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Oct. 6, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Nittany Lion softball enjoyed a successful Fall Ball season, going 8-0 in two home tournaments, while out-scoring opponents 43-4. Penn State's bats were alive, hitting .283 with four home runs, while the pitching staff boasted a 0.25 ERA in its eight contests.
Penn State's first tournament was hosted at Beard Field in the Nittany Lion Softball Park as PSU rolled to a 5-0 win over Bucknell and a 9-1, six-inning triumph against Delaware on Sept. 17. The following day, Penn State downed Bucknell, 2-0, before handing Lock Haven an 8-2 defeat. Danee Collett (Rogersville, Tenn.) collected eight hits, batting .727 with four doubles, a homer and six RBI. In the circle, Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) dazzled, going 10.2 innings allowing just two hits and two walks with 17 strikeouts against 39 batters.
PENN STATE 5, BUCKNELL 0
Penn State took a quick 2-0 lead when Collett slugged a home run in the second inning, bringing Kasie Hatfield (Tampa, Fla.) home. In the third, Rachel Myers (Millheim, Pa.) scored on an error at shortstop for a 3-0 lead before Collett would make it 4-0 scoring on a Lauren Yao (Los Angeles, Calif.) sacrifice fly to center. Penn State capped the scoring in the top of the seventh when a bases-loaded walk by Mackenzie Liss (Mountainside, N.J.) garnered an RBI for the final 5-0 score line. Akamine struck out 12 of the 23 batters she faced in six innings of work.
PENN STATE 9, DELAWARE 1 (6 inn.)
A five-run fifth broke open a 2-1 game as Penn State rolled to a run-rule victory over the Blue Hens. The Nittany Lions sent 10 batters to the dish as five consecutive hits from the top of the lineup did the damage. Collett went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI, while Kailyn Johnson (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Alyssa Sovereign (La Canada, Calif.) added 2-for-3 afternoons with a double and an RBI. Freshman Marissa Diescher (Livingston Manor, N.Y.) went the distance for PSU, striking out five with seven hits against and a lone run earned allowed.
PENN STATE 2, BUCKNELL 0
A sac bunt RBI by Ashley Todd (Mill Creek, Wash.) in the third inning gave Penn State a one-run lead over Bucknell as the Nittany Lions beat the Bison for the second consecutive day. Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.) would later score an insurance run in the sixth on an RBI ground out by Sovereign as Jordan Wheatley (Troy, Mich.) picked up the win in the circle. Wheatley pitched 5.1 innings of work with four hits and a walk allowed, while Diescher's three-strike out showing in 1.2 innings of work sealed the save.
PENN STATE 8, LOCK HAVEN 2
Penn State leapt out to a 6-0 lead and never looked back in an 8-2 victory over Lock Haven. Collett continued her tear with a 3-for-3 day including a double and two RBI. Sovereign and Johnson pitched in with 2-for-3 afternoons as their singles in the third inning boosted the team's lead to 2- and 3-0, respectively. Hatfield posted a 2-for-3 day with a double and a run scored as well. Diescher picked up the victory in the circle, striking out two and allowing one earned run with five hits against in four innings after Akamine's three scoreless frames.
During the second weekend of play (Oct. 1-2), rain and cool temperatures played havoc with the schedule as all games were moved inside to Holuba Hall with a makeshift field. Akamine was again the star in the circle, spinning 15 innings of scoreless ball and striking out 23 of the 55 batters she faced with just four hits against. Johnson was the leader at the plate, hitting .600 with a double and a homer for four RBI in Penn State's 4-0 weekend. PSU downed Cleveland State, 1-0, in eight innings, before defeating Colgate on Saturday. The Nittany Lions bounced local squads, Indiana (Pa.), 9-1, and Saint Francis, 5-0, to cap the 8-0 Fall season.
PENN STATE 1, CLEVELAND STATE 0 (8 inn.)
Akamine battled the Vikings of Cleveland State and pitched an eight-inning shutout with 11 strikeouts as a Liz Presto (Bethlehem, Pa.) fielder's choice scored Alicia Walker (Los Alamitos, Calif.) in the eighth. Walker was placed on second thanks to the international tiebreaker rule in extra innings and moved to third on a fielder's choice before scoring on the one-out Presto grounder to short.
PENN STATE 4, COLGATE 0
A 2-for-3 day sparked by Alyssa Renwick (Laurens, S.C.) helped Penn State cruise to a 4-0 win over Colgate. Renwick scored in the third after a lead-off single when Sovereign singled her home with one out. A two-out, bases-loaded walk by Lauren Anderson (Valencia, Calif.) made it 2-0 before Collett's fifth-inning RBI single scored Bell from second made it a three-run game. Walker would close the scoring in the seventh, scoring as a pinch runner on an error at second base. Diescher threw six innings of 11-strikeout ball, preserving the shutout by allowing only two hits and two walks.
PENN STATE 9, IUP 1
The Nittany Lions scored nine unanswered runs en route to a 9-1 victory over Indiana (Pa.) on Oct. 2. Bell, Collett and Hutchinson tallied two-hit afternoons at Holuba Hall with Collett mashing a two-run homer in the third to cap a five-run rally. Wheatley was impressive in the circle and at the plate, striking out 10 batters in five innings and crushing a solo home run in the sixth. Wheatley allowed an unearned run in the top of the third with just two hits against and no walks allowed.
PENN STATE 5, SAINT FRANCIS 0
PSU finished off its 8-0 run through the Fall season with a 5-0 win against Saint Francis as Akamine threw seven innings of one-hit, scoreless softball accompanied by 12 strikeouts. Johnson was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with first-inning two-run home run that scored Bell. Penn State added two more in the third when Akamine would help her own cause with a two-run double and Renwick tallied the final run in the fourth on a stolen base.
The Nittany Lions are coming off an NCAA Regional appearance in 2011, which was hosted in University Park. Penn State reached the regional final, but fell to 13th-seeded Oregon in a heartbreaker. The Nittany Lions return seven starters and 15 letterwinners from last season, while adding five freshman newcomers under the direction of 16th-year head coach Robin Petrini.