SB: Penn State and Indiana Split Double Header on Opening Weekend
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Penn State’s offensive struggles continued in the first game of their double header against Indiana on Saturday. Madison Seifert started, only getting through two and two thirds innings of work before Jessica Cummings was summoned in relief. Seifert allowed four runs, three earned to the Hoosiers, who improved to 17-16 on the year and 3-1 in the Big Ten with the first game win by the score of 6-1.
In its last five games, Penn State has only scored 2 runs after not scoring once in a series against Big Ten powerhouse Michigan. Things got rolling in this one for the Hoosiers in the second inning when CaraMia Tsirigos hit her fifth homerun of the year on a solo shot. Then in the third inning Indiana pushed across two more runs when Taylor Uden singled home Gabbi Jenkins. That’s when Tsirigos delivered her second big hit of the day with a double that scored Uden.
The onslaught from the Hoosiers continued in the fourth with two more runs, this time off the reliever Cummings. The big hit this time came on a triple from third baseman Katie Lacefield where two runs came home in the form of Rachel O’Malley and Sarah Galovich.
Penn State finally answered back in the top of the fifth when Shelby Miller flied to center, scoring shortstop Toni Polk to make the score 5-1.
The scoring was topped off in the seventh inning when O’Malley singled up the middle, chasing home Uden for her second run of the day. Penn State got two runners on base in the bottom of the seventh, but nothing came of the threat ending the game with the score of 6-1.
“First of all, it felt amazing to be at home, I can’t even express to you what it’s like to play 30 games on the road,” head coach Amanda Lehotak noted.
Penn State started the homestand off against Indiana with a loss in game one of this double header before rebounding behind strong pitching and defense.
Game two started with both pitchers dominating early, not allowing a base runner through 3 innings before Gabbi Jenkins led off the top of fourth with a single up the middle. That was then erased by a smooth 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Penn State then took the lead in the bottom of the fourth after a beautiful lead off bunt from Rebecca Zeigler. Then after stealing second, Zeigler scrambled home on a 2 out double off the wall from Tori Dubois. Then with Dubois on third base, Penn State’s runner on first Mollie Sorenson purposely got caught in a pickle, allowing for Dubois to score stretching the lead to 2-0.
Madey Smith continued to dominate through the sixth inning only allowing two hits and one walk as Mollie Sorenson had a great day at second base turning two double plays as well as many plays on the ground.
In the bottom of the sixth, Sorenson proved to be the hero again with a bloop single scoring Shelby Miller from second to give Penn State the 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, however, Indiana got to Smith. After back to back singles from Blitz and Uden, Penn State intentionally walked Tsirigos to load the bases with no outs. Rachel O’Malley then delivered a huge two run double to the right center gap. This was the end of the day for Smith, who threw spectacularly in her six innings of work. In came the veteran, senior Marlaina Laubach. After Mcdonough lined out to the center fielder Ziegler, Indiana did not try to tag and score from third. Next up came pinch hitter Nicole Lawvere who grounded out softly to third base, keeping Penn State’s lead at 3-2. Then second baseman Erin Lehman put up a great at bat against Laubach before flying out to deep right field where Gianna Arrizurieta recorded the final out, giving Penn State its first Big Ten win and a split of the double header.
Penn State returns to action Sunday at 1 against Indiana hoping to pick up the series win against the Hoosiers.
Brian McLaughlin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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