April 24, 2012
Series Notes | 2012 Yearbook | Facebook | Twitter | Nittany Lion Softball Park
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State softball team will wrap up its non-conference schedule on Wednesday for an afternoon doubleheader at Kent State. The twinbill is set for 3:00 p.m. with KentStateSports.com providing live stats and live video.
PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (13-26, 5-10 Big Ten)
Games 40-41: Apr. 25 Diamond at Dix Stadium Kent, Ohio
Game 1: Live Stats | Video
Game 2: Live Stats | Video
VENUE: Diamond at Dix Stadium (500)
COVERAGE: KentStateSports.com Video
ALL-TIME SERIES: Penn State leads 24-15
LAST MEETING: 4/13/11, PSU 4-2 (8 inn.)
NEXT SERIES: Apr. 28 (DH), Apr. 29 vs. Minnesota
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN FLASHES
Nittany Lions travel to Kent State on Wednesday for final non-conference games
PSU owns 24-15 overall record over KSU, winning 14 of last 15 in the series
Catcher Kasie Hatfield was named Big Ten Player of the Week (Apr. 16)
Cassidy Bell has continued her torrid hitting, belting her 7th home run at UW
The Nittany Lions have struck 7 lead-off homers this season
Penn State returns home this weekend to host Minnesota at Beard Field
Kent State (24-20, 10-4 MAC) enters the Wednesday doubleheader after sweeping Buffalo this weekend 14-11 and 9-6. The Flashes pounded seven homers in the twinbill sweep, raising the season total to 36. The team hits at a .263 average with a .415 slugging percentage, gathering 63 doubles in 44 contests. Abbey Ledford has been KSU's key slugger, belting seven homers and three doubles with a .299 average for a team-high 30 RBI. Mary Holt is second on the squad in homers with six, tallying eight doubles and 20 RBI, while Shannon Laughlin has four dingers and 11 doubles. In the circle, Emma Johnson leads the squad in ERA (2.04), wins (13), losses (11), appearances (32), starts (21), complete games (16), shutouts (4), saves (4), innings pitched (154.2), strikeouts (170) and average against (.231). Danielle Abernathy (7-7, 3.46 ERA, 85 IP) and Lauren McNeil (4-2, 4.75, 53 IP) round out KSU's staff.
SERIES HISTORY vs. KSU
All-Time Series: PSU leads 24-15
PSU Streak: 6 wins
First Meeting: 4/13/88, PSU 2-1
Last Meeting: 4/13/11, PSU 4-2 (8 inn.)
Last PSU Win: 4/13/11, 4-2 (8 inn.)
Last KSU Win: 4/23/08, 9-2
Largest PSU Win: 9-1 (6 inn.), 4/13/11
Largest KSU Win: 12-0, 4/18/90
Penn State won both games (9-1, 4-2 in 8) last season at Nittany Lion Softball Park to stretch the series winning streak to six games over Kent State. The Lions earned their largest margin of victory over KSU in the opener before Kailyn Johnson's walk-off home run sealed the doubleheader sweep. Penn State has won 14 of the last 15 in the series and the last three in Kent.
Last 11 Meetings
4/13/11: W, 4-2 (8 inn.), H
4/13/11: W, 9-1 (6 inn.), H
3/31/10: W, 9-5, A
3/31/10: W, 5-2, A
4/14/09: W, 1-0, H
4/23/08: W, 2-0 (8 inn.), A
4/23/08: L, 2-9, A
4/11/07: W, 3-1, H
4/11/07: W, 3-0, H
4/26/06: W, 4-1, A
4/26/06: W, 4-0, A
BADGERS EARN THREE WINS
Penn State's hot-hitting (eight hits in the opener) couldn't produce a victory in a 4-1 loss on Saturday before Wisconsin won 8-0 and 9-0 in five innings each. The Badgers, winners of 13 of their last 14, moved into second place with the victories. The bright spot for Penn State was Cassidy Bell's 3-for-4 opening game effort that included her seventh home run of the year. PSU was held to two hits in each of the next two games by the Badger pitching staff. It was the first time Wisconsin won three straight games from Penn State since 1997.
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
Junior centerfielder Cassidy Bell sat out 18 games from February until her return on Mar. 24 at Michigan due to an emergency appendectomy. Since her return, Bell has been on fire and one of the most consistent hitters in the country, tallying six multi-hit games in the last 16 outings. Currently, she's hitting .364 overall, having posted a hit in 16 of the 20 games she's played. Her return saw an 0-for-3 showing at Michigan, but since then she has gone 21-for-50 (.420) at the plate with seven home runs, two doubles and a triple. In the series at Purdue, Bell hit .636 (7-for-11), before going 4-for-12 against Michigan State (.333). She has raised her career average to .313 during the 16-game hitting barrage, which has seen her reach base in all but one game. She recently wrapped up a nine-game hitting streak, while slugging .920 and getting on base at .500 in the last 16 games. In Big Ten play alone, she leads all conference players in homers (6) and total bases (42), while ranking third in slugging (.875), fourth in hits (21) and 11th in average (.417).
TAKING TWO FROM THE HOOSIERS
The Nittany Lions took two of three from Indiana over the weekend (Apr. 14-15) to win its second straight Big Ten series. After dropping the opener 12-6, Penn State rebounded to take the final two games, 5-2 and 9-4. In Saturday's opener, Indiana built a 5-0 lead, but Penn State chipped away to 5-2 before a four-run fifth inning gave the Lions a 6-5 advantage. Indiana responded with a five-run sixth and two more runs in the seventh for the final scoreline as Lauren Yao's 2-for-3, two-double effort went for naught. Cassidy Bell tallied her fifth homer of the year in the first game as well. In the nightcap, timely hitting and solid pitching from Jordan Wheatley earned the doubleheader split. Wheatley won her first collegiate game and completed her first game at Penn State scattering 10 hits, two earned runs and two walks to down the Hoosiers. Yao again went 2-for-3, scoring twice, while Wheatley's two-run double, he rfirst extra-base hit at PSU, paced the Lions. Danee Collett also provided a critical RBI double to help the Lions. PSU's bats came alive again in the finale as a lead-off homer from Bell and a seven-run outburst in the second inning gave the Lions the series win. The seven-run inning was highlighted by Collett's three-run double and Kasie Hatfield's historic grand slam, the first at Beard Field. Hatfield later added an RBI double to cap a five-RBI afternoon en route to Big Ten Player of the Week honors. Marissa Diescher picked up the win to even her record at 5-5, allowing three earned runs.
HIT ME HOME HATFIELD
Penn State catcher Kasie Hatfield was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday, Apr. 16 for her outstanding play against Indiana. The sophomore slugger belted her first career grand slam (and the first in Beard Field history) on Sunday and drove home a career-high five runs in a 9-4 victory. Hatfield was on a six-game hitting streak with a .524 average in those games while slugging 1.000. Hatfield had a team-high 12 RBI over that span with 11 hits, six of which went for extra bases. Hatfield's other home run during that span was a walk-off two-run homer to secure the series sweep of Michigan State on Apr. 8. The day before Hatfield went 5-for-8 at the plate including her first four-hit game in the nightcap with two doubles.
LEAD ME HOME
The Nittany Lion offense came in its home stand putting up outstanding numbers highlighted by nine home runs including Cassidy Bell's lead-off shot in the Sunday winner against Indiana. It was Bell's third lead-off homer (3/24/12 at Michigan, 4/8 vs. MSU) and the Nittany Lions' seventh this season. Alyssa Sovereign leads the way with three home runs, all of which were during the first at-bat of the game. The other lead-off homer came from Kailyn Johnson vs. No. 8 Oklahoma (3/16).
More notes can be found in the PDF copy.
NEXT TIME OUT
Penn State finishes a five-game road stretch with a doubleheader at Kent State on Wednesday. The 3:00 p.m. twinbill will have live stats on GoPSUsports.com GameTracker and KSU will carry a video stream. The Lions then host Minnesota Apr. 28-29 for a three-game set.