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Sept. 12, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State softball team opens its fall schedule with a doubleheader against Bucknell at Beard Field Friday evening. The first pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. with a second game to follow.
Admission and parking to all Fall Ball games are free at Beard Field and Nittany Lion Softball Park, which is located off Park Avenue next to the East Area Halls.
The team continues its autumn slate with back-to-back contests against Bloomsburg Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Penn State then hosts a five-team tournament Sept. 29-30, featuring competition from Bucknell, Indiana University (Pa.), Lock Haven and Saint Francis. Five games will be played each day, two featuring the Nittany Lions. The team will play Saint Francis both days, with Indiana U. (Pa.) on the schedule Saturday and Lock Haven Sunday.
The 2012-13 team, under the direction of 17th-year head coach Robin Petrini, returns Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.) and Kasie Hatfield (Tampa, Fla.), both All-Big Ten selections a season ago, among a group of 15 returnees. Bell has one year of eligibility remaining and returns as one of the best outfielders in the conference and in the region. She was a unanimous All-Big Ten First Team selection in 2012, the only field player to be voted by the conference's coaches to the first team. Hatfield, a rising junior, was a force behind the plate in conference play last season, ranking tops among Big Ten catchers in runs (11), doubles (7), home runs (4), RBI (18), total bases (37) and slugging (.607).
First-year head coach Bonnie Skrenta takes over a Bucknell Bison squad that finished 11-34 (5-15 Patriot) in the spring. The Nittany Lions took two decisions against Bucknell during Fall Ball a year ago by a combined 7-0 score.