PHILADELPHIA – The Penn softball team (8-10) extended its winning streak to four games since its return to Penn Park. The Quakers swept Lehigh (7-9-1) on Wednesday for the first time during head coach Leslie King’s tenure at Penn. Game 1 ended in walk-off fashion as Elysse Gorney hit a ground rule double over the centerfield wall to seal the 8-7 victory. In Game 2 it was all Alexis Borden as the sophomore earned her fourth victory of the season with a six-hit shutout in the 2-0 win.
WP: Lindsay Mann (2-2), 4 IP, 3 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 2 K
LP: Ashley Quigley (1-2), 2.2 IP, 2 ER, K
The first game started off well for the Quakers as they scored two runs in the bottom of the first. Sam Erosa (2-for-3, 2 R, RBI, HR) scored the first run with her first home run of the season, a deep shot over the centerfield wall, and the second came as Stephanie Caso (2-for-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB) crossed the plate on an error. The Red and Blue would hold that lead until the top of the third inning when Amanda Gisonni (3 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 K, BB) gave up a two-run home run and an RBI-single.
In the top of the fourth inning, Gisonni was pulled in favor of Mann, but the senior did not fare all that well right away. The Mountain Hawks put two runners on with two outs when their first baseman hit a one over the fence in left-center for three runs.
Penn was not fazed though and would explode for four runs in the bottom half of the fourth to tie the game at six apiece. With the bases loaded and two outs, Caso hit a single to right field, scoring two runs and bringing her team within two. Then, with Caso and Erosa on first and second, Brooke Coloma (2-for-4, 2 RBI) smacked a double to deep left-center for another two runs.
Each team would score one more time and head into the top of the seventh tied, 7-7. Mann had settled down since her first inning of work, and it showed in the seventh as the senior sent the Lehigh side down in order with a couple of putouts and a strikeout. In the home half with the game still tied, Penn went to work. Jessica Melendez (1-for-4, R, SB) hit a one-out double down the rightfield line and like that, the Quakers had a runner in scoring position. Karina Rios (1-for-4) would ground out in the next at-bat, advancing Melendez to third. Gorney (1-for-4, R, RBI) hit one deep to center field with two outs, which would bounce over the wall for the ground rule double, ending the game at 8-7 in walk-off fashion for the Red and Blue.
WP: Alexis Borden (4-6), 7 IP, 6 H, BB, 6 K
LP: Rebecca Bliss (3-5), 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R (ER), 2 BB, 3 K
The second game of the afternoon was much quieter offensively for both teams. Penn would start off with a run in the first, which ended up being the game-winner, as Caso (1-for-3, R) scored off a Coloma (0-for-2, RBI) groundout to second. The Quakers would not score again until the bottom of the fourth inning when Gorney (3-for-3, RBI) singled home a run. The inning would end on the play as pinch runner Kanani Datan was thrown out at home after Melendez (2-for-3, R) crossed the plate for the run.
As for Borden, the sophomore picked up where she left off last week after her no-hitter against Lafayette. The reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year won her second straight decision and has not allowed a run in 12 consecutive innings while lowering her ERA to 1.69 on the season. She is moving quickly up the record books for Penn and now has 28 career wins – she needs just four more to become the program’s all-time wins leader. The Yorba Linda, Calif. native also has 63 strikeouts this season, and 256 for her career – she is second in program history and needs just 13 more to become the all-time leader.
The Quakers will be back on the field at Penn Park on Saturday for a doubleheader against their third straight Patriot League opponent, Holy Cross. Penn defeated the Crusaders 12-4 back on March 4 in Kissimmee, Fla. at the Rebel Spring Games. Game 1, which was originally schedule to begin at 4 p.m., will now begin at 1 p.m., with Game 2 following. Live stats and live video will be available for both contests and also make sure to follow @UPennSoftball for live in-game updates and conversation.