Feb. 22, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The University of Pittsburgh softball team (7-6) recorded nine hits to defeat Penn State (5-7), 3-1, earlier this afternoon. Freshman Kaitlin Manuel and junior Carly Thea combined for six of Pitt's nine hits, each contributing three.
Four innings passed by before either team put any runs on the board. Pitt left runners stranded on base in the second, third and fourth innings before getting any action going in the fifth. Penn State left runners on base every inning of the game except the fifth.
In the top of the fifth inning the Panthers took a 2-0 lead on four hits. Pitt led off the inning with two straight singles by pinch hitter Morgan Choe and Manuel. With only one out, sophomore Tori Nirschl ripped a single to right field scoring Choe and advancing Manuel to third. Junior Jordan Fannin followed up with another single for the Panthers, scoring Nirschl, to give Pitt the 2-0 lead.
The Panthers added another run in the top of the sixth inning after Penn State went three up, three down to end the fifth inning. Thea bunted for a single to start the inning. Pitt added a second runner to the bases after pinch hitter Ashlee Sills walked but she was later called out for leaving the base early. With Thea still on second, Kaitlin Manuel singled to left field. Thea scored on the hit but Manuel was thrown out at second as she attempted to take the extra base. Pitt led 3-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.
Penn State scored its lone run of the game when Macy Jones led off with a solo home run the sixth but the Nittany Lions were unable to tack on any more runs in the seventh to give Pitt the 3-1 win.
Pitt's second game of the day was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. but was canceled do to inclement weather. The Panthers will play their final game of the FAU Invitational at 1 p.m. tomorrow when they take on Kent State for the second time this weekend.