March 6, 2013
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Loyola University Chicago (6-5) banged out nine hits off three Penn State (4-9) pitchers, but a seven-run fourth inning by the Nittany Lions spelled doom for the Ramblers in an 11-7 loss this afternoon at the Eddie Moore Complex.
After a scoreless first inning, Loyola capitalized on a Penn State error in the second when Annie Korth, had led off the inning with an infield hit, scored to give the Ramblers the early lead. One batter later, Jessica Balzano coaxed a bases-loaded walk from PSU starter Macy Jones to force in another run for a 2-0 Loyola lead.
Penn State would cut Loyola's lead in half with a run in the third, but that was a precursor to a game-changing fourth inning. Karlie Habitz's two-run double highlighted a seven-run frame for the Nittany Lions, who totaled five hits, drew a walk, and benefited from a Loyola error that directly led to a run and helped prolong the inning.
Penn State would tack on two more runs in the top of the sixth before Loyola mounted a furious comeback in the bottom of the inning. Brooke Andresen's one-out single sparked the rally, and the senior would later score on Lauren Moore's RBI single. Brie Pasquale produced a RBI single later in the inning, and the Ramblers would also score a run courtesy of a PSU error before Tarran Shaffer stroked a two-run single up the middle to bring Loyola within three runs, at 10-7.
However, the Nittany Lions would add an insurance run in the top of the seventh as Loyola held out hope for a late-inning comeback, but Pasquale's one-out single was all the offense the Ramblers could muster in their final at-bat.
Loyola, which had won two straight games against Big Ten Conference foes prior to today, saw its three-game winning streak come to a halt. However, despite the loss Andresen has put herself on the cusp of a Loyola career record heading into Friday's games. With her next hit, the left-handed hitting outfielder will tie Ellen Antonacci's school record for hits (177).
Moore and Shaffer recorded two hits apiece to lead the Rambler offense.
Loyola takes Thursday off before resuming action Friday versus SIU Edwardsville and Villanova at the USF Under Armour Showcase in Clearwater, Fla.