0 Lion advantage. The RBI marked Kinley's third of the Minnesota series.
Hot-hitting Kinley singled to start off the bottom of the sixth for the Nittany Lions, before first baseman Ashley Esparza (San Pedro, Calif.) reached first on a Gopher fielding error to put two Lions on base with just one out on the scoreboard. Penn State would come away empty-handed, however, and two strikeouts would send the Nittany Lions back to the field.
In the top of the seventh, Reynolds walked then reached second on a Destinie Chavez (San Leandro, Calif.) sacrifice bunt. Pinch-hitter Rebecca Bautista (Elk Grove, Calif.) was hit by a pitch and sent to first, putting two Lions on base with just one out on the scoreboard. Williams then connected for a hard-hit single on which pinch runner Kelsey Francisco (State College, Pa.) was able to score and put the Nittany Lions up 3-0. The Gophers then picked up two infield putouts to end the inning.
Minnesota saw a walk and a single put two Gophers on base in the bottom of the seventh with two outs on the board, but pinch-hitter Katie Meyer struck-out swinging to end the game as the Nittany Lions came away with a 3-0 win on a five-hit, three-run, errorless effort.
Beseres struck out nine batters and gave up just two hits on the day as she improved her season record to 13-5. Minnesota's Briana Hassett struck out six in the loss, falling to 5-12.
Penn State hosts intrastate rival Pitt in a non-conference battle on Tuesday, April 18 at 3 p.m. The Nittany Lions continued their homestand with a Blue/White weekend showcase, featuring Penn State vs. Michigan State on Friday, April 21 at 6 p.m. and then again at noon on Saturday, April 22. Michigan, last's year's NCAA champions, visit Nittany Lion Field on Sunday, April 23 at noon for a doubleheader showdown. Penn State has taken the last two match-ups vs. the Wolverines.