Softball advances to Big Ten quarterfinal with win over Maryland

May 07, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Junior Lexi Knief (Ramsey, N.J.) collected four hits and scored three runs to lead the Penn State softball team past Maryland, 10-6, on Thursday in the First Round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Nittany Lions advance to Friday's Quarterfinal against top-seed Michigan at 2:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network. Penn State improved to 29-27 this season.

With her single in the top of the seventh, Knief became the all-time single season hits leader at Penn State with her 75th knock of the year, passing Nan Sichler(1988). Knief earned her second four-hit game of the season.

Freshman Mollie Sorenson (Stevenson Ranch, Fla.) also provided a boost at the top of the lineup, collecting three hits and scoring three runs out of the No. 2 hole in the lineup. Junior Erin Pond (Lagrange, Ohio) added two hits. Junior Macy Jones (Ashburn, Va.) and freshman Alyssa VanDerveer (Hillsborough, N.J.) each drove in three runs, while sophomore Shelby Miller (Sugar Land, Texas) plated two.

Seven Nittany Lions got at least one hit and five drove in at least one run.

Penn State responded in the top of the third with two runs on a double to right center by junior Macy Jones (Ashburn, Va.). The inning began with back-to-back one-out singles by junior Lexi Knief (Ramsey, N.J.) and freshman Mollie Sorenson (Stevenson Ranch, Fla.). Jones hit a shot to the warning track to plate the runners and tie the game at 2-2.

The Nittany Lions broke the tie in the top of the fifth on a single up the middle by sophomore Shelby Miller (Sugar Land, Texas). After infield singles by Knief and Sorenson, Miller sent a 1-1 pitch back up the middle to score Knief from second. Jones drew a walk to load the bases before a knock up the middle by freshman Alyssa VanDerveer (Hillsborough, N.J.) plated Sorenson and Miller. Penn State added a fourth run in the frame on a single to left by sophomore Kristina Brackpool (Valencia, Calif.) to score Jones and give the Lions a 6-2 lead.

Maryland responded in the bottom of the fifth, adding two runs on a home run to left by Shannon Bustillos.

However, Penn State bounced back in the top of the sixth, scoring three more runs. A walk by junior Reina Furuya (Waipahu, Hawaii) and singles by Knief and Sorenson loaded the bases for Shelby Miller. The sophomore drew a walk to score a run, while Jones drove in another run with a groundout to the shortstop. VanDerveer followed with a sacrifice fly to center to score Sorenson and put the Lions up 9-4.

The Terrapins got another run in the bottom of the sixth on a double by Schmeiser.

A single by Pond and a walk by Furuya setup Knief's RBI single up the middle in the top of the seventh to give the Nittany Lions another run, making it 10-5. Maryland's Corey Schwartz hit a home run to left center to lead off the seventh, but the Lions were able to close out the inning without giving up any more runs.

Freshman Jessica Cummings (Owings, Md.) made her 20th start of the season in the circle. She pitched three innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits while striking out one and walking four. Cummings faced the first three batters of the fourth inning.

Sophomore Marlaina Laubach (Northampton, Pa.) replaced Cummings in the top of the fourth to get out of a bases-loaded jam with two strikeouts and a foul popout to Furuya. The sophomore pitched the final four innings, allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out three and walking none

The Terrapins scored in the first inning as Lindsey Schmeiser scored after an throwing error on a stolen base attempt. Maryland added a second run in the following inning on a Mandy Gardner home run to left to make it 2-0

Last Updated May 07, 2015