PHILADELPHIA - Softball wrapped up its first weekend of Ivy League play with its second sweep in as many days with two wins over Yale Saturday. The Quakers (19-10, 4-0 Ivy) got another shutout from Alexis Borden, her fifth of the season, as Kayla Dahlerbruch's home run was the only run in Penn's 1-0 game one victory. In game two, Penn scored early and often as it tallied six in the first, two in the second and six more in the third on its way to a 14-3 victory over Yale (7-15, 1-3 Ivy) in five innings. Although it is just one weekend into the league schedule, Penn was the only team to go a perfect 4-0 in Ivy games this past weekend and sits in first place of the south division after one week of cross-divisional play.
Penn 1, Yale 0 (Game 1)
After throwing 10.1 innings on Friday, Borden was back in the circle for game one Saturday against Yale. Showing no signs of fatigue, she set down Yale in order to start. In the bottom of the first, Elysse Gorney would single and Dahlerbruch would follow that at-bat up with a walk, but both Penn runners would be stranded. In the second, Borden again held the Bulldogs hitless, allowing just a two-out walk.
The Quakers looked to have things going again in the second as they loaded the bases with a Samantha Erosa hit-by-pitch, Jessica Arneson single, and Sydney Turchin walk, but let three more runners on base in that inning as Yale starter Chelsea Dunham got two fly outs to escape the jam. Borden would continue to match her counterpart in the top of the third as the only Bulldog runner to reach base came via an error.
In Penn's third, Dahlerbruch would start the inning off with a leadoff home run over the left field fence. Her fifth home run of the season already has her tied for 10th all-time in program history on the single season home run list. With the 1-0 lead, Borden set down the Yale hitters in succession for the second time in the first four innings and carried her no-hit bid into the fifth inning.
Penn threatened to extend its lead in the bottom of the fourth. Arneson singled to start the frame, but Justine Payne, who came on to pinch run, lost her footing on the slick field and was caught trying to get back to first. Stephanie Caso would restart things with a one-out walk and get to third following a double by Turchin over the left fielder's head. After a strikeout, Dahlerbruch would walk to load the bases, but Dunham again stranded three more Quakers.
Yale would get its first hit of the game in the fifth and an error on a sacrifice bunt play put runners on the corners with nobody out. Borden settled in and got the first out herself with a strikeout. The next hitter lined to Karina Rios at first base, but the ball tipped off her glove and an alert Erosa made the head's-up catch right off the dirt for one out. The runner on third was then too far off the base and Erosa fired to third to get the unconventional 3-4-5 double play. Penn put two more on in the bottom half with a one-out single by Rios and walk by Erosa, but Dunham kept her team in the game by stranding two more.
In the sixth, Yale doubled with two outs and looked to have a possible game-tying hit following that, but a great running catch by Caso who ranged into left field stymied the Yale offense for the sixth straight inning. Penn would be unable to get anything going in its sixth, but it would make no difference as Borden worked around a one-out single and wild pitch by striking out the final two hitters that she faced in the seventh inning to pick up her 12th win of the season.
In her fifth shutout of the season, Borden allowed just three hits and one walk over the full seven innings, while striking out six. Penn's offense had six hits, led by Arneson with two, while also drawing five walks and getting hit by pitches twice, but Dunham stranded 11 runners on base to keep her team in the game. However, the one run stood up as strong defense and pitching, in not necessarily ideal conditions, would lift Penn to the game one victory.
Penn 14, Yale 3 (5 Inn.)
After struggling to bring home runs in the first game, the Quakers would have no such problems in the second. Mikenzie Voves, the game two starter, would allow just a leadoff walk in her first inning of work, while Penn exploded in the bottom half. After an infield single by Turchin, Gorney reached on an error attempting a sacrifice bunt. A walk to Dahlerbruch would then load the bases just three hitters into the game. Brooke Coloma made sure they all scored as she took her pitch over the left field wall for the first grand slam in Penn Park history, giving Penn a 4-0 lead with nobody out yet.
Jessica Melendez and Rios kept the hitting going with a single and double to put runners on second and third. Melendez would score on an Erosa sacrifice fly, while Rios moved up to third on that played and scored on a wild pitch as the Quakers offense erupted for six runs in the first inning, sending 11 batters to plate. Voves would retire Yale in succession in the second inning and Penn would tact on two more in the bottom half as Dahlerbruch doubled to start the bottom half. With two outs, Rios would hit her first career home run, giving Penn the 8-0 lead after two innings.
Voves allowed her first hit in the third inning with two outs, but got a ground out to get through three and Penn would just continue to pour it on in the bottom half. A Turchin single, Gorney double and Dahlerbruch walk loaded the bases with nobody out. Two more walks by Coloma and Melendez gave them each a RBI with no place to put them. A wild pitch would then score the third run of the inning. After an out, Erosa walked to reload the bases and Caso would single through the left side as Penn went station-to-station for the fourth run of the inning. Laura Placentra then worked a walk to force home the fifth run of the inning, the third on a walk. Payne drove home the final run of the frame with a single into left field, giving the Quakers a 14-0 lead going into the fourth.
Yale would put runners on second and third to start the fourth, but Voves got the next two hitters, holding the runners. After a walk loaded the bases, she would get through four innings without allowing a run on a grounder right back to her. The Quakers put runners on second and third with two outs in the fourth, but Yale got the third out before a Penn runner crossed the plate, the first and only inning the Quakers were held off the scoreboard in the second game.
With a 14-run lead, Yale got three runs in the top of the fifth, but with Penn leading by 11 after four and a half innings, the game was shortened due to the run rule.
Voves picked up her fifth win of the year in the second game. In her 4.1 innings in the circle, she allowed just three hits and two more walks while striking out five batters. Offensively, Penn pounded out 11 hits in game two. Nine players recorded hits in game two, while eight players scored at least one run and seven players drove in a run.
The Quakers also drew 10 walks at the plate. Rios finished the game with two runs and two RBI in her two-hit performance, while Turchin recorded two hits and scored two more. Thanks in large part to her first inning grand slam, Coloma finished the second game with five RBI.
After a busy past week, the Quakers will be off until next weekend when they make the first Ivy League road trip of the season. They will be back in action next Friday at Dartmouth before making the trip to Harvard on Saturday.