ITHACA, N.Y. – The University of Pennsylvania softball team (24-16, 13-3 Ivy) completed the 3-1 series victory of Cornell (17-23, 7-9) on Sunday. The Quakers swept the Big Red in the afternoon doubleheader, scoring a combined 12 runs in the two games. Alexis Borden was the shining star for the Red and Blue on the day as well, earning her 13th and 14th victories of the season.
Penn now holds a four-game lead over Princeton (24-18, 9-7) for first place in the South Division with just four conference games remaining. The Quakers have now clinched a share of the South Title for the second season in a row.
WP: Alexis Borden (14-8), 7 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 7 K
LP: Alyson Onyon (12-14), 0.2 IP, H, ER, K
Penn would strike first in the early contest, putting one across in the top of the third. Stephanie Caso would knock in the run via a one-out sacrifice fly to center, scoring Karina Rios from third. Cornell would take the lead in the bottom of the inning though, scoring four. The first run would score after a one-out single with two runners in scoring position. Then the next batter would take Borden deep to left for the three-run homer to give the Big Red a 4-1 lead at the time.
Penn would get two back in the following half inning to trim Cornell’s lead to 4-3. With the bases loaded and no outs, Kayla Dahlerbruch reached on an RBI fielder’s choice to score Elysse Gorney from third. Kanani Datan would enter the game as a pinch runner for Dahlerbruch and head coach Leslie King would make the call for her trademark double steal. Datan would be thrown out at second by the catcher on a steal attempt, while Samantha Erosa was able to sneak her way across the plate for the second run of the inning.
The Quakers would trail by the same margin until the top of the seventh when they scored three runs to take a lead they never relinquished. With runners on second and third and one out, Cornell would make the pitching change to Alyson Onyon. Jessica Arneson would reach on a fielder’s choice bunt, scoring Jessica Melendez for the RBI. Caso would approach the plate next and slap an RBI single to right for another run. Sydney Turchin came up to bat next and hit a sacrifice fly to center for the final run of the half inning.
Penn took a 6-4 lead into the home half, and despite allowing a solo home run, would walk away with the 6-5 Game 1 victory.
WP: Alexis Borden (14-8), 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
LP: Alyson Onyon (12-14), 7 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, K
The Red and Blue started the game off on the right note, plating two runs in the top of the first inning. Brooke Coloma would collect her first RBI of the afternoon, grounding out to third with two runners in scoring position. Two batters later with two outs and the bases loaded, Melendez would single to right to score Erosa for the second run of the half inning. Cornell would get those runs back in the home half quickly. With one on and one out, the Big Red would take Borden deep once again, this time to centerfield, for the two-run shot to knot the game at two apiece.
Things would stay quiet for both teams until the top of the fourth when Penn was able to scratch out one run. The Quakers scored what would turn out to be the game-winning run with a little small ball. Rios led off the inning with a walk, and then was moved over by a sacrifice bunt from Arneson. Caso would complete the process with a shot up the middle to score Rios from second.
Penn would tack on three more insurance runs in the top of the seventh to seal the 6-2 victory, and the 3-1 series win. Coloma would notch her second RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Gorney from third for the first run of the inning. Melendez would complete the scoring two batters later – the senior quad-captain broke through for her first home run of the season, a two run shot to left-center.
Borden would pitch a one-two-three inning in the home half to capture her 14th victory of the season. Penn is now 13-3 in the Ivy League and holds a four-game advantage for first in the South Division. The Quakers also hold a one-game lead over Dartmouth (22-17, 12-4) for homefield advantage in the Ivy League Championships Series.
The Red and Blue will be back in action for their final non-conference game of the regular season this Wednesday at Penn Park. They will meet Temple for a Big 5 matchup, which is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Live stats will be available for the game and make sure to follow @UPennSoftball for live in-game updates and conversation as well.