Penn State Resumes Big Ten Play at Minnesota
April 17, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Briana Hassett is the ace in the circle with an ERA of 1.98. She has 12 shutouts on the year along with striking out 336 batters in 236.1 inning of work for just under 10 Ks per game.
Minnesota has collected notable wins over Cal State Fullerton, Creighton and Northwestern and has recently started receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll.
This weekend hold the 44th and 45th meetings between the Nittany Lions and the Golden Gophers. In a series that began in 1989, Minnesota holds a 28-15 advantage.
SCOUTING PENN STATE
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 Red Flash threatened early in the second inning of the night cap with the bases loaded and one out. Freshman pitcher Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) kept her cool in striking out the next batter as senior second baseman Kayce Zielinski (Arlington, Texas) grabbed a line drive to end the inning and keep Saint Francis scoreless.
The Nittany Lion offense came to life in the fifth as senior first baseman Danielle Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif.) ripped a double to left center while junior left fielder Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) brought her to third with a bunting single. Griffith then stole second and as the throw sailed over her head, she advanced to second while Kinley scored. But the Lions weren't done yet as Akamine fired a single through the left side to plate Griffith.
Penn State scored two runs off six hits with two errors while Saint Francis had three hits and three errors. Akamine struck out six and collected her first win since the March 12 victory over then-No. 9 Arizona to become 5-10 in the circle.
In game one the Nittany Lions continued their trend of scoring early as freshman catcher Danee Collett (Orange, Calif.) singled up the middle with one out. Senior right fielder Christana Crivellaro (Coopersburg, Pa.) followed taking a pitch to the leg to put Collett in scoring position. Zielinski then ripped a single of her own well into the outfield as Collett rounded third and scored the first run of the game. The Lions had a chance to extend their lead as senior third baseman Shana Madura (Slate Hill, N.Y.) reached on a fielder's choice, but Crivellaro was tagged out at home. The inning ended with a strike out, but the damage had been done as Penn State held a 1-0 lead. The Lions extended their lead in the fifth as Madura led off with a triple. A sacrifice fly courtesy of Kinley allowed Madura easy access to home plate.
The Red Flash managed to rally in the sixth capitalizing on Lion errors in scoring two unearned runs. The momentum carried into the seventh as Saint Francis scored two runs on three hits, including a home run. Penn State went three-and-out in its final at bat as Saint Francis took the game, 4-2.
SERIES HISTORY WITH MINNESOTA
KINLEY APPROACHING CAREER DOUBLES MARK
Kinley has continually turned heads as she seldom only hits one double. In opening weekend at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., she hit two. She followed that with two against Vermont at the Stanford Louisville Sluger Classic and more recently hit three over a two game series with Wisconsin. She is currently tied with former teammate Jen Acunto for the second spot at 43 while one more will tie her with another former teammate, Ashley Esparza, who currently holds the record at 44.