PHILADELPHIA – Whatever was ailing the bats of the Penn softball team (6-10) in the early going this season, the Quakers seemed to have found the answer on Friday afternoon. In their home-opener at Penn Park against Lafayette (3-8), the Red and Blue totaled 19 runs on 16 hits in two five-inning wins against the Leopards. The future is bright for Penn, who was led by pitcher Alexis Borden – the sophomore threw her second career no-hitter, the second in program history, in Game 1 – and catcher Korinne Raby – the freshman jacked two home runs and a three-RBI double, totaling nine RBIs on the day.
WP: Alexis Borden (3-6), 5 IP, 4 BB, 7 K – no-hitter
LP: Melissa Robinson (2-6), 4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER (8 R), 4 BB, 1 K
It was literally a coming home party for the Quakers at Penn Park on Friday. Penn went 18-3 in 2012 at home, and that continued as they put eight runs across in the first half of the doubleheader against the Leopards.
Borden walked the first batter of the game but then grounded the next hitter out on a sacrifice bunt. She would strike out the following two as well to finish the first with no hits and one walk. In the bottom half of the inning it looked as though the Quakers woes with runners in scoring position would continue as they loaded the bases but came away with nothing – that trend would not continue. The second inning passed quickly, as neither team would get a hit.
After Borden sent the Lafayette side down in order in the top half, Raby (2-for-3, 6 RBI, 2 R, HR) would strike first blood in the bottom of the third. With runners on first and second and two outs, the freshman from Georgia would take the Leopard pitcher deep the other way over the right-centerfield wall for her third home run of the season – Penn led 3-0 after three.
Borden walked a couple more in the fourth, but no harm done as Lafayette was still without a hit in what would be the second to last inning of the contest. Penn would explode for five runs in the bottom half of the inning, with three coming via a double to deep left-center off the bat of Raby. Brooke Coloma (0-for-3, RBI, 2 R) would get the scoring started in the inning by plating Samantha Erosa (1-for-2, R, BB, 2B) on a fielder’s choice. Raby’s double came two batters later and the rookie would eventually score on an error by the Lafayette shortstop to make the lead 8-0.
Borden would get two putouts and another strikeout in the top of the fifth to cement the eight-run rule and her no-hit victory.
WP: Lauren Li (2-0), 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB
LP: Bryn Gornick (1-2), 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER (3 R), BB, K, IP
In Game 2 Lafayette was able to take the early lead with a two-run homer off Li in the top of the first, but that would be the last Leopard runs for the day. The freshman hurler gave up just three hits the rest of the contest and earned her second career victory.
The Red and Blue would answer with three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Georgia Guttadauro (1-for-2, 2 R, BB) would reach safely to lead off, extending her hitting streak to three games. She would reach third during the next at-bat by Bridget Ellsworth (0-for-2, R, SB) who reached safely on a sacrifice bunt attempt that was bobbled by the Leopards’ third baseman – Ellsworth would steal second during the next at-bat. With runners on second and third the Lafayette pitcher would get called for an illegal pitch, scoring Guttadauro and advancing Ellsworth to third. Sydney Turchin (2-for-2, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB) would reach on a walk, then steal second, and two batters later Erosa (2-for-4, 3 RBI) would single to right field, scoring both runners and advancing to second on the throw.
Penn would score another run in the third before going off for seven in the fourth to enforce the eight-run rule once again. Coloma (2-for-3, R, RBI, 2B) would get things started as the third batter in the inning with an RBI double. After a Lafayette pitching change, Raby (1-for-2, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR, BB) would welcome her to the game with a three-run shot to deep center field for her Ivy League-leading fourth home run of the season. Elysse Gorney (1-for-2, R, 2 RBI, 3B, HBP) broke through with her first big hit of the season as well, knocking in two more runs with a triple down the right field line.
After Erosa knocked in one more insurance run later in the inning, Li came on for the top of the fifth with an 11-2 lead. The freshman from Los Angeles would give up a couple hits but no damage would be done, clinching her second victory of the season.
The Quakers will be back home on March 20 for a doubleheader against another Patriot League opponent, Lehigh. Game 1 is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., followed by Game 2. Live stats and live radio will be available and make sure to follow @UPennSoftball for live in-game updates as well.