Indiana Daily Student

Indiana softball falls short, loses series 1-2 at Penn State

<p>Freshman outfielder Taylor Minnick celebrates with teammates after scoring a run April 8, 2022. Indiana went 1-2 against Penn State this weekend.</p>

Freshman outfielder Taylor Minnick celebrates with teammates after scoring a run April 8, 2022. Indiana went 1-2 against Penn State this weekend.

Indiana softball lost a hard-fought series at Penn State this weekend. The series results drop the Hoosiers’ record to 23-12 overall and 6-6 in Big Ten play.

Friday’s series opener was not much of a contest, as Penn State dominated from start to finish. The Nittany Lions took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back in a 6-0 shutout for Penn State.

Penn State senior pitcher Bailey Parshall pitched a masterful game, throwing a complete seven innings, allowing just two hits and striking out seven Indiana batters. Indiana never was able to get good contact at the plate, as freshman infielder Brianna Copeland and senior infielder Grayson Radcliffe were the only two batters to muster a hit to reach base.

Indiana’s second game of the series had a much different result. Freshman outfielder Taylor Minnick continued her recent hot streak with a two-run home run in the first inning, and the Hoosiers jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the second inning.

Related: [Indiana softball's offense improves throughout weekend against Penn State despite 1-2 series loss]

Penn State countered by scoring a run in the third inning and two more runs in the fourth inning to cut Indiana’s lead to 4-3. But Indiana fought back, scoring four runs in the fifth inning to make the lead 8-3.

The Nittany Lions scored a couple more runs throughout the game, but the Hoosiers finished them off with another three runs in the seventh inning, including a home run from senior utility player Brittany Ford. Freshman pitcher Heather Johnson pitched all seven innings to earn the win for Indiana. The 11-5 Indiana win set up a Sunday matchup with the series on the line.

“It was great to see us bounce back the way we did,” Indiana head coach Shonda Stanton said. “We caught barrel to put up runs, and I loved seeing us extend our lead.”

Sunday’s series rubber match did not disappoint in an explosive contest as the game featured six home runs from five different players.

Parshall was back on the mound for Penn State, but the Hoosiers were able to overcome their struggles against her from the first game of the series. Indiana struck first when Copeland hit a sacrifice fly to give the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

However, Penn State quickly took the lead, wasting no time as senior catcher Ally Kurland hit a two-run home run in the first inning to make it a 2-1 Penn State lead. The Nittany Lions added one run in the second inning and one more off another Kurland home run in the third inning to stretch their lead to 4-1.

Ford hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning to cut the deficit to 4-3, but Penn State answered with four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to extend its lead to 8-3.

Indiana sophomore infielder Brooke Benson joined the home run party in the fifth inning with a solo shot, and junior utility player Cora Bassett did the same in a last-ditch effort in the seventh inning. Their attempts were not enough as the Hoosiers suffered a 8-6 defeat to lose the series 2-1.

“This team continues to throw punches, and we were one swing away today,” Stanton said. “This team is a special and talented group, and you can never count them out.”

Indiana will next return to Bloomington and take a quick break from Big Ten play. The Hoosiers will face the University of Notre Dame on Tuesday and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Wednesday. Both games will be played at Andy Mohr Field and broadcast on Big Ten+.

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