SB: Arrizurieta Leads Penn State Against Indiana.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – On a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon at Penn State University, the brightest spot of the day was Gianna Arrizurieta. She led the Penn State (14-19, 2-4) softball team to a 2-1 victory over Indiana (17-18, 3-3) with her big time performance at the plate and in the field.
The win for the Nittany Lions was the second on the weekend against the Hoosiers after they defeated the Hoosiers in the second game of a double header on Saturday 3-2 after they lost the first 6-1.
Arrizurieta, who has a batting average under .100 before entering the game, was 2-for-3 on the day with two doubles and one RBI. The junior right fielder also tallied the game winning run in the bottom of the seventh for Penn State.
Senior Marlaina Laubach gave a just as phenomenal performance from the mound as Arrizurieta did from the plate. Laubach pitched all seven innings and only allowed one run on five hits and dealt three strikeouts as well.
Penn State got their first base runner in the bottom of the second after Toni Polk was walked at the plate. That first baserunner turned quickly into Penn State’s first run after Polk stole second and Arrizurieta drove her in with a rip into the right-center gap.
Indiana would answer that run in the top of the fourth when first baseman Taylor Uden connected on a pitch straight down the middle and sent in over the left field fence for a home run and to tie the game up at one.
Penn State would come close to taking the lead in the bottom of the fifth after Arrizurieta recorded her second double of the game and catcher Destiny Weber was walked, but the Nittany Lions would leave both runners on base after two lineouts to second base and centerfield.
Indiana would fail to score a run in both the top of the sixth and seventh innings, giving Penn State a great opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the seventh.
Polk started the seventh with a line drive into center and reached first base with ease. Arrizurieta was up next for Penn State and she laid down a sacrifice bunt attempt to allow for Polk to advance to second.
However, Polk was caught out at second, but Arrizurieta made perhaps the biggest play of the game when after Polk was getting of the bag, she noticed the Indiana infield was not paying attention to Arrizurieta and stole second and put herself in scoring position.
“The shortstop just made the second and she was peeling off the bag and the pitcher wasn’t paying attention, so I just took the base,” Arrizurieta said. “That’s how we do it in practice, so that’s how we play also.”
After Arrizurieta stole second, Weber dropped a hit right in-between third base and left field and allowed for Arrizurieta to advance to third. Designated player Sam Shanahan delivered the final blow of the game when she singled into right field and allowed for Arrizurieta to cross home plate and seal the game.
Head coach Amanda Lehotak was extremely proud of her team’s performance, but was even more thrilled by her performance from her seven through nine hitters in Arrizurieta, Weber, and Shanahan.
“The best part of today was that it was the bottom of our lineup that really allowed us to win, it just goes to show that anybody can step up at any time,” Lehotak said.
Penn State will head back on the road again after their first home games of the year to take on Michigan State on Friday at 4 p.m.
Gregory Merchlinsky is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in Political Science. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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