Penn State Baseball and Softball Roundup: Both Nittany Lions Teams Get Wins

Jim Haley 02 PSU
Penn State baseball and softball roundup.

(Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletics)

BASEBALL BEATS NORTHWESTERN

EVANSTON, Ill. – Freshman Willie Burger (Lancaster, Pa.) hit a two-run home run and Evanston-native Jack Anderson pitched the final three innings to earn the win as Penn State defeated Northwestern, 4-2, in Big Ten baseball action Friday afternoon at Miller Park.

Burger’s first career home run gave Penn State (20-14, 6-4 Big Ten) a 2-0 lead in the second inning, but Northwestern (9-25, 2-8 Big Ten) tied the game at 2-2 with unearned runs in the fifth and seventh innings. Third baseman Jim Haley (Upper Darby, Pa.) drove in the game-winning run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning and Anderson (4-1) kept the Wildcats off the board in the eighth and ninth innings, yielding just a walk while striking out three.

It was Anderson’s 88th career appearance to extend his Penn State record, but his first in his hometown, where he attended Evanston Township High School. With his fourth win of the season, he matched his career high from each of the previous two seasons.

Burger factored in three of Penn State’s four runs, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs from his two-run shot. He also singled in the ninth inning and was replaced on the base paths by James Coates (Girard, Ohio). Coates swiped second and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a base hit by centerfielder Jordan Bowersox (Winter Springs, Fla.) Left fielder Greg Guers (Langhorne, Pa.) also went 3-for-4 and first baseman Tyler Kendall (Boynton Beach, Fla.) went 2-for-4.

Kendall led the second inning off with a single and Burger followed with his two-run shot to right field for a 2-0 lead.

An error allowed Northwestern’s first run to score in the bottom of the fifth inning. Catcher Mat Jones reached on a throwing miscue to lead-off the inning and advanced to second on the play. He advanced to third on a groundout before coming home on a single by Hopfner. RHP Dakota Forsyth (Bethel Park, Pa.) relieved LHP Taylor Lehman (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and struck out the first two batters faced to maintain the lead.

Lehman allowed just the unearned run in 4 1/3 innings of work on four hits and three walks with one strikeout.

Forsyth worked an inning and 2/3 without a hit but ran into trouble to start the seventh though, walking the first two batters he faced. The Lions turned to Anderson hoping for a three-out save, but a throwing error by catcher Nick Graham (Chambersburg, Pa.) on a double steal attempt allowed the first runner to score and tie the game.

Graham had an opportunity to atone for the error by leading off the eighth, and he did by doubling to the right gap. A sacrifice bunt by left fielder Nick Riotto (Washington, Pa.) moved him to third, and a sacrifice fly by Haley scored him for a 3-2 lead.

LHP Reed Mason (2-4) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk with four strikeouts.

The Nittany Lions outhit the Wildcats, 10-4.

Penn State and Northwestern will continue the three-game series Saturday at 2 p.m. CT/3 p.m. ET.

SOFTBALL TOPS MARYLAND

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Two four-run innings, one of which had three home runs, propelled Penn State softball to a 9-6 Big Ten Conference series opening victory over the Terrapins of the University of Maryland Friday, Apr. 15.

The Nittany Lions (22-17, 9-3 B1G) posted their 22nd game with 10-or-more hits, which included three home runs in one inning for the Blue and White. Senior Macy Jones (Ashburn, Va.) had a perfect day at the plate, going 4-for-4 with one home run, two RBI and scoring twice, while Shelby Miller (Sugar Land, Texas) and Alyssa VanDerveer (Hillsborough, N.J.) each belted home runs of their own for the Blue and White. Miller went 2-for-4 at the dish with one RBI and VanDerveer had one hit with one RBI and crossed home twice.

Senior Lexi Knief (Ramsey, N.J.) continued to be a powerhouse at the plate in conference play for PSU, going 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs. Finally both Erin Pond (Lagrange, Ohio) and Tori Dubois (Mt. Vernon, N.H.) recorded one hit for the Nittany Lions.

Junior Marlaina Laubach (Northampton, Pa.) secured her ninth win of the season, tossing 4.2 innings and Madison Seifert (Wildwood, Mo.) tossed 2.1 innings in relief for the Blue and White.

Kristina Dillard was the force behind the Maryland offense with three hits in four at-bats, which drove in three runs for the Terrapins. Also having multi-hit days for UMD were Sarah Calta and Kylie Dilta, who each had two base knocks on the night.

Brenna Nation suffered the loss in the circle, throwing 5.2 innings but it was Madison Martin who gave up the three home runs to the Nittany Lions in her 0.1 innings of work.

Schmeiser started the Maryland offense early when she singled through the right side on the third pitch of the game and advanced to second on a Penn State fielding error. Schmeiser worked her way to third on a sacrifice bunt and came around to score on a tag-up play with a sacrifice fly to left field.

Penn State answered in the bottom of the second inning with a Knief double down the left field line and a Pond walk to put runners in scoring position for the Blue and White. Dubois did a job at the plate on a 1-0 pitch to lay down a sacrifice bunt and move Knief 60 feet from home with one out. Senior Shannon Good (Horseshead, N.Y.) came in as a pinch hitter with one out to hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Knief and knotting the game at 1-1.

Jones reached first in the top of the third inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt before a fielder’s choice put runners on first and third with one out. The NIttany Lions loaded the bases on the second walk of the inning before clutch hitter Knief roped a single to left field, scoring two and allowing Penn State to take a 3-1 lead.

The inning continued for Penn State when a ground out up the middle moved runners to second and third before Dubois singled up the middle followed by a Maryland error brought in two runs and extended the Blue and White lead to 5-1 in the third inning.

Maryland chipped away at the Nittany Lion lead in the top of the fourth inning when a double off the right field wall followed by a single to right filed and a Penn State fielding error to get the extra bases scored the second unearned run of the game for the Terrapins.

Penn State ignited its offense in the bottom of the fourth putting up its second four-run inning of the day to extend its lead to 9-2. All four runs scored by way of the home run as Reina Furuya (Waihapu, Hawaii) reached on a lead off walk before Jones belted her ninth home run of the season over the right field wall. With one out, Miller blasted the second home run of the inning, this time over the center field wall to extend the Nittany Lion lead to 8-2. VanDerveer followed Miller with a home run of her own off the scoreboard in left field to mark the third round-tripper of the inning, one to each field for the Blue and White.

Two walks and a single in the top of the fifth inning for Maryland juiced the bases for Dillard. Dillard dug in for the Terrapins and ripped a double into the left center field gap, clearing the bases and bringing UMD within four of Penn State and force head coach Amanda Lehotak to make a pitching change with two outs.

Seifert entered the game and forced a groundout on four pitches to close out the top of the fifth inning before Maryland could do any further damage.

The Terrapins continued to close the gap on the Penn State lead in the top of the sixth inning with two singles that would plate one run and bring Maryland within three.

Seifert and the rest of the Penn State defense were able to keep the Terrapins off the board in the remaining inning to secure the 9-6 victory in game one.

The Nittany Lions and the Terps will kick off game two of the series at 4 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 16.


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