Penn State to Clash with Maryland in Final Non-Conference Contest
April 21, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Kerry Hickey is the ace in the circle with an ERA of 2.14 and has struck out 140 batters in 130.2 innings of work. Sarah Dooley will likely see time as well on Wednesday with an ERA of 3.25 and two saves.
Dooley and Takeda earned ACC Player of the Week honors for the week of March 16 after their performaces at the Maryland Invitational.
The Terps picked up a notable win over then-No. 16 Nevada at the Cathedral City Classic on February 21. Jennifer Anderson hit a walk off home run to propel Maryland to an 8-7 victory.
This will be the 10th and 11th meeting between the Nittany Lions and the Terps. In a series that began in 1999, Penn State holds an 8-1 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 brought 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 game was a pitcher's duel between two of the top hurlers in the Big Ten Conference with Briana Hassett of Minnesota and Hill of Penn State. Minimal hits were offered and multiple batters were struck out as the game remained scoreless until the top of the sixth.
Kinley led off the sixth with a towering home run over center field, her second of the season and 11th of her career, for the first and only score of the game.
In the 1-0 victory, Penn State scored one run off two hits and left three on base while Minnesota had four hits and left three runners on base. Hill struck out seven as three went down looking to take the win becoming 11-6 in the circle while collecting her sixth shutout of the season.
In the night cap the Lions had to tame a much more determined Gopher squad. In the bottom of the third with two outs, Colleen Conway singled with a bunt and moved around to third on a single to right field by Sammie Howard. Malisa Barnes the walked to load the bases, but Kinley made a catch in foul territory to retire the inning.
The next four innings went by smoothly as neither team had more than four plate appearances before they were retired to leave the game scoreless. With one on and two outs in the bottom of the seventh Howard got a good piece of the pitch, but senior center fielder Sam Hovanec (Pittsburgh, Pa.) made the catch sending the game to extra innings.
Senior third baseman Shana Madura (Slate Hill, N.Y.) walked to lead off the eighth and advanced to second on a passed ball. Madura then moved around to third as Kinley grounded out to second base. Junior left fielder Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) then reached on a fielder's choice as Madura was held at third. With runners on the corners Griffith easily stole second, but the inning ended on a pop fly and a strike out.
Penn State handled the next two outs fairly easily with a ground out to short and a line drive to Hill. Heidi Carls then singled to right center and Chonquita Jones came in to pinch run. Jones narrowly beat the throw as she stole second. Katie Dalen then hit a shot to left field that landed just shy of Griffith as Jones once again beat the throw at home while Minnesota took the game 1-0.
LAST TIME AGAINST MARYLAND
Six other Nittany Lions registered hits in the contest including Danielle Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif.), Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.), Kayce Zielinski (Arlington, Texas), Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J.), Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) and Hollee Haines (Riverside, Calif.). Zielinski, Giordano, Hill and Sam Hovanec (Pittsburgh, Pa.) all added an RBI in the five-run fifth inning.
The nightcap was a different story as the Nittany Lions relied on a strong pitching performance by Hill to keep them in the game for the seventh inning heroics. Hill went the distance while striking out four and allowing just one walk.
Down 2-0 entering the seventh with the seventh, eighth and ninth batters scheduled to hit the outlook for the Nittany Lions looked bleak. Hill would open things up with a single through the right side. She would score on the very next pitch as Haines roped a triple down the left field line for the RBI. This hit would wrap up a 3-for-3 performance in the game for Haines.
Two batters later down to their final out and the tying run on third the Nittany Lions looked to their leading hitter, Kinley. Kinley would waste no time as she ripped the first pitch thrown to her over the right field fence cementing PSU's 3-2 win.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
In addition, the Nittany Lion infield has turned 12 double plays this season. At 0.33 per game, Penn State is No. 53 in that category.
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.
LIONS READY FOR BIG TEN NETWORK CONTESTS
The Purdue series this weekend will be aired live as the Lions are expecting a big home crowd with Blue and White festivities beginning Friday night. The final home contest of the year will also be televised as Penn State takes on Indiana May 2 and 3 and celebrates the careers of its five seniors.
NITTANY LION TELEVISION SCHEDULE