By the time right-hander Sami Main scooped up the swinging bunt along the third-base line in the seventh inning on Sunday, Penn State was in business with two on and one out against Maryland softball.
The Nittany Lions had lit up the Terps’ pitching staff in Saturday’s doubleheader sweep — although errors exacerbated problems — outscoring coach Julie Wright’s squad 21-4.
But when Main retook the circle as Penn State pressured with the go-ahead run on first base, she got out of the jam. The senior forced second baseman Claire Swedberg to ground out to first before right fielder Chelsea Bisi’s fly ball lost steam just short of the warning track.
In Main’s three innings in the series finale, she allowed three runs on three hits and three walks. But she earned the save in the 5-4 win, preventing a Big Ten series sweep.
Penn State jumped ahead early again, with left fielder Toni Polk powering a home run to right field off right-hander Sydney Golden. But from there, Golden prevented the Nittany Lions from getting much going on offense.
She bounced back from a three-inning, seven-hit outing in the series opener to supply four innings with three hits.
And Maryland managed to put her in line for the win when she was pulled. To open the third, second baseman Regan Kerr reached first on an error, and she reached third two batters later when center fielder JoJo McRae sent a base knock into left. Then, right fielder Shelby Younkin drove Kerr in with a single, leveling the game at one.
After third baseman Anna Kufta struck out for the first out of the frame, first baseman Taylor Wilson stepped up to the plate. She sent a drive into left-center field, and Polk — racing into the gap — couldn’t snare the hit with her lunge, driving in two more scores.
In the next inning, catcher Gracie Voulgaris doubled to lead off, and Kerr doubled over the center fielder for another run, resulting in right-hander Kylee Lingenfelter being pulled. But right-hander Madison Shaffer struggled out of the bullpen, loading the bases with a single and a walk before walking Wilson for the Terps’ all-important insurance run, leading 5-1.
Main threw 13 ⅓ innings against Penn State, allowing 12 earned runs — the bulk of which came in blowout losses Saturday. She entered in the fifth inning Sunday and found trouble immediately.
After two quick outs, Main walked the next two batters and gave up a three-run homer to Bisi. She settled in, though, tossing two scoreless innings to secure the 5-4 win and prevent a sweep.