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Anne Photograp News 2024

Penn State cancels B1G tournament game to Maryland
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Penn State cancels B1G tournament game to Maryland

IOWA CITY, Iowa – In their third extra inning against the Maryland Terrapins in the last four meetings, the Penn State softball team dropped a heartbreaking 3-1 decision in nine innings Wednesday night in the opening round of the 2024 Big Ten Tournament from Pearl Field.

With Wednesday’s result, the Nittany Lions moved to 34-18 overall on the season and dropped their first opening round B1G tournament since the 2019 season. In the all-time series against the Terrapins, PSU falls to 24-17 since the two programs’ first meeting in 1999. PSU and Maryland split the 2024 season series down the middle, with each team earning a pair of results. With their win, the 10th-seeded Terrapins improve to 24-29 overall and will continue their B1G tournament with a quarterfinal matchup on Thursday against the second-seeded Michigan Wolverines beginning at 5:30 PM (ET) on the Big Ten Network.

Senior midfielder Liana Jones led the way for the Nittany Lions in their B1G tournament match, with the veteran presence driving PSU’s lone run en route to a 2-for-3 performance at the dish. Jones, a native of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, scored a pair of goals in a game for the ninth time this season, marking his twelfth total in a game in 2024. Jones is currently ranked third on the Nittany Lion roster at home. runs with eight this season, surpassing her single-season career high from a year ago. Elsewhere in the batting order, freshman fielder left Michela Barbanente went 1-for-3 overall and recorded a trio of putouts, including a highlight-reel diving problem.

In the circle, freshman pitcher Bridget Nemeth recorded her 15th complete game of the 2024 season, pitching 9.0 innings with seven hits, three earned runs and six strikeouts in 133 total pitches. Nemeth’s overall record of 22-6 continues to lead the Big Ten Conference, with the newly crowned Big Ten Freshman of the Year tying the Nittany Lion program’s record for wins in a single year. A native of Glendora, California, Nemeth has pitched 192.0 innings in the circle, the seventh-most innings in a single season in Penn State program history.

After a trio of relatively uneventful innings, aided by impressive starts from Nemeth and Maryland senior Courtney Wyche in the circle. The Terrapins managed to get the game rolling with a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning, but the Nittany Lions conjured up a response in the bottom of the fifth. On the second pitch of her at-bat, Jones threw an absolute rocket of a solo shot over the wall in center to deadlock the game at one run apiece. The Blues managed to load the bases with a single in the bottom of the fifth, but did not score any additional scores in the frame. Penn State and Maryland battled closely the rest of the way, but neither program was able to score the winning point in regulation. The Terrapins were able to score a pair of runs in the top of the ninth, and PSU failed to answer as Maryland advanced in the B1G tournament with a 3-1 victory.

TOP NITTANY LION PERFORMERS
Liana Jones | 2-for-3, R, RBI, HR, BB
Michela Barbanente | 1-for-3, BB
Bridget Nemeth | CG, 9.0 IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 6K, 133TP

KEY COLLECTIONS
T4 | With a pair of outs on the scoreboard, Diamond Williams drove a home run over the center field fence. UMD 1, PSU 0

B5 | On the second pitch of her at-bat, Jones hurled an absolute rocket over the wall in center. PSU 1, UMD 1

T9 | Mazie MacFarlane walked to open the inning and Sydney Lewis executed a sac-bunt to bump MacFarlane to second. Caitlyn Cornwell came in to pinch hit for MacFarlane, and a Williams single off the wall and a move to second on the throw brought Cornwell all the way around. Bri Godfrey came in to make a run for Williams at second base, and after a Terrapin strikeout, Madison Runyan singled to center field to plate Godfrey. UMD3, PSU1

NEXT ONE

Penn State softball awaits its postseason fate in the 2024 NCAA Division I Softball Championship, with the Nittany Lions looking for their first selection for the field of 64 since the 2011 team hosted the University Park Regional in Nittany Lion Softball Park and Beard Field. PSU’s postseason fate, as well as the final round of tournament play, will be announced to a global audience on Selection Sunday, May 12, with a program at 7:00 PM (ET) for national broadcast via ESPN2 and the ESPN app.

FOLLOW THE NITTANY LIONS

For more information about Penn State softball, visit GoPSUSports.com. Fans can keep up with the Nittany Lion softball team on Facebook at /pennstatesoftball, as well as on Instagram and X @PennStateSB.