Penn State Softball Swept in Doubleheader by No. 2 Michigan

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State softball team fell in a doubleheader to the No. 2 University of Michigan Wolverines Saturday, Apr. 30 at Nittany Lion Softball Park and Beard Field.

The Nittany Lions (28-21, 13-7 B1G) fell for the seventh time in Big Ten Conference play with a 12-0 loss in game one and a 13-3 loss in game two of the doubleheader. The Blue and White tallied three hits in game one and came back to notch seven hits in the final game of the series, scoring three runs.

Seniors Macy Jones (Ashburn, Va.) and Lexi Knief (Ramsey, N.J.) had one hit apiece in each game with Jones scoring once and Knief plating one run for Penn State. Sophomore Mollie Sorenson (Stevenson Ranch, Calif.) went 2-for-2 in game two against the Wolverines, driving in one RBI. Freshman Madison Seifert (Wildwood, Mo.) suffered the loss in game one, pitching 3.1 innings, whileMarlaina Laubach (Northampton, Pa.) took the loss in game two, tossing 2.1 innings.

Michigan posted two grand slams, one from Aidan Falk and one from Katie Alexander, en route to its game one victory, while Sierra Lawrence went 3-for-3 with two RBI and three runs in game one. Sierra Romero paced the Maize and Blue in game two going 4-for-4 driving in three runs and scoring twice, while Lindsey Montemarano drove in three runs on two hits and Kelsey Susalla also added three RBI. Sara Driesenga took the game one victory going all five innings and Megan Betsa earned the win in game two for the Wolverines.

Game One: Michigan 12, Penn State 0 (5 inn.)

The Wolverines started their offense early with a leadoff single from Lawrence before loading the bases on a walk and a fielder’s choice for Falk. Falk allowed Michigan to take the 4-0 lead when she launched a grand slam over the right field fence with two outs.

Jones led off the bottom of the first inning with a single through the left side of the infield and made her way to third on two ground outs but the Penn State offense was unable to plate the senior outfielder as the final out was retired.

Michigan extended its lead to 5-0 in the top of the second when a hit batter came around to score on a Lawrence single up the middle.

UM continued to build on its lead in the top of the third inning tacking on one run on a two-out single to left field while a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning allowed Michigan to take a 7-0 advantage.

The Wolverines five runs in the top of the fifth with their second grand slam of the day, this time from pinch hitter Katie Alexander to allow Michigan to take a comfortable 12-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning.

With two outs, pinch hitter Toni Polk (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) looked to get a rally started with a single in the hole at short stop, but the final out of the inning was recorded on a groundout, allowing Michigan to earn the 12-0 five-inning victory.

Game Two: Michigan 13, Penn State 3 (5 inn.)

The Wolverine offense continued into game two as they scored three runs on four hits, including two doubles in the top of the first to take an early 3-0 lead.

The Nittany Lions put runners on first and second in the bottom of the first inning with a single from Miller and a walk from VanDerveer but Betsa and the Michigan defense closed out the inning before PSU could bring in a run.

Michigan added a run in the second inning and tacked on five runs on five hits in the top of the third inning to take a comfortable 9-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning.

The Wolverines built on their lead in the top of the fourth, scoring three runs on two walks and three hits to carry a 12-0 lead over the Nittany Lions.

Freshman Tori Dubois (Mt. Vernon, N.H.) started a rally for the Blue and White in the bottom of the fourth inning with a single in the hole at second and pinch hitter Erin Pond (Lagrange, Ohio) followed it up with a single to right field to put runners in scoring position. With one out, Sorenson laced a ball to first base that scored Dubois from second base to bring in the first run of the game for Penn State. The Nittany Lions tacked on one final run when a passed ball allowed Pond to touch home as the Blue and White trailed 12-2 heading into the fifth inning.

The Nittany Lions continued to try and claw their way back in the bottom of the fifth after Michigan tacked on its 13th run in the top of the fifth inning. Jones doubled to lead off the inning and Knief drove her in with a double of her own. Penn State was unable to bring in any further runs, falling 13-3 in five innings to the Wolverines of Michigan.

The Nittany Lions close out the 2016 regular season Friday, May 6 – Sunday, May 8 when the Fighting Illini from Illinois come to Happy Valley for the three-game series. Game one of the series is slated for Friday, May 6 at 6 p.m. at Nittany Lion Softball Park and Beard Field.

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