PHILADELPHIA – The Penn softball team (12-10, 2-0 Ivy) broke out the brooms on Friday afternoon, sweeping heated Ivy League rival Harvard (7-14, 0-2) for the first time since 2003 in a doubleheader at Penn Park. With the two victories, the Quakers are now on an eight-game win streak – the second longest in program history and longest since 1982 – as the hottest team in the Ivies.
They also avenge their Ivy League Championship Series loss to the Crimson in 2012. Additionally, Alexis Borden highlighted the early game with a strikeout in the first inning – the 269th of her career – which made the sophomore the all-time leader in program history.
WP: Alexis Borden (6-6), 7 IP, 11 H, 3 ER, 2 BB 6 K
LP: Morgan Groom (3-6), 6 IP, 6 H, 6 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 3 K
The first half of the doubleheader against Harvard did not start too well for the Quakers, as the Crimson quickly jumped all over Borden in the top of the first. Last season’s Ivy champs got to Borden for a two-run homer, but the Penn sophomore was able to close out the inning with a groundout and her record-breaking strikeout.
It seemed as though Borden would settle in after attaining the record, and the score sheet certainly showed it. The reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year goose-egged the Crimson until the sixth when Harvard put just one across for its only other run of the game.
The Red and Blue would strike back in the bottom of the third inning. Elysse Gorney (1-for-4, R, RBI, SB) approached the plate with runners on first and second, and hit a bloop single over the Harvard shortstop’s head for an RBI. Then, later in the inning with the bases loaded and two outs, Georgia Guttadauro (1-for-3, R, 4 RBI, HR) took the Harvard pitcher deep to right center for a grand slam, the first of her career. Penn finished the inning leading 5-2.
As mentioned earlier, Harvard would get one back in the top of the sixth, but the Quakers would follow up quickly in the bottom half to widen the lead to three runs once again for a 6-3 final. Kayla Dahlerbruch (1-for-2, R, RBI, HR, HBP) would finish the scoring for the Red and Blue with a leadoff solo shot to left center – her first home run of the year.
WP: Lauren Li (4-0), 7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
LP: Gabrielle Ruiz (2-4), 0.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB
The second game started much more positively for the Quakers, as they exploded for four runs in the bottom of the first inning, although the inning would end early due to a base-running error. With runners at second and third, Brooke Coloma (2-for-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, 3B, SB) would hit a slow roller to the Harvard shortstop for an infield single, giving Sydney Turchin (1-for-4, R) a chance to score from third. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Dahlerbruch (1-for-2, RBI, BB) would single through the left side to plate Gorney (2-for-3, 2 R). The next batter was Korinne Raby (0-for-2, RBI, BB) and the freshman would draw the RBI walk to make the score 3-0 in favor of Penn.
The last run would score on a somewhat confusing play for the Quakers. With the bases still loaded, Jess Melendez (0-for-2, RBI, SF) lined out to centerfield and Guttadauro tagged up at third and scored. Later in the same play, the umpire would call the pinch runner Karina Rios out at second on the double play, saying that she left the base before the line drive was caught, allowing the Crimson to get the force at second base to end the inning.
Never the less, Penn lead 4-0 after one and it would stay that way until Li allowed her first run of the game in the top of the fourth courtesy of a solo homer. The Quakers would get it back and then some in the bottom of the fifth though, scoring three runs. With runners on first and second, Coloma would hit a bases clearing triple down the left field line for two runs – she would later score on a wild pitch, giving Penn the 7-1 lead.
Harvard would score one more with two outs in the top of the seventh, but no matter as Li would get the next batter to pop out to second, earning her fourth victory of the season in her third career complete game.
The Quakers will be back in action at Penn Park tomorrow for another Ivy doubleheader, scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. against Dartmouth (11-13, 1-1). Live stats and live radio will be available for both games against the Big Green, and make sure to follow @UPennSoftball for live in-game action and conversation.