PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania softball team (25-16, 13-3 Ivy) put on an offensive clinic in its final non-conference showing of the regular season. The Quakers topped Temple (22-22, 9-5 Atlantic 10) 11-4 in their final Big 5 matchup of the year, exploding for three runs in both the fourth and sixth innings, and a whopping five runs in the fifth.
Lauren Li got the start for the Quakers. The freshman would allow a two-run homerun to Temple’s top hitter with two outs in the top of the first but no more. The Los Angeles native threw two scoreless in the second and third and then gave way to the eventual winner, Lindsay Mann.
Mann would throw a scoreless top of the fourth and then in the bottom half, Penn would finally see some offensive production. Elysse Gorney, who entered the game as the designated player in the top of the inning, led off the home half with a walk. Two batters later, Brook Coloma hammered her second home run of the season – a two-run shot – to deep left-center to knot the game at two. Then, with the bases loaded and one out, Li would hit a line drive right at the Temple rightfielder. Jessica Melendez would have enough time to score on the throw but Korinne Raby would get caught in the rundown at second to end the inning with Penn in front 3-2.
The Owls would get one back in the following half inning to tie the game at three. But in the home half of the fifth the Red and Blue would explode for five runs, blowing the game open to 8-3. With runners on the corners, Leslie King would call for her patented double steal but Temple wouldn’t have – the Owls caught Karina Rios trying to steal home as Gorney advanced to second.
In the following at-bat, Kayla Dahlerbruch would hit a line drive to right center. The Temple right and centerfielders would get mixed up on whose play it was, and the ball would roll to the fence – the hit would turn into a triple and score Gorney from second. Coloma would approach the plate next and slap a single up the middle for another RBI. Melendez was the next Quakers to step into the batter’s box, and the senior would hit a shot to right-center for her second home run of the season, scoring Coloma as well. Not to be outdone, Raby would step up next and take the first pitch deep to right center for her team-leading sixth homer of the year.
Temple would once against get a run back in the top of the sixth, but Penn would plate three more in the home half to take the 11-4 lead. With the bases loaded and two outs, Temple’s Kelsey Dominik would be credited with a wild pitch, scoring to Quaker baserunners on the play. Coloma would put the finishing touches on her four RBI afternoon with an RBI single up the middle.
Amanda Gisonni would come into the circle for Penn in the top of the seventh. The freshman would toss a scoreless inning, highlighted by Vanessa Weaver’s line drive catch and throw to first for the game-ending double play.
The Quakers will be back in action for their final weekend of regular season play on Friday and Saturday. They will meet Columbia (21-23, 7-9) for a pair of afternoon doubleheaders in a four-game home-and-home series. The magic number for Penn is three, as a 3-1 series record against the Lions would guarantee homefield advantage for the Ivy League Championship Series – no home team has ever lost the ILCS.