PHILADELPHIA – The other side of the street won the battle Wednesday evening, as the University of Pennsylvania softball team fell short in a late rally to next-door neighbor Drexel at Penn Park, 6-2. Four different pitchers tossed for the Red and Blue, while 17 of the 21 Quakers saw playing time in the loss to the Dragons.WP: Shelby Taylor (12-7), 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
LP: Courtney Cuzick (0-4), 2.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Junior Vanessa Weaver recorded the first hit of the day with her single to shortstop on a full count. Penn put another runner on the bases and moved them into scoring position at second and third but was unable to bring them home.
Freshman Alexis Sargent was the next pitcher to take the circle for the Red and Blue, beginning the top of the second with a strikeout. Drexel connected their bats and was able to score a run before Sargent threw another strikeout to end the inning.
The Dragons threatened to make some more noise in the top of the third, after getting four straight balls to start the half. With one out, pitcher Shelby Taylor rocketed a line drive over to third base. It looked as if it was going to get through but senior Kayla Dahlerbruch reached for the catch, making the out and gunned the ball to first baseman freshman Cedar Slovacek for a double play.
Trying to keep the momentum on their side, senior tri-captain Elysse Gorney put down a single through the right side on the first pitch. Freshman Leah Allen continued hitting the first pitch trend, smacking a double to left center and knocking Gorney in to tie the game. However, the Quakers left two on the bags after sophomore Korinne Raby struck out on her ninth pitch.
Freshman Courtney Cuzick came in to take the circle for Penn in the fourth and also started the inning with a strikeout, but Cuzick soon found herself in a tight situation with bases loaded. The Dragons scored two runs, after a throwing error to home was committed by Dahlerbruch, and put up an additional two when Leticia Matsuoka hit a single to right center. Drexel put up one more in the top of the fifth and held onto the 6-1 lead until the bottom of the seventh.
With one out, freshman Vera Barnwell hit a hard slapper to Matsuoka at third but an overzealous throw by the third baseman allowed Barnwell to advance to second. A groundout from freshman Emily Stinnett moved Barnwell to third and Dragon pitcher Rose Portiolli loaded the bases, walking freshman Casey Stevko and Gorney. With two outs, Dahlerbruch capitalized on the opportunity, recording an RBI with a single through the left side on an 0-1 count. However, the late rally ended there as Raby popped up to Portiolli on the first pitch.
Penn will be back in action this weekend for its second four-game South Division series when the Quakers travel to Ivy rival Princeton on Saturday and Sunday. First pitch is set for both days at 12:30 p.m.