Penn State Softball Takes Two From Michigan State
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., April 18, 2004 - Penn State's put in two strong performances Sunday afternoon at Nittany Lion Field to win both games of a doubleheader vs. visiting Michigan State and earn a split for the weekend. The Nittany Lions won game one 6-1 before taking game two 11-6.
In game one, Michigan State (24-19, 4-8 Big Ten) used two hits and a Nittany Lion error to score a run in the second inning and led Penn State (18-25, 4-6 Big Ten) until the fifth when the Lions made their comeback. Freshman Meghan Wolfer (Northampton, Pa.) singled through the left side to begin the inning, followed by a Jen Willliams (Stillwater, Okla.) walk to put runners on first and second. Junior outfielder Leigh Murray (Fairfax Station, Va.) advanced both runners with a ground out to first base and Wolfer eventually scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at one run each.
A double by senior shortstop Barbie Pierce (Citrus Heights, Calif.) sent Williams home and gave the Lions the go-ahead run. Freshman Brittany Corl (Penns Valley, Pa.) replaced Pierce on the basepaths and crossed home on a Destinie Chavez (San Leandro, Calif.) single.
The Lions then led 3-1 heading into the sixth inning and would tack on three more runs their next time at bat. Singles by Scarlett Neal (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Wolfer, and RBI hits by Murray and Pierce again made the final a 6-1 victory for Penn State. Redshirt-junior Shana Riggleman (Seaford, Del.) earned the win, raising her season record to 5-2.
In the game two, Penn State jumped out to a big 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning on the strength of five hits, including four by the Lions' top four hitters in the order. The lead-off hitter, Wolfer, slapped a single through the left side followed by a Williams' single. Murray joined the action with the Lions' third single in a row, loading the bases for Pierce. Pierce then smacked a double to left field that turned into a three-base hit after a bobble by Michigan State left fielder Victoria Morache. Chavez reached first on a walk before catcher Kate Gentile (Endicott, N.Y.) hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Pierce. Chavez eventually made it home safely on a Neal triple, her team-leading third of the year, that gave the Lions a 5-0 lead they would never relinquish.
Michigan State came within three runs, scoring a pair in the bottom of the first inning off an RBI walk and a sacrifice fly to make the score 5-2 Penn State. The Lions tacked on four more runs in the second inning to contribute to their season-high 11 runs by the end of the afternoon. Wolfer and Williams began the inning with singles, with Murray walking to load the bases for Pierce. The senior shortstop scored Wolfer on an RBI single and Chavez tacked on a two RBI single, scoring Williams and Murray. Sophomore Katie Stauffer (Manassas, Va.) sent Pierce home on a sacrifice fly before the inning ended with the scoreboard reading a 9-2 advantage for Penn State. Michigan State scored runs in the third, fourth and fifth to threaten, but Penn State added two more scores in the fourth to hold on and make the final score 11-6. Reliever Missy Beseres (Golden Valley, Minn.) got her eighth win of the year, giving her an 8-13 record this season.
Chavez hit .500 for the weekend, going 5-for-10 with three RBIs, while Pierce went .333 (4-for-12) with a team-leading five RBIs. Wolfer went 6-for-16 to bat .375 over the four-game Big Ten weekend.
Penn State is back in action Tuesday at Akron for a doubleheader at 3 p.m. The Lions' Big Ten schedule continues at 6 p.m. Friday and noon on Saturday at Iowa before PSU travels to Illinois for a noon doubleheader on Sunday, April 24.