ORLANDO, FLA. – The Penn softball team (1-1) began its season on Friday at the UCF Spring Fling tournament in Orlando, Fla. with a doubleheader. The Quakers started off their season at 9:30 a.m. with a 7-2 win over Connecticut (5-5). Then, at 2:30 p.m., the Red and Blue were in action against Ole Miss (13-8), but fell to the Rebels in a close contest, 2-1.
In their first game of the season, the Quakers wasted no time picking up where they left off in 2012. The first two innings moved quickly, as neither team scored and combined for just three hits. After a quick top half of the third, things began to get complicated.
Sydney Turchin (1-3, BB, R) led off the bottom of the third inning. She hit a chopper to the shortstop which was mishandled, forcing the throw to go over the first baseman’s head. That play resulted in single and Turchin reaching second base safely on the throwing error. Elysse Gorney (1-1, 3 BB, 3 R) followed that up with a walk.
After a Huskies pitching change, Gorney and Turchin advanced two second and third on a passed ball. Kayla Dahlerbruch (0-2, R) was next up to bat and walked to load the bases. Brooke Coloma (1-4, RBI) came to the plate and hit an RBI-single to left field, scoring the first unearned run of the day – the two teams combined for five unearned in the game.
Penn subbed in a runner and popped up, and then Jessica Melendez (0-4) lined out to center field. An errand throw to second base by the center fielder resulted in another error – and another unearned run scored by the Quakers. After three innings, Penn led 2-0.
Lindsay Mann started on the day and gave up her only run, unearned, in the top of the fourth as the Quakers recorded their only error of the game. The Red and Blue followed that up with two runs on another Connecticut error in the bottom of the fourth, scoring both on a throwing error by the left fielder.
Lauren Li made her collegiate debut, relieving Mann at the top of the fifth and finished the game with one earned and her first-career save. The Quakers added three in the bottom half of the sixth for good measure, and put the Huskies away, 7-2, to start the season 1-0.
Samantha Erosa also had a good day, leading all Penn hitters by going 3-4 and knocking in a run as well.
Game 2 – Ole Miss
WP: Carly Hummel (6-4), 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 6 K
LP: Alexis Borden (0-1), 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
The afternoon matchup featured a pair of talented pitchers, and they did not disappoint. Alex Borden and Carly Hummel matched each other pitch for pitch, with both hurlers tossing complete games. Borden and Hummel also struck out six batters and gave up four hits apiece.
After the first inning and a half, there was no action and Borden walked into the circle in the bottom half of the second. After pitching a perfect first inning, the sophomore surrendered her first hit of the game to the Rebels’ first baseman, who took her deep to left-centerfield for a solo shot and the first run of the game.
Borden settled down and didn’t allow another run until the bottom of the fifth inning. With two runners in scoring position, Ole Miss’ third baseman hit a sacrifice fly to deep left field, scoring the Rebels’ second run of the afternoon. The Quakers finally got on the board in the top of the sixth as Erosa (0-2, RBI, BB) grounded out to short, scoring the pinch runner Kanani Datan (0-0, R).
Penn’s reining Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Borden, would follow up Erosa’s offense by pitching a flawless sixth to give her team a chance to extend the game. Unfortunately, the Red and Blue went down in order in the top of the seventh, ending the game, 2-1 in Ole Miss’ favor.
The Quakers will be back in action tomorrow for another doubleheader. They meet Philadelphia rival Villanova at 2 p.m. and follow that up with a nightcap against host Central Florida at 6:30 p.m. Live stats for the early game against the Wildcats will be available HERE, and for the matchup with the Knights HERE. Follow @UPennSoftball for live in-game Twitter updates as well.