CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Going up against the defending Ivy League champions, softball found itself down early in both games and was unable to come back from the early deficits in either. In game one, Harvard (19-9, 7-1 Ivy) jumped out to 4-0 lead after one inning. The Quakers (20-13, 5-3 Ivy) rallied late before being edged out by one run. In the second game, Harvard tallied four more times in the first and scored during each of the following three innings in the 10-1 victory in five innings.
The Crimson pounded out 20 hits on the day, but only one of those went for extra bases as Harvard strung together multiple singles in a row all afternoon long.
Harvard 4, Penn 3 (Game one)
Right out of the gates, the Quakers looked ready to play early in their half of the first, jumping on Harvard starter Rachel Brown early in the count during the first two at-bats. Sydney Turchin would get Penn started with a single into right field on the first pitch that she saw and Elysse Gorney would follow that up with a double off the left field fence to put runners on second and third with nobody out. However, Brown would settle down and strike out three straight batters to hold Penn off the board in the first.
After stifling the early Penn scoring chance, the Crimson posted four runs in the bottom half of the first on four hits, all singles. A single back through the middle, single chopped in front of the plate and walk loaded the bases. Stephanie Regan singled home two runs with another hit back through the middle. Allison Scott brought home the third run of the inning and the fourth would score on a wild pitch.
In the second, Samantha Erosa would try to get the Penn offense restarted with a double into left-center with one out, but she would be stranded. In the second and third, Quakers' starter Alexis Borden found her grove and allowed just one runner during that time. She would retire Harvard in order in the second and allow just a one-out single in the third that would later be called out for leaving early.
Brooke Coloma worked a leadoff walk to start the fourth, but again Brown settled down with runners on base to get out of that inning. In Harvard's fourth, Borden answered her right back by setting down the Crimson in succession for the second time in three innings.
Penn would finally break through in the fifth. Jessica Arneson would get things rolling with a single into left field and Stephanie Caso dropped a single into center field, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Turchin would bring the first run around with her double over the centerfielder's head, while the runners held at second and third with nobody out. After the first out, Kayla Dahlerbruch worked the count until she got the pitch she wanted and drove a single into left, scoring two more as Penn cut the Harvard lead to 4-3.
As soon as Penn got back into the game, Borden would continue to stymie the Crimson offense as she worked around two singles in the fifth and a two-out walk in the sixth to give her team two more chances to try and push across the tying run. However, her counterpart would be just a strong and would hold on for the 4-3 victory.
Turchin led the offense with two hits, while scoring and driving in one run from the leadoff spot. Borden finished her compete game by striking out five. She allowed seven hits, all singles, and two walks, but over her final five innings, she allowed just three hits and one walk.
Harvard 10, Penn 1 (5 Inn.) (Game two)
The Crimson would jump out early again in game two. After Penn could manage just a single by Dahlerbruch to start the first inning, Harvard scored four times in the bottom half. Singles by the first and third hitters, along with a walk to the clean-up hitter, loaded the bases. A single back through the middle brought home the first two runs.
Following a second strikeout by Mikenzie Voves, Penn looked to be out of the inning with the third strikeout of the inning, but that strike got away, allowing the third run to score. After reloading the bases, an infield single would stake the hosts to a 4-0 lead after the first inning.
Harvard would get the second inning going with a hit-by-pitch with one out. Back-to-back singles by the Crimson brought home the first run of the inning. After the runners took second and third on the throw home, a RBI groundout made the score 6-0. In the third, Voves struck out the first two hitters that she faced, but five straight singles would push three more runs across the plate in the inning.
Dahlerbruch would deliver her second hit of game two with a leadoff single to start the fourth. However, Penn was unable to do anything with the leadoff runner. Harvard would add one more run in the fourth. The inning got started with a one-out single and after Borden got a strike out to put two away after coming on in relief during the previous inning, a triple, Harvard's only extra-base hit of the day, brought home the 10th run of the game.
The Quakers would score their first run in the fifth inning. Karina Rios got the inning going with Penn's first triple of the season into the right-centerfield gap with one out. After the second out of the inning, Laura Placentra singled past the infield, making the score 10-1. However, Penn could get no closer and the game would be called with the run-rule in effect.
After wrapping up play against the North Division, the Quakers sit in second place in the South Division, two games off the pace of Cornell and tied with Princeton. Penn and Princeton will both open up divisional play next weekend with four games against each other.