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SOFTBALL
Rules of the Game

Collegiate softball is a woman’s sport, played in the spring.  Softball rules are similar to baseball, with the following exceptions:

  •  Games last seven innings;

  •  Bases are 60 feet apart (as opposed to 90 feet in baseball);

  •  The distance from the pitcher’s mound to home plate is 43 feet (as opposed to 60 feet 6inches in baseball);

  •  The pitcher’s mound is flat;

  •  Pitches are thrown underhand (fast pitch);

  •  Designated and flex players are permitted.  At the discretion of the team, the designated player bats for a single particular fielder, called the flex player.

Penn State Softball History

Penn State’s first softball team took the field in 1965, under coach Pat McTarsney; the team split four games that season.  It was not until 1974 that the team played more than 10 games, finishing with a 10-1 record.  The following season, the team played in its first post-season tournament (the PA Tournament) .  They also played in the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (EAIAW) Tournament (the equivalent to an NCAA regional tournament) in 1978 and 1982, before qualifying in 1983 for their first  NCAA tournament.  The Nittany Lions gained their first NCAA Tournament victory in 2000, defeating Texas A&M.

Sue Rankin began coaching at Penn State in 1982, leading the Nittany Lions in the Atlantic 10 Conference and winning three conference tournament championships, and then into the Big 10 in 1992.  Penn State’s first Big 10 victory came at Indiana that first season, but the Nittany Lions have never won a Big 10 championship.  Robin Petrini became head coach in 1997; under her tutelage, Penn State played in eight NCAA tournaments.  A highlight of the 2005 season was a victory over top-ranked Michigan in Ann Arbor.

The 2010 season was the last at Nittany Lion Field; the new Nittany Lion Softball Park and Beard Field, a state-of-the-art 1,084 seat facility adjacent to East Halls, opened for the 2011 season.  Amanda Lehotak replaced Petrini beginning with the 2014 season.

 In 2018, the Nittany Lions went 9-41 (5-18 in the Big Ten) and did not qualify for the Conference Tournament.  Tori Dubois was named to the All-Conference 2nd Team.


 

 

Team Accomplishments

Atlantic 10 Tournament Champions
1983, 1985, 1988

Notable Coaches

Pat McTarsney (1965-72, 1974-80) 83-68-1

Sue Rankin (1982-95) 306-331

1983, 1985, 1988 Atlantic 10 Champions
1985 NCAA Tournament

Robin Petrini (1997-2013) 489-437-2

7 NCAA Tournament appearances

Notable Players                                                  

Nan Sichler (1985-1988)

1985, 1987, 1988 All Atlantic 10;
1985, 1986, 1987, 1988 All-Northeast Region
single season batting leader (1988, .413)
single season hits leader (1988, 74)
single season runs batted in leader (tie – 1988, 49)
career batting leader (.369)
career total bases leader (355)

Gina Bianchini (1999-2000, 2002-2003)

2000, 2002 1st team All-Big 10
single season singles leader (2002, 63)
single season stolen base leader (2000, 42)
career hits leader (238)
career runs scored leader (149)
career games played leader (331)

Jaci Kalp (1997-2000)

1999 2nd team All-Big 10
single season shutouts leader (2000, 10)
single season complete games leader (tie - 2000, 30)
1 perfect game (1997 vs. St. Francis)
2 no hitters (1997 vs. St. Francis, 2000 vs.Temple) 

Missy Beseres (20002, 2004-2006)

2006 3rd team All-Big 10
2006 2nd teamAll-GreatLakes
single season shutouts leader (tie – 2006, 10)
single season complete games leader (tie – 2006, 30)
career victories leader (53)
1 perfect game (2006 vs. St. Francis)

Cassidy Bell (2010-2013)

2013 1st team All-American
2012, 2013 1st team All-Big 10, All-Great Lakes Region
PSU season record holder – HR (20), runs (55), walks (42)
PSU career record holder – HR (37), total bases (375)


Player Recognition

All-Americans – Karen Gulini (2000); Ashley Esparza (2005); Danielle Kinley (2007); Cassidy Bell (2013).

All –Atlantic 10 – Kim Corbin (1991); Donna Devanney (1989); Dawn Hoover (1990); Pam Mowery (1984, 1985); Christy Phillips (1984); Geri Saya (1984, 1985); Nan Sichler (1985, 1987, 1988); Joyce Tinner (1991); Michelle Turk (1984).

Atlantic 10 Most Valuable Player – Geri Saya (1985); Nan Sichler (1988).

Atlantic 10 Most Outstanding Pitcher – Kathy Kaminski (1988).

All-Northeast Region – Kim Corbin (1991); Donna Devanney (1986, 1989); Carol Fultz (1985); Pat Mowery (1985); Geri Saya (1985); Karen Schilling (1986); Nan Sichler (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988); Dena Tauriello (1990); Joyce Tinner (1990, 1991).

1st team All-Big 10 – Tanis Ambelang (2000); Gina Bianchini (2000, 2002); Ashley Esparza (2005); Karen Gulini (2000); Allison Medellin (2000); Jenn Reynolds (2006); Jodi Riccardi (1998), Cassidy Bell (2012-2013); Macy Jones (2016); Lexi Knief (2016); Alyssa VanDerveer (2016); Tori Dubois (2017).

1st Team All-Great Lakes Region – Ashley Esparza (2005, 2006); Karen Gulini (2000); Hollee Hanies (2005); Megan Humphrey (2001); Erin Norton (2001); Shannon Salsburg (1995); Danielle Kinley (2007), Cassidy Bell (2012, 2013); Macy Jones (2016).