Penn State Softball Rolls Past Indiana

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Behind its 19th game with 10-or-more hits the Penn State softball team earned the 13-3 series opening victory over Indiana University Friday, Apr. 8 at Andy Mohr Field.

The Nittany Lions (18-16, 7-2 B1G) started off slow offensively but scored three-or-more runs in the final four innings to capture the 13-3 victory over the Hoosiers (21-15, 4-5 B1G). Penn State’s 13 runs marked the sixth time in the 2016 campaign that the Blue and White has scored 10-or-more runs and the second-straight game.

Three Nittany Lions tallied multi-hit games and four had multi-RBI days for the PSU offense. Senior Lexi Knief (Ramsey, N.J.) led the Blue and White charge going 3-for-4 at the dish with two RBI and three runs, while Mollie Sorenson (Stephenson Ranch, Calif.) also had three hits on the day. Senior Macy Jones (Ashburn, Va.) went 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI, two walks and crossing home twice. Sophomore Alyssa VanDerveer (Hillsborough, N.J.) also had a clutch piece of hitting for Penn State, lacing a double through the left center field gap to drive in three runs for the Blue and White.

Junior hurler Marlaina Laubach (Northampton, Pa.) tossed her seventh complete game of 2016 and earned her seventh win giving up only six hits and fanning two in the contest. Furthermore, Laubach and the Penn State defense forced Indiana to strand five baserunners.

Katelyn Conenna was the lone Hoosiers hitter to notch a multi-hit game with two, while Rebecaa Blitz and Taylor Uden each had an RBI for Indiana. The freshman duo of Tara Trainer and Josie Wood were unable to stop the powerful Penn State offense, giving up a combined 12 hits with Trainer suffering the loss. Trainer went 4.0 innings with five hits and six earned runs, while Wood came on in relief to give up seven hits and seven runs.

After neither team found a hit in the first inning, Indiana used three hits and one Penn State miscue to bring in two runs and take an early 2-0 lead over the Nittany Lions.

The Blue and White looked to start one of its infamous two-out rallies in the top of the third inning loading the bases on two walks and a single, but a pop up closed out the inning before Penn State could plate a run.

Heads up base running from Knief turned a high hit just behind third base into a double before she took third on a wild pitch. Brackpool battled in her at-bat against Trainer before drawing the walk on a ball four wild pitch that also plated Knief from third base to bring Penn State within one of the Hoosiers.

The PSU offense came alive in the fourth when Toni Polk (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) singled through the left side of the field and Reina Furuya (Waihapu, Hawaii) drew her 21st walk of the season to juice the bases with two outs. Jones did her job as a senior leader and laced a single up the middle to bring in two runs and give the Nittany Lions a 3-2 lead in the fourth.

Penn State loaded the bases for the third time in the game in the top of the fifth inning forcing an Indiana pitching change with no outs. With bases loaded, Knief ripped a single off the right center field wall to extend the Blue and White lead to 5-2 with no outs. Pond continued the hitting for Penn State with a single up the middle that brought in two final runs in an inning that would allow the Nittany Lions to take a 7-2 lead over the Hoosiers.

Indiana tried to close the gap in the bottom half of the fifth inning using a double into the left center followed by a hard-hit single just out of the reach of Furuya to plate a run with one out. The Penn State defense retired the next two batters to hold a 7-3 advantage with two innings left in game one of the series.

For the third-straight inning Penn State loaded the bases before VanDerveer roped a bases-clearing double into the left center field gap to add three runs and extend the Penn State lead to 10-3 in the sixth.

With bases loaded for a fourth-straight inning, senior Shannon Good (Horseshead, N.Y.) forced an Indiana error with a line shot at the third baseman, bringing in three final runs as the ball went off the glove and into center field, allowing Penn State to earn the 13-3 victory in game one.

The Nittany Lions and the Hoosiers will play game two of the three-game series Saturday, Apr. 9 with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. at the Andy Mohr Field.

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