Penn State 5, Centenary 0

May 20, 2005

COLLEGE STATION, Texas; May 20, 2005 Penn States softball team (35-21) won its first NCAA regional game Friday when they walked off the field with a 5-0 victory over the Centenary Ladies (31-27). Penn State next meets the winner of the Texas A&M vs. McNeese State game, in progress now during continuing Region No. 5 action at the Aggie Softball Complex in College Station, Texas. The Lions game will begin Saturday at noon CT, 1 p.m. ET, and be broadcast by WRSC 1390 AM in the Centre Region. The double-elimination tournament continues through Sunday, May 22. The winner advances to the Super Regional next weekend, May 27-28.

Catcher Hollee Haines (Riverside, Calif.) proved her spot on the Great Lakes all-region team, putting Penn State up 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning with a solo homerun over the leftfield wall in her first at-bat. Then in the next half-inning, the freshman catcher threw Centenary centerfielder Lauren Flowers out at second to kill the Ladies momentum and deter a speedy Centenary team from stealing bases, a statistical column they are among the best in the nation in.

A lead-off single from second team all-region pick Jen Acunto (Hollywood, Fla.) gave the Lions a baserunner in the bottom of the third, and sophomore Jen Williams (Stillwater, Okla.) sacrifice bunt moved her to second before an intentional walk to Ashley Esparza (San Pedro, Calif.) put runners on second and third with one out. Penn State wouldnt be able to capitalize, however, and left the inning still leading 1-0.

Centenary had runners on several times throughout the game, but Penn States defense was always there to get the Lions out of it. The Ladies stranded 10 runners, and were caught stealing twice in the game, including once at third.

Freshman designated player Jenn Reynolds (Clovis, Calif.) reached first on a walk to begin the fourth inning offensively for the Lions. A sacrifice bunt from Destinie Chavez (San Leandro, Calif.) got Reynolds to second with one out before Katie Stauffer (Manassas, Va.) looped a single over the shortstops head. With runners on first and second base, rightfielder Steph Viola (Minersville, Pa.) hit a long sacrifice to centerfield, advancing Reynolds to third and Stauffer to second with lead-off Acunto at the plate. Acunto delivered with a 2-RBI double down the rightfield line to make it a 3-0 PSU advantage by the end of the inning.

With two outs, a pair of walks put Centenary runners on first and second base in the top of the fifth before Lion starter and second-team, all-region pick Missy Beseres (Golden Valley, Minn.) settled down and got pinch hitter Brittney Broussard to strikeout swinging to end the inning. Beseres (16-12) finished the day with eight strikeouts, bringing her season total to 254, and earning her fifth shutout of the year.

One out into the bottom of the fifth inning, Haines was hit by a pitch prompting a pitching change by the Ladies. A walk to redshirt-senior outfielder Leigh Murray (Fairfax Station, Va.) and a fly ball error by Centenary leftfielder Katie Harwick, loaded the bases for the Lions who were poised to score again. A groundout by Chavez brought Stauffer to the plate where she hit a single to leftfield. Murray scored and head coach Robin Petrini sent Reynolds to the plate as well. The freshman arrived safely, scoring the Lions second run of the inning and putting Penn State up 5-0. That would prove to be the final score, as the Lions started their regional run off on the right foot. Please check back to later this evening to find out whether Penn State will meet McNeese State or Texas A&M to start tomorrows action at noon CT, 1 p.m. ET.

-- Courtesy Penn State