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SOFTBALL: Lions drop nail biter, continue three game skid

The Nittany Lions have cooled off considerably after their hot start to the season.



Penn State Softball, Minnesota softball
Jul 23, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; A general view of a pair of baseball gloves prior to a game between the Kansas City Royals and Tampa Bay Rays at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Minneapolis, MN — On Friday, the Penn State Nittany Lions traveled to Minnesota for its first road conference series of the season. The opening game was a pitcher’s duel throughout, but Minnesota softball wound up on top, winning 2-0. After an impressive start to the season, Penn State softball has now lost three games in a row. The Nittany Lions are 1-3 in Big Ten play. 

Minnesota softball wins in late-inning drama

In the first inning, the Nittany Lions showed promise after a double from Emily Maddock. But they weren’t able to capitalize. Penn State’s Bailey Parshall bounced back after a shaky start. After giving up a double, she responded with a flyout, groundout, and strikeout.

Penn State softball again had an opportunity when Michelle Leone walked to start things off in the second inning. But a sacrifice bunt, flyout, and strikeout stranded her on base for the Nittany Lions. Minnesota would get a single of its own in the third inning but also couldn’t capitalize, and the game remained scoreless.

Both schools would continue exchanging innings like this throughout. While each side had chances to drive in a run, Parshall and the Golden Gophers’ Autumn Pease were excellent for most of the game. While hits were given up, both pitchers did a great job getting out of innings unscathed.  

That is, until the bottom of the seventh inning. Minnesota right fielder Nani Valencia singled to second base to give the Gophers a runner on base. Two Golden Gophers proceeded to ground out and fly out but advanced the runner into scoring position. Then, third baseman Kayla Chavez hit a home run, handing Penn State softball a heartbreaking loss by a score of 2-0.

Penn State softball looks to stop skid

Penn State softball plays next in the second game of its three-game series against Minnesota softball on Saturday at 5 p.m.

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Currently a Penn State student majoring in Data Sciences, Surya is a passionate New York sports fan. He covers Penn State baseball, softball, and more.


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