Penn State softball: Nittany Lions split doubleheader with LSU; McTarsney passes away

From CDT staff reportsFebruary 18, 2014 

— Penn State rebounded from a first game rout, rallying past LSU 6-5 to gain a doubleheader split Monday at the Tiger Invitational.

The Nittany Lions (5-4) trailed 3-0 and 5-3 in the contest before rallying in the fifth and sixth innings. Alyssa Sovereign walked, moved to second on a groundout and scored on Alicia Walker’s single in the fifth to cut the deficit to 5-4.

In the sixth, Shelby Miller and Lexi Knief opened the inning with singles. Miller scored on Kasie Hatfield’s single. After Alyssa Sovereign’s bunt single loaded the bases, LSU got a force out at home, but the Tigers failed to turn a double play on Macy Jones’ grounder and Hatfield scored the game-winner.

Freshman ace Marlaina Laubach blanked the Tigers over the final two innings to improve to 4-0 on the season. Laubach allowed 12 hits, walked two and struck out three. Jacee Blades had three hits for LSU.

The opener lasted just five innings as the Tigers (8-4) pounded 12 hits in an 11-3 romp. Nittany Lion starter Jones (0-3) lasted just two innings, surrendering nine hits and eight runs.

LSU scored 10 times before PSU broke through for three runs in the top of the fourth. Jones singled in a run and Miller stroked a two-run double.

Kellsi Kloss had three hits, while Bianka Bell, Allison Falcon, Baily Landry and Blades had two each for LSU. Kloss and Bell each blasted solo homers.

PSU’s first coach dies

Penn State’s first head softball coach, Pat McTarsney, died on Feb. 9, the university announced Monday. She was 81 years old.

McTarsney led the Nittany Lions to an 85-66-1 mark during her 15 years at the helm (1965-72, 1974-80). She guided Penn State to its first postseason appearance in program history in 1975 with a berth in the Pennsylvania Tournament, and brought the Nittany Lions to the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women Tournament in 1978.

A native of Johnson County, Ind., McTarsney was a graduate of Center Grove High School and earned her bachelor’s degree from Butler University. McTarsney went on to earn her master’s degree in health and physical education from the University of Iowa.

A memorial service will be held for McTarsney at 4 p.m. Saturday at Culley’s MeadowWood Funeral Home in Tallahassee, Fla.

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