PRINCETON, N.J. - Opening up divisional play around the Ivy League, Penn played its South Division rival Princeton to a split on Saturday in the first of two consecutive doubleheaders between the two schools. The Quakers (21-14, 6-4 Ivy) took the first game, 8-0, in a game that was anything but what the final score indicated. Alexis Borden threw her league-leading sixth shutout in the win, but Penn did not score a run until the seventh inning when the Quakers' bats erupted for all eight runs, including three long balls. In the second game, Penn led 2-1 after three innings, but Princeton (12-21, 6-4 Ivy) pushed across three runs over the next two innings and held on for the 4-3 victory.
Penn 8, Princeton 0 (Game One)
It was a classic pitcher's duel early on in game one as Princeton sent Ivy League Pitcher of the Week Liza Kuhn to the circle to counter Borden. In the first, Sydney Turchin drew the leadoff walk for Penn and was bunted into scoring position by Elysse Gorney. However, two more outs would strand her at second. In the bottom half, Borden worked around a two-out single to get through her first.
Both pitchers worked clean second innings, retiring the opposing sides in order. Jessica Arneson would single to lead off the third. Laura Placentra, who came on to run for her, would steal second, but more solid pitching would strand the Quakers' runner. In the bottom of that inning, Borden worked around another two-out hit as the two sides were scoreless through three.
Princeton put the first runner on third base in this game during the fourth inning. After a leadoff walk and steal, a single into left put runners on the corners with nobody out. From here, Borden got a groundout to Kayla Dahlerbruch at third to hold the runners, followed by a grounder right back at the pitcher to put two away. She would escape the inning with a strikeout, squandering Princeton's second and third with no outs chance.
In the fifth, pitching again continued to dominate as Borden and Kuhn threw up zeroes in their half innings. Princeton had another golden opportunity in the sixth, but could not capitalize. After a defensive error and single put runners on first and second with nobody out, Borden fielded a grounder right back to her and fired to third, getting the lead runner with one out. A sacrifice bunt would put runners on second and third for the second time in three innings, but again Borden got out of the threat with a strikeout, this time swinging.
After escaping two tedious situations and watching Kuhn set down 12 straight hitters, the Quakers erupted in the seventh inning. Dahlerbruch got things going with a double down the right field line. Brooke Coloma would then bring home the first two runs of the game with a line drive shot over the center field fence, giving Penn a 2-0 lead. Jessica Melendez made it back-to-back home runs with her sixth long ball of the season. Samantha Erosa singled in the next at-bat and Karina Rios hit her second home run of the season in the fifth at-bat of the inning, giving Penn a 5-0 lead.
The Quakers were still not done yet. Arneson singled and Vanessa Weaver drew a walk. Turchin then reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases with no outs as Princeton thought about the lead runner, but waited too long as Turchin beat the play to first. Gorney would put the ball in play as Princeton traded the run for an out on the RBI groundout. A wild pitch would make the score 7-0 in favor of Penn and Dahlerbruch would drive home the eighth run of the inning on a sacrifice fly. In total, Penn scored eight times in that frame on seven hits, including three home runs.
In the bottom half of the inning, Borden completed the shutout by allowing just an infield single with one out to pick up her sixth shutout of the year and 13th win. For the game, she allowed just five hits and conceded one walk. She struck out four in the complete game effort, recording 11 ground ball outs in the game.
Princeton 4, Penn 3 (Game two)
The Quakers would not wait as long to score in the second game. Gorney got the first inning started with her first triple of the year down the right field line. Dahlerbruch was hit by the pitch in the next at-bat to put runners on the corners. Coloma brought home the game's first run from third with a RBI groundout to short. Melendez picked up another infield hit in the inning, but Penn could push no more across. In the bottom of the first, starter Mikenzie Voves allowed just a two-out hit to maintain the 1-0 lead heading to the second.
In the second, Rios and Stephanie Caso both singled to put two on with one out, but Princeton would not let Penn pull away. In the bottom half, Voves set down the Princeton side in succession to send the game to the third at 1-0.
Each side would score one in the third. Dahlerbruch got Penn's half started with a single. She was cut down on a fielder's choice to get the lead runner. Melendez put a runner in scoring position with a single and another single by Erosa would load the bases with one out. With the one out, a grounder to second resulted in a collision between the runner and fielder, causing the out of that runner and the others having to return to their original base. The Quakers would get one out of the inning when Weaver drew the two-out RBI walk with the bases still loaded.
Princeton singled with one out in the third to start its half. A line drive put two away, but an aggressive defensive play would backfire when Penn threw across the infield for the double play. The throw got away and the runner moved to second. That proved costly when the next batter singled through the middle, bringing home the unearned run.
The Quakers had a chance to widen the gap with back-to-back leadoff singles by Turchin and Gorney that would both be stranded in the fourth. The Tigers would take the lead in the bottom half of the frame. After a single and double to start the inning, a one-out single brought home the tying run. The second run would score unearned on a defensive error.
Penn was unable to do anything when Erosa reached on an error in the top of the fifth and Princeton added on another in the bottom half. A two-out single brought home the leadoff hit that advanced to second on a wild pitch, giving Princeton a 4-2 lead after five.
With two outs, Dahlerbruch doubled in the sixth. Placentra came in to run for her and scored on a Coloma single into right, cutting Princeton's lead to 4-3, but the Quakers could get no closer as the Tigers got the last four hitters of the game in succession.
For Penn, Voves pitched a complete game, allowing just two earned runs, while Penn got 11 hits off Alex Peyton but pushed just the three runs across the plate in the second game. For the day, Penn finished with 18 hits in the last eight innings between the seventh inning of game one and leading into the entire game two.
These two teams will be back at it tomorrow at the same time and location, 12:30 p.m.