PHILADELPHIA – With two outs, two on, and a full count in the bottom of the eighth against Temple, University of Pennsylvania softball senior Kayla Dahlerbruch prepped herself at the plate. On the payoff pitch, Dahlerbruch hit a walk-off single to the right line allowing freshman Leah Allen to score the winning run. The Quakers (7-11 overall, 2-0 Ivy) outscored the Owls (9-15 overall, 0-3 American) in the midweek Big 5 rival match up at Penn Park, 4-3. The Red and Blue keep the momentum rolling with their third consecutive win as they prepare for an important weekend of Ivy play on the road.
WP: Alexis Sargent (4-2), 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
LP: Kelsey Dominik (5-6), 7.2 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 6 BB, 3 K
Through the first five innings Penn held a 3-0 lead, but the game proved to be more dramatic down the stretch.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Quakers were set in prime scoring position with bases loaded and one out. Freshman Alexis Sargent reached first on a fielder’s choice, as Temple’s short stop senior Sarah Prezioso threw home to prevent the scoring. However, Owl catcher Kaylyn Zierke was just shy from tagging Allen out as she slid safely across home plate. Unable to score any more, the Red and Blue left the bases loaded to end the third.
Penn went right back to work at bat, after starting pitcher freshman Courtney Cuzick only allowed one hit in the top of the fourth. With two outs and runners on second and third, senior tri-captain Elysse Gorney batted in two runs with her single to left field, giving the Quakers the 3-0 lead.
After a quiet fifth inning Cuzick ran into trouble as sophomore Owl Annie Marcopolus doubled to right center, knocking in Temple’s first run. Another double and sacrifice fly gave the Owls two more runs to end the top of the sixth tied with the Red and Blue at three.
A battle ensued and an opportunity to score arose for the Quakers, after Temple’s pitcher Kelsey Dominik walked Gorney with sophomore Kanani Datan at second in the bottom of the sixth. However, a groundout from Dahlerbruch ended the inning and the Red and Blue defense took the field to start the seventh.
The intensity heightened as each team recorded no hits, one error, and one left on base in the seventh, resulting in extra innings.
With Sargent on the mound, Owl Leah Lucas found her way to first via walk. Sargent struck out the next two batters, while the third flied out to left field to end the top.
Penn then went to bat one last time.
Dahlerbruch’s resilience shined as she worked the full count with two outs and two on to give the Red and Blue the victory over the cross-town rival with the walk-off single.
The Quakers gear up for an Ivy weekend up north with Harvard and Dartmouth. Penn plays the Crimson in a doubleheader on Friday starting at 2 p.m., which will be followed by another doubleheader in Hanover on Saturday against the Big Green beginning at 12:30p.m.