PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania Softball team (18-15, 8-2 Ivy) split its afternoon doubleheader against Princeton (21-13, 6-4 Ivy) on Saturday afternoon at Penn Park. Game 1 finished with a dramatic come-from-behind walk-off victory by the Quakers but the second half went the Tigers’ way as Penn fell behind early and couldn’t quite climb all the way back.
WP: Amanda Gisonni (1-3), 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R
LP: Alex Peyton (6-4), 6 IP, 13 H, 10 R (9 ER), 4 BB, 5 K
Things got started quickly for the Quakers. Trailing 1-0 heading into the bottom of the first, Penn jumped all over Princeton’s starter Alex Peyton for four runs. The Red and Blue’s first two batters, Sydney Turchin and Elyse Gorney, reached safely right away on a single and a walk respectively. The next at-bat saw Samantha Erosa drop a sacrifice bunt, advancing both runners into scoring position.
Brooke Coloma broke through in the following at-bat, singling home Turchin – Coloma would also swipe second base during the next at-bat. With Kayla Dahlerbruch at the plate, Peyton had one get away from her for a wild pitch, scoring Gorney and sending Coloma to third. After Dahlerbruch drew the walk, Jessica Melendez singled home Coloma for the third run of the inning. The scoring would finish during the next at-bat as Jessica Arneson reached on a tricky fielder’s choice, during which she advanced to second on a throwing error by the catcher after the force at home while Melendez crossed the plate safely after.
Princeton would get two back in the top of the third, leaving Penn with a 4-3 lead after a pair of bases loaded RBIs. The Quakers would put another run on the board for the 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth when Dahlerbruch scored Coloma from first after a triple down the leftfield line. Each team would score one more in the sixth, putting the score at 6-4 entering the top of the seventh.
Alexis Borden needed just three more outs to seal the win, but the Tigers got to the sophomore hurler for five runs to take their first lead since the top of the first. Princeton started off the seventh with two back-to-back one-out homers for three runs total. The Tigers would get two more across, one of which was unearned, chasing Borden from the game. Amanda Gisonni would step into the circle with one out and a runner on second. The freshman would get a couple groundouts to her middle infielders, stopping the bleeding at five runs.
Things looked bleak for the Quakers as they headed into the home half of the seventh trailing by three runs. Erosa started things off right with a leadoff single up the middle. Coloma followed with the same and Penn had runners on first and second with no outs. Dahlerbruch came up to bat next and slapped a single just passed the second baseman, scoring Erosa and closing the deficit to two. After Melendez was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Georgia Guttadauro hit a key game-tying double to right center for two runs. Then, Arneson would approach the plate and pull off the unthinkable. The senior would drop down a bunt with Coloma halfway to home plate – a suicide squeeze. Coloma slid to avoid the tag and was called safe, cementing the wild comeback with a gutsy walk-off call by head coach Leslie King.
WP: Shanna Christian (7-3), 7 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
LP: Lauren Li (5-2), 4.2 IP, 11 H, 5 R (4 ER), BB
The second half of the doubleheader was not as eventful as the top half, although the Quakers would have another shot at a late-inning comeback. Princeton would score one run in the second, third, and fourth innings before Penn was able to put a tally on the board. With two outs and runners on first and second, Korinne Raby would single home Dahlerbruch to bring the score to 3-1 heading into the top of the fifth.
With two outs in the inning, the Tigers would get to Li for a couple of runs forcing King to make the pitching change. Mann came on and got the final out via a fly ball to center – the senior would pitch 2.1 innings of scoreless ball to keep the Quakers in contention.
Trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Penn would finally make a splash. Gorney came to the plate with one out and took Princeton’s Shanne Christian deep to right center for her first home run of the season. The next at-bat saw Erosa take Christian to right center for another solo shot. At the end of the inning the Quakers were trailing 5-3 having closed the gap with a couple of runs.
The Red and Blue would have a chance to get those last two runs back in the bottom of the sixth with two outs and runners on second and third. Turchin made great contact, but hit it right at the Tigers’ centerfielder to end the inning. Penn would get nothing across in the bottom of the seventh, leaving the game to finish with a 5-3 final and a Day 1 split with Princeton.
The Quakers will meet the same Tigers squad at Penn Park for another afternoon doubleheader at Penn Park tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Live stats and live radio will be available for both contests and make sure to follow @UPennSoftball for live in-game updates and conversation as well.