Penn State Softball Takes Two from Bucknell

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State softball team earned its first non-conference sweep of the 2016 season taking two from Bucknell in a mid-week doubleheader at Nittany Lion Softball and Beard Field Wednesday, Apr. 13.

The Blue and White (21-17) won game one in dramatic fashion with a Mollie Sorenson (Stephenson, Calif.) walk-off hit up the middle in the bottom of the seventh inning before Penn State put up four runs in game two for the three-run victory. Junior Shelby Miller (Sugar Land, Texas) paced the Nittany Lions with three hits on the day and two RBI including a solo home run in game one. Senior Lexi Knief (Ramsey, N.J.) added a multi-hit game for Penn State with two hits and scored once.

Junior Marlaina Laubach (Northampton, Pa.) tossed seven innings for the win in game one with eight hits and giving up just one earned run while matching a career-high six strikeouts. Freshman Madison Seifert (Wildwood, Mo.) got the nod in game two, tossing all six innings with five hits and one earned runs.

Mariah Midyette and Jacee Almond drove in one RBI apiece for Bucknell, while Midyette led the Bison with three hits on the day. Dana Nielsen suffered the loss in game one, going 6.1 innings, while Lara Bean suffered the loss in game two tossing 0.1 innings.

Game One: Penn State 2, Bucknell 1

After four scoreless innings of softball, Bucknell got its offense started in the top of the fifth inning on an Andolino double off the left field wall. The starting third baseman worked her way to third on a one-out sacrifice bunt. Following the bunt, a single up the middle would score Andolino and give the Bison a 1-0 lead.

Penn State answered back in the bottom of the sixth inning when Miller ripped a solo home run over the right field wall to knot the score at 1-1.

Needing to score in the bottom of the seventh, Reina Furuya (Waihapu, Hawaii) laced a one-out single up the middle but was called out at second on a fielder’s choice. Jones reached on the play and advanced to second on an illegal pitch with two outs. Sorenson dug into the box with two outs and ripped a single up the middle to score Jones and capture the 2-1 Penn State victory.

Game Two: Penn State 4, Bucknell 1

After a slow start in game one, Penn State got its offense started early in game two when Jones walked and advanced to third on two illegal pitches. Jones touched home on a Miller double to left center, allowing Penn State to take the early 1-0 advantage. The Nittany Lions extended their lead to 2-0 when Erin Pond (Lagrange, Ohio) lined a single to left field, bringing in VanDerveer from second base.

Jones made a diving catch on defense in the top of the third and followed it up with a solo home run over the right field line in the bottom half of the inning to give the Nittany Lions a 3-0 advantage. The Blue and White notched its second two-run inning of the game on a Miller double and a Knief single up the middle that allowed Miller to touch home for PSU.

Bucknell threatened to score in the top of the fifth inning when a lead off single made its way to third base on heads up base running but the Penn State defense closed out the inning with a fly out to left field before the run could touch home.

Back-to-back doubles to left field lit up the scoreboard in the top of the sixth for Bucknell as it brought in the two-out run to bring the score to 4-1 in favor of the Blue and White.

The Bison threatened in the top of the seventh with a walk and a single to left field to put runners on first and second. With one out on the scoreboard a groundout to shortstop moved the runners 60 feet from home but a hit back to Seifert recorded the final out of the game for the Blue and White.

The Nittany Lions will remain in State College for a Big Ten Conference series against Maryland Friday, Apr. 15 through Sunday, Apr. 17. Game one against the Terrapins is slated for 6 p.m. Friday, Apr. 15.

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