ORLANDO, FLA. – The Penn softball team (1-3) had its second day of action this season on Saturday in Orlando, Fla. The Quakers played an afternoon-night doubleheader at the UCF Spring Fling tournament against Philadelphia rival Villanova (5-4) and host Central Florida (13-8), respectively. The Red and Blue fell to the Wildcats, 7-1, in the first half, and were topped by the Knights, 3-0, in the nightcap.
Game 1 – Villanova
WP: Kate Poppe (5-2), 4 IP, 3 H, ER, 5 BB, 6 K
LP: Amanda Gisonni (0-1), 2.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, K, WP
Amanda Gisonni made her first-career start for Penn, pitching two innings and giving up three runs. On the other end, catching, was fellow rookie Korinne Raby. The Milton, Ga. native went 1-for-3 with a walk in her debut.
Penn started the afternoon well, as Gisonni allowed one hit and no runs in the top of the first. In the bottom half, Kayla Dahlerbruch (1-for-3, RBI, BB) brought Elysse Gorney (0-for-3, BB, R) home with an RBI groundout. Unfortunately things fell apart for Gisonni and the Quakers in the top of the second, as they gave up three runs on six hits.
Lindsay Mann entered the game for the Red and Blue in the top of the third and pitched the next three innings, but the Wildcats scored a run in every one of them. Lauren Li came in for the second pitching appearance of her collegiate career, and fared better than the earlier Penn hurlers. The freshman threw two innings, allowing one run on three hits, and would finish the game for the Quakers.
Making the start in left field for the Red and Blue was Bridget Ellsworth. The senior had an outstanding day at the plate, going 3-for-3. As did Samantha Erosa, who hit safely for the third consecutive game as the quad-captain went 1-for-4 with a double in the first inning.
Game 2 – UCF
WP: Mackenzi Audas (6-4), 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 7 K
LP: Alexis Borden (0-2), 6 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, WP
Borden worked her way in and out of trouble in the first two innings but didn’t allow a run until the third. After three hits, an error and a wild pitch, the Knights came away with two runs in the inning. Penn followed in the top of the fourth with its best bid for offense on the night.
The Red and Blue saw Erosa (2-for-3) lead off with a single – she now has a four-game hitting streak – followed by Dahlerbruch’s (1-for-3) single. Two batters later, Raby (0-for-3) reached on an error by the UCF third baseman, loading the bases for Penn. Unfortunately the Quakers’ bid for runs was ended after a quick strikeout and groundout.
Central Florida got another run across in the bottom of the fourth, but Borden was flawless from then on out, allowing just two hits for the rest of the game. Penn was unable to capitalize though, and failed to score in the remainder of the game, falling to the Knights 3-0.
The Quakers will be back in action for the final day of the UCF Spring Fling tournament tomorrow. They will meet Connecticut for the second time this week at 11:30 a.m. The live stats will be available HERE and you can follow @UPennSoftball for live in-game Twitter updates as well.