UNIVERSITY PARK — In front of the largest crowd in Penn State softball history at Beard Field and Nittany Lion Softball Park, the Nittany Lions rallied to take a 3-2 victory over No. 14/15 Nebraska on Senior Day Sunday.
Fittingly, senior Lauren Yao provided the three-run double to push Penn State (15-32, 5-16 Big Ten) past the Huskers (38-12, 15-6 Big Ten) before 768 fans.
The win is the first over a ranked opponent for the Nittany Lions since a 5-3 victory over No. 22 LSU Feb. 10, 2012, and the first over a Top 15 team since downing No. 9 Oklahoma, 5-2, March 18, 2011.
The teams will play the rubber match of the series at 1 p.m. Monday at Beard Field. Both squads will then prepare for the Big Ten tournament in Lincoln, Neb., which begins Wednesday.
Sophomore Marissa Diescher (1-6) earned the win in the circle for Penn State as she matched a season-high with 5.0 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and a pair of walks while striking out two, including the final batter of the game. Junior Jordan Wheatley started the game for Penn State, finishing with two runs and six hits over the first two innings. Nebraska’s Emily Lockman (14-4) was dealt the loss, giving up three runs on six hits.
Yao tallied the game-winning, three-run double in the fifth, bringing home freshman Maegan Tupinio and seniors Shannon Hutchinson and Cassidy Bell. Senior Kailyn Johnson led the team with a pair of hits, her ninth multi-hit game of the year, while juniors Alyssa Sovereign, Kasie Hatfield and Liz Presto added one apiece.