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Strong pitching aids Penn State softball in series sweep of Rutgers

The Nittany Lions got a much-needed series sweep this weekend.



Penn State standout Lexie Black, Big Ten Player of the Week
Credit: Basic Blues Nation, 2023.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The Penn State Nittany Lions softball program has fallen on hard straights in recent weeks. Coming into last weekend, Penn State softball had lost nine of its previous 10 games. The Lions desperately needed a bounce-back performance, and they found it over the weekend, sweeping Rutgers in three consecutive games.

Lions win pitcher’s duel

This game was a pitcher’s duel from the start. Penn State’s Kylee Lingenfelter and Rutgers’ Raimy Gamsby exchanged continuous scoreless innings for the first six frames. Penn State created many opportunities throughout the game but couldn’t capitalize on them. Cassie Lindmark singled to open the inning in the third, but the next three Lions’ batters were retired to strand her on base. The same thing happened in the fourth when Maggie Finnegan doubled to left field, but the next three batters were retired.

But the Lions finally broke through in the sixth inning. An Emily Maddock single scored Lilia Crouthamel, giving Penn State softball the 1-0 victory. Lingenfelter pitched a complete game shutout, allowing only three hits and one walk. She also struck out three batters.

Parshall completes doubleheader shutout

The Nittany Lions would once again hold the Scarlet Knights scoreless in game two. However, this time the Lions scored early and rode out the victory. Penn State scored its only runs via a three-run shot from Maddie Gordon in the second inning to go up 3-0.

After a rocky few weeks, Bailey Parshall returned to her stellar early-season form in this game. Parshall also blanked the Scarlet Knights, leaving Rutgers scoreless for the doubleheader Friday. Pitching the entire game, she allowed only four hits and one walk, and also struck out five batters.

Hot bats help Penn State softball earn the series sweep of Rutgers

After two low-scoring outings on Friday, Penn State softball brought its bats to conclude the series on Sunday. In the second, Maggie Finnegan hit a home run to put the Lions up 2-0. Sophomore Maggie Gordon, who had never hit a home run in her Penn State career before this series, hit her second home run in three days in the third inning. Gordon’s second career home run was a big one, a grand slam that put the Lions up 6-0. 

The Scarlet Knights answered with three runs in the top of the fourth. But then Emily Maddock, who has been on a recent tear for the Lions, added two more runs via a double in the bottom of the fourth to go up by five. With the 8-3 victory, Penn State softball capped off the series sweep of Rutgers. The Lions improved to 22-13 overall and 4-9 in conference play. 

Penn State has a chance to keep this momentum going in a non-conference matchup against Bucknell on Tuesday at 6 p.m., followed by a road series against Maryland beginning on Friday.

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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.