PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania softball team (13-13, 3-1 Ivy) hit a bump in the road on Wednesday afternoon against Monmouth (17-10, 6-2 NEC) as it prepares to continue Ivy League play this weekend. The Quakers, who are tied for first in the South Division, dropped their doubleheader against the Hawks at Penn Park. Game 1 was a tight, 2-1, loss but the nightcap saw Penn downed 17-2 in five innings.
WP: Cerissa Rivera (5-3), 7 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 4 K
LP: Amanda Gisonni (0-3), 2 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, K
The Red and Blue jumped out to the early lead in the bottom of the first when Brooke Coloma (1-for-3, RBI) hit and RBI-single to left center, scoring Sydney Turchin (0-for-2, R, BB, SB) from second base – Turchin led off the inning with a walk and stole second to get into scoring position. Alexis Borden did everything she was asked to do and more, striking out four and not allowing an earned run over five innings pitched.
With Borden in the circle in the top of the fifth, the Hawks would even the game at one on a Penn error. With runners on first and second and one out, the Monmouth batter would line out to center. The runner at second would advance to third, just beating the throw. The runner on first would try for second on the same play, reaching on a throwing error by Kayla Dahlerbruch (1-for-3) – the runner at third would score following the Quaker third baseman’s error.
Amanda Gisonni would come on in relief for the final two innings of the game, seeing the first action of her career at Penn Park. The freshman would allow one run in the top of the sixth on an RBI-single and Penn would not get it back, leading to the 2-1 defeat.
WP: Jordan Barnett (7-4), 4 IP, 5 H, R, BB
LP: Lauren Li (4-1), 2.1 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, K
Lauren Li had her first tough day as a collegian, taking her first-career loss in Game 2. With the weather dropping to the low 40s and the wind chill dropping it even more so, the Quakers got off to a slow start and never recovered. Monmouth put up crooked numbers in the top of the first and second innings and led Penn 7-0 through two.
After allowing a hit to lead off the third, Li would be pulled in favor of Lindsay Mann (2.1 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, K). The senior would eventually allow that leadoff batter to score, with the run being charged to Li, but no more damage would be done. The Quakers would come back in the home half to break up the shutout. Bridget Ellsworth (1-for-2, R) led off the inning with a double and would eventually score from third via an Elysse Gorney (0-for-2, R, RBI, BB) groundout.
After allowing one run in the top of the fourth, Penn would give up another crooked number to the Hawks in the top of the fifth. Mann started the inning in the circle for the Quakers and allowed two runs. The senior would be pulled in favor of Jen Retzer (0.1 IP, 2 H, 5 ER, 3 BB) as the sophomore made her season debut. Unfortunately, Retzer would go on to allow five runs in a third of an inning, eventually being replaced by a re-entering Li who started the game.
The freshman would get the final out of the inning, getting Penn to the bottom of the fifth. There the Quakers would score another run off the bat of Coloma (0-for-3, RBI) on a fielder’s choice, but that would be it with the final at 17-2.
The Red and Blue will try and put the tough series against Monmouth behind them as they head north this weekend for back-to-back Ivy League doubleheaders. Penn will be at Yale in New Haven, Conn. on Friday with Game 1 scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. On Saturday the Quakers will head to Providence, R.I. for a scheduled 12:30 p.m. start at Yale.