Penn State edges Softball, 6-5, in extra innings
FULLERTON, Calif. -- The eighth-ranked Texas Softball team dropped its second straight game, Friday afternoon at the Judi Garman Classic, falling 6-5 to Penn State in eight innings. The loss dropped Texas to 2-2 for the tourney, 22-5 overall and put UT in the consolation bracket for the remainder of the tournament.
Penn State's Ashley Griffith scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning, coming home on a Danielle Kinley sacrifice fly to deep leftfield. The win improved the Lions season mark to 11-11 and 2-1 at the Judi Garman.
Texas added another tally in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Megan Willis, but the Nittany Lions answered again, adding a run of their own on a Texas error. The Horns were able to widen the margin to 5-2 in the sixth inning when senior first baseman Jacqueline Williams belted her second homer in as many days, giving UT a three-run lead.
Penn State rallied to score three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, tying the game at five apiece. Meghan Wolfer got the rally started when she reached on a bunt single, and Griffith followed with a walk. Ashley Esparza then loaded the bases with a single and Kinley plated Wolfer and Griffith with her two-run single to centerfield. Junior catcher Hollee Haines stepped to the plate next, and delivered PSU's third straight single, scoring Esparza to knot the game at 6-6.
The Nittany Lions held the Longhorns scoreless in the top of the eighth and then used the international tie-breaker to win the game in the bottom of the frame. Griffith began the inning on second base and advanced on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on Kinley's game-winning sacrifice fly.
Texas' junior starter Meagan Denny (14-3) tossed 5.0 innings for the Longhorns, allowing just two runs on five hits, while striking out six batters. Freshman hurler Erin Tresselt (6-2) came on in relief of Denny, surrendering four runs on six hits in 2.2 inning of work and suffered the loss. Nittany Lions' reliever Ashley Esparza (4-5) earned the victory for PSU after holding the Longhorns to two runs and three hits in 5.2 innings.
Texas returns to action Saturday, March 17 when it takes on the pool B fourth-place team (TBD) in consolation play. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. (Central).