Lions to Face Michigan State in Mid-Week Double Header
April 28, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Lauren Kramer and Megan Hair have shared duties in the circle with ERAs of 3.92 and 4.84 repectively.
Wednesday will be the 41st and 42nd meetings between the Spartans and the Nittany Lions. In a series that began in 1992, Penn State holds the advantage 21-19.
SCOUTING PENN STATE
Jackie Hill has continually dominated in the circle with an ERA of 0.99. She has struck out 132 in 142.0 innings of work while throwing 18 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
On Saturday, the Boilermakers struck first as Liane Horiuchi took a pitch to the side and was awarded first base. She proceeded to steal second leaving first base open as Candace Curtis reached on a base on balls. They both advanced as Katie Mitchell was walked, and Jenna Alexander took a pitch to the arm to score Horiuchi with no outs. Hill recovered quickly though and struck out the next three batters to minimize the damage.
The Lions came up to bat with a vengance as senior first baseman Danielle Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif.) led of with a single and advanced as junior left fielder Ashley Griffith (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) got a single of her own. A wild pitch by Suzie Rzegocki put them both in scoring position. Unfortunately the inning was retired before anyone could cross the plate. Penn State would only get one hit the rest of the game as junior pitcher Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) singled in the third.
The pitchers battle continued through the next four innings. Hill had an outstanding performance and didn't give up a hit until the sixth when Molly Garst singled to left field. She then stole second and scored when Ashley Barr singled and advanced to second on an error.
Purdue was able to keep the Lions at bay as they cruised to a 2-0 win. Penn State had three hits, committed one error, and left six on base while Purdue scored two runs with two hits, had one error and left seven on. Hill gave up three walks and hit three batters in the loss becoming 12-8 in the circle. Rzegocki became 20-10 with the win while striking out five and walking three.
In the rematch on Suday, Purdue got started in the third as Horiuchi took a pitch to the leg to reach first and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Garst. A wild pitch allowed her easy access to third and she came in to score on a Penn State throwing error with two outs. Fortunately, the damage was minimal as Hill struck out the next batter to retire the inning.
The Lions got on board in the bottom of the fourth as senior center fielder Sam Hovanec (Pittsburgh, Pa.) reached on a fielder's choice and worked her way around to third with a stolen base and a wild pitch. Senior second baseman Kayce Zielinski (Arlington, Texas) then stepped up to the plate and ripped a single through the right side to score Hovanec.
The Boilermakers answered in the fifth as Kelly Miller reached on a lead off single up the middle. A sac by Horiuchi sent her to second and a single by Garst gave her access to the plate as she used her speed to beat out the throw.
But Penn State wasn't done yet as another run was added to the total in the bottom of the frame. Hill reached on a walk and advanced to second as Kinley (Carlsbad, Calif.) was served her second walk of the day. A single by Hovanec through the right side scored Hill as the Lions tied the game up at two.
Unfortunately, a lead off home run by Horiuchi in the top of the seventh would be the last run scored as Purdue won the game, 3-2, and swept the series.
LAST TIME AGAINST MICHIGAN STATE
Esparza picked up the loss as she allowed just one run off of four hits. Reynolds had a strikeout and allowed a walk in her 3.0 innings while Wong held the Spartans hitless.
Game two saw both offenses working as the Nittany Lions tallied a total of six hits and four runs while the Spartans had nine hits and three runs.
PSU got on the board first as Esparza hit an RBI double to left center followed by a Sam Hovanec (Pittsburgh, Pa.) RBI single. Zielinski followed with a two-out single that moved Hovanec to third. Head coach Robin Petrini signaled for a first-third steal play that resulted in Zielinski getting caught in a rundown that allowed Hovanec to score giving PSU a 3-0 advantage.
MSU responded with a run in the sixth and a pair of runs in the seventh to tie the game at 3-3. A substitution in the sixth to bring in Desi Giordano (West Caldwell, N.J.) at first resulted in her lone at bat in the bottom of the seventh inning and she made the most of it. With a 2-1 count the freshman hit a solo shot over the left field fence giving the Nittany Lions a 4-3 win and moving them one step closer to the Big Ten Tournament.
Leading the PSU bats was Zielinski who went 2-for-3 in game two while Esparza, Hovanec and Giordano each picked up an RBI. Esparza also picked up the win while pitching just one inning and allowing no runs off of one hit.