Nittany Lions to Clash with Boilermakers in Big Ten Network Contest
April 24, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
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
The Boilermakers are strong in the circle as well with Suzi Rzegocki contributing six shutouts and 19 complete games for an ERA of 1.52. Dana Alcocer has an ERA of 4.16 and earned Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors for February 9.
Purdue has also proven they can play with national power houses picking up notable wins over then-No. 4 UCLA (2-1 on Feb. 7), then-No. 18 Texas A&M (3-1 on March 14), then-No. 10 Northwestern (2-0 on April 18) and No. 14 Ohio State, 3-2, just this past Wednesday.
This weekend will be the 35th and 36th meetings between the Nittany Lions and the Boilermakers. In a series that began in 1995, Penn State holds the advantage 20-14.
SCOUTING PENN STATE
Jackie Hill has continually dominated in the circle with an ERA of 0.93. She has struck out 118 in 128.0 innings of work while throwing 16 complete games and six shutouts.
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 Terps put up another scoring threat in the bottom of the fourth with two on and no outs. A sacrifice bunt gave Penn State the first out, but the two other runners advanced to scoring position. The Terrapins went for a sac fly in the top of the order, but junior left fielder Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) held the runner at third. Vangie Galindo then reached on a walk to load the bases, but junior pitcher Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) maintained her composure and fanned her third batter of the day to keep Maryland scoreless.
The Lions had a big sixth inning as freshman catcher Danee Collett (Orange, Calif.) led off with a double. Senior first baseman Danielle Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif.) then stepped up to the plate and ripped a double to right field, tying the all-time doubles record at 44. In the process, pinch runner Christana Crivellaro (Coopersburg, Pa.) scored as Penn State took the lead. Griffith then used her speed to reach first on a bunt while also advancing Kinley to third. With runners on the corners Griffith easily stole second to put two runners in scoring position before the first out. Freshman right fielder Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) then placed a shallow single to left field while bringing in Kinley and Griffith and advanced to second on a ball handling error. The Lions were retired on a ground out to second, but the damage was done as Penn State took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
Maryland answered in the bottom of the frame, once again with two on and two outs. Nadine Blackie sent a long double to ricochet off the left field wall scoring Kathy McLaughlin and Galindo. Fortunately, Penn State got the next out and held on to a 3-2 lead going into the seventh.
It was three and out for the Lions in the bottom of the seventh as they took the field in an effort to hold the Terps. It wouldn't be easy as Kerry Hickey led off with a double and Kendra Knight came in to pinch run. A sacrifice bunt sent Knight to third with one out. Senior third baseman Shana Madura (Slate Hill, N.Y.) made a catch in foul territory near a fired up Maryland dugout for the second out and came up again with a pop fly to secure the win for the Lions.
Penn State scored three runs with six hits and left three on base while Maryland scored two runs with eight hits and stranded 12 on the bases. Each team committed one error. Hill took the win for the Lions becoming 12-7 in the circle.
The Nittany Lions were determined in the night cap, but had some trouble capitalizing on scoring opportunities leaving the bases loaded through the first two innings. Maryland wasn't letting up either as they worked to even the score. The Terrapins left a runner on third twice through the first two frames as the Lion defense continued to work through sticky situations.
The next few innings went by smoothly as each team went three and out until the fifth when Maryland got on the board. Penn State fielding errors put two runners on base in scoring position and a single brought Devon Williams to the plate for an unearned run. The Lions minimized the damage as the inning was retired with a strike out and a fly out, but the Terps took the field with a 1-0 advantage.
Maryland extended the lead in the sixth as Alex Schultz reached on a bunt. Jen Anderson followed with a long double to left field. Griffith began the relay to sophomore shortstop Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J.) who followed to Collett with plenty of time, but Schultz literally somersaulted over Collett and got her hand on the plate to score. Lauren Ghent came in to pinch run at third and was tagged out at home on an attempted suicide squeeze. Collett then made a catch in foul territory to retire the inning. Unfortunately, Penn State wouldn't get past first in the seventh as the Terps took the night cap, 2-0.
Penn State scattered five hits whlie committing three errors and leaving nine on base while Maryland scored two runs with six hits and eight left on. Akamine took the loss becoming 5-11 in the circle.
LAST TIME AGAINST PURDUE In the first game, Penn State was the first to strike taking an early 1-0 lead off a pair of doubles in the top of the first by Ashley Esparza (San Pedro, Calif.) and Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J.). Purdue would respond with a two-run homer in the bottom half to take a lead of its own. Things settled down for the next two innings before PSU would strike again in the fourth when Sam Hovanec (Pittsburgh, Pa.) doubled to score Carnie Smith (New Wilmington, Pa.).
The Nittany Lions would add one more in the top of the fifth to take a 3-2 lead when Giordano hit an RBI single through the right side. Purdue would not be deterred as they came back for two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 4-3 lead.
The fight would not stop there as PSU struck again in the sixth as Esparza hit an RBI single up the middle to tie the ballgame. Purdue would get the last look at the ball in the bottom of the seventh and with the bases loaded and only one out they were able to convert a fielder's choice into the game-winning run.
On the day both Esparza and Giordano had two hits including a double each. Hovanec had the only other PSU hit with her RBI double.
PSU got off to an excellent start in the rematch with Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) striking out the side in the top of the first. Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J.) would keep the momentum going as she hit a single to left field to score Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) who had reached base on a double.
Purdue would regain its confidence in the second as a single scored two runs to give the Boilermakers a 2-1 lead that they would never relent. A two-run homer in the sixth would solidify Purdue's lead at 4-1.
Hill went 7.0 innings with six strikeouts and only one walk. Hill's record moved to 11-4 while Purdue's Dana Alcocer improved to 13-5.
KINLEY TIES 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.
GRIFFITH GOES 4-FOR-4
Griffith got started in the first with a single to third base. In the second and fifth, she reached on bunts before getting on base in the seventh with a single to short. Throughout the series she went 5-for-7 for an impressive .714 average.