Penn State Baseball and Softball Complete Successful Weekend

Penn State’s baseball and softball teams completed a successful weekend Sunday with both teams getting victories.

BASEBALL COMPLETES SWEEP AT NORTHWESTERN

EVANSTON, Ill. – Greg Guers (Langhorne, Pa.) and James Coates (Girard, Ohio) both slugged two-run home runs as Penn State completed a sweep of Northwestern with an 11-3 victory in Big Ten baseball action Sunday afternoon at Miller Park.

Penn State (22-14, 8-4 Big Ten) is now on a five-game winning streak with wins in 17 of its last 21 games. The sweep was Penn State’s first on the road in conference action since taking four at Illinois in 2004. At 8-4 in Big Ten play, the Nittany Lions are off to their best start since posting the same record in 2000. That team went to an NCAA Super Regional.

Much of the recent success can be attributed to Guers, who went 3-for-5 with a two-run home run, double, three runs scored and three stolen basesSunday. He extended his hitting streak to five games with his fourth-straight three-plus hit game. The senior has hit at a .714 clip (15-for-21) during the five-game stretch with eight RBIs, a home run, three doubles and four stolen bases. He went 9-for-13 during the three-game Northwestern series. Guers was batting .189 after the April 1 game against Purdue, but has posted hits in 10 of the last 11 games, including eight multi-hit games, to raise his season average 125 points to .314.

The top five batters in Penn State’s lineup led the offensive attack against Northwestern (9-27, 2-10 Big Ten). In addition to his second home run of the season, Coates added a sacrifice fly for a game-high three RBIs. Third baseman Jim Haley (Upper Darby, Pa.) went a game-high 4-for-6 with two doubles and three runs. Senior first baseman Tyler Kendall (Boynton Beach, Fla.) drove in a pair of runs with sacrifice flies and walked and scored, while designated hitter Willie Burger (Lancaster, Pa.) went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

The Nittany Lions jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Haley doubled with one out and Guers followed with his homer over the right field wall.

The Wildcats answered with four-straight singles in the bottom of the first though to tie the game at 2-2, with Hopfner and Hoscheit tallying RBIs. The Lions turned a double play, third to first, but designated hitter Zach Jones followed with another RBI-single to give the Wildcats their only lead of the weekend, 3-2.

RHP Justin Hagenman (Voorhees, N.J.) (5-1) allowed a sixth single before the first inning’s final out and surrendered a lead-off single in the second, but settled in from there, only allowing three more hits before exiting after the sixth inning. He struck out the side in the fifth inning and finished with a line of six innings pitched, three runs, 10 hits, no walks and five strikeouts.

The lead was short-lived though as catcher Nick Graham (Chambersburg, Pa.) drew a two-out walk in the second and Coates followed with a home run just over the right field wall for a 4-3 lead.

The next two innings were scoreless but Burger and second baseman Connor Klemann (Royersford, Pa.) hit RBI-singles in the fifth for a 6-3 lead. Kendall and Burger hit sacrifice flies to score Haley and Guers, respectively in the sixth, and Kendall hit another sac fly in the eighth. Graham and Coates tallied RBIs in the ninth for the final margin.

Both teams tallied 13 hits, but none of Northwestern’s went for extra bases, while Penn State totaled four. The Lions also did not yield a walk or hit batsmen while the Wildcats walked four and plunked three.

Northwestern LHP Jake Stolley (1-2) suffered the loss allowing the two, two-run home runs in the first two innings. Penn State senior LHP Nick Hedge (Winnetka, Ill.) pitched the final three innings to earn his first career save. He struck out two and allowed just three hits.

Penn State will return to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park to host Bucknell for the second time in as many weeks Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

SOFTBALL SWEEPS MARYLAND

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State softball team secured its third Big Ten Conference sweep of the 2016 season in front of its second-straight sell out crowd with a 5-3 victory of the University of Maryland Sunday, Apr. 17.

The Nittany Lions (24-17, 11-3 B1G) moved to 6-0 in conference play at Nittany Lion Softball Park and Beard Field, making it the first time since 2012 that Penn State has swept two conference series at home. Furthermore, the sweep of UMD is just the first time in program history that the Blue and White has swept three three-game series in Big Ten Conference play. Finally, the last time that Penn State swept three conference series was in the 2006 campaign when the Nittany Lions earned three sweeps in two-game conference series.

Senior Shannon Good (Horseshead, N.Y.) was the hero of the game, coming in to pinch hit with one out and bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning. The senior laced a single up the middle to plate two runs and secure the Penn State sweep. Senior Lexi Knief (Ramsey, N.J.) and freshman Tori Dubois (Mt. Vernon, N.H.) drove in a run apiece while Dubois and Kristina Brackpool (Valencia, Calif.) notched two hits each.

Junior Marlaina Laubach (Northampton, Pa.) got the start in the circle, tossing 5.1 innings, while freshman Madison Seifert (Wildwood, Mo.) came on in relief to strikeout of two and secure her ninth victory of the 2016 campaign.

UMD (11-30, 3-9 B1G) outhit Penn State 10-9 on the day with Kristina Dillard posting a perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate with one RBi, while Destiney Henderson went 2-for-3 at the dish. Hannah Dewey and Skylynne Ellazar each drove in an RBI for the Terrapins, but the Nittany Lions defense kept UMD from adding any further damage to the board.

Relief pitcher Madison Martin suffered the loss in the circle, throwing 3.0 innings and giving up two runs, while Brenna Nation pitched the top half of the contest for the Terrapins and gave up three runs.

Penn State got started early with a leadoff single up the middle followed by a Knief double into the left center to take the 1-0 lead. With runners on second and third Dubois laced a single through the right side of the field to bring in Knief from third, while a Maryland miscue allowed Penn State to take the 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

The Terrapins used three singles including a shallow ball to right field to light up the scoreboard in the top of the third and come within two of the Nittany Lions.

Maryland knotted the score 3-3 in the top of the fifth inning when Schmeiser led off with a singled through the left side and Ellzar doubled down the right field line to plate the first run of the inning for the Terrapins. Laubach intentionally walked Dillard to get to Dewey with one out and runners on the corners. Dewey grounded out to second but the slow roller brought in the second run of the inning and knotted the score at 3-3.

Looking to score in the top of the sixth inning, Maryland used back-to-back singles to put runners in scoring position and a sacrifice bunt to move Emily Libero 60 feet from home with one out. Head Coach Amanda Lehotak made a pitching change bringing on Seifert in relief of Laubach. The poised freshman forced the Terps into two groundouts to close out the inning and the threat.

With the game still tied at 2-2, Jones walked in the bottom of the sixth inning and made her way to third base on a sacrifice bunt combined with a throwing error that allowed both Jones and Knief to be safe. Maryland intentionally walked VanDerveer to load the bases before Good laced a one-out single up the middle to plate two runs and allow Penn State to take the 5-3 advantage over the Terrapins.

Dillard placed a shallow single into right field with one out in the top of the seventh before Seifert struck out the final two batters of the inning to secure the third Big Ten Conference sweep of the season for the Nittany Lions.

The Nittany Lions will take their final road trip of the 2016 campaign when it heads to Iowa City, Iowa for a three-game Big Ten Conference series against the Hawkeyes. Game one of the series is slated for Friday, Apr. 22 at 7 p.m.


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