PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania softball team (21-15, 10-2 Ivy) was finally able to rid themselves of the midweek bug on Wednesday afternoon when it topped Drexel (12-29, 0-12 CAA) on the road, 3-2.
The Quakers would take the early lead in the top of the first inning. Syndey Turchin led off the game with a nice triple to right-center for her second of the season. Stephanie Caso followed that with a grounder to the pitcher, but the Dragon hurler would botch the throw to first after trying to hold the runner on third, scoring Turchin to give the Quakers the early 1-0 lead. Lauren Li would come on in the home half and pitch a scoreless inning.
Penn would plate two more during the top of the second and again the runs would come unearned. Vanessa Weaver would reach on a fielder’s choice to short, but steal second for her first of the season during Kanani Datan’s at-bat. Datan would reach on a fielding error by the first baseman while Weaver advanced to third. Datan then stole second with Turchin at the plate. Then, with two runners in scoring position and two outs, the sophomore would lace a single to left-center for two RBI, giving Penn the 3-0 lead. The Dragons would get two back in the home half though, as a two-RBI double would go over Turchin’s head.
Things would get a bit complicated in the top of the third. Elysse Gorney would enter the game as the designated player, batting for Caso in the second spot. The junior would reach on a leadoff walk but get called out for an illegal substation on the official lineup sheet. That would take a run off the board for Penn because the next batter, Kayla Dahlerbruch, hit a double to left-center with the bases empty. The Red and Blue would come up scoreless in the inning.
Alexis Borden would enter in the bottom of the third in relief of Li, who would move over to shortstop with Caso out of the game. The sophomore would settle in nicely during her first inning of work, walking one but striking out two looking to end the third. She would then send the Drexel side down in order, including another strikeout, in the bottom of the fourth.
The Quakers had a chance to stretch their lead in the top of the fifth as Korinne Raby approached the plate with runners on the corners and two outs. Unfortunately, the rookie backstop was unable to get anything across for Penn.
Amanda Gisonni would come on in relief in the bottom of the fifth after Borden pitched two strong innings. The freshman would pitch a scoreless, yet eventful, bottom of the fifth. After giving up a couple infield singles and striking out the next batter, the Dragons would load the bases with just one out. Gisonni proceeded to get another strikeout and a foul out to get out of the jam.
Penn would bring in Lindsay Mann in the top of the sixth. The senior would go on to toss two scoreless innings to secure the victory for her first save of the season. The sixth was easy for Mann, who got a ground out and a couple of foul ball outs to Rios at first. The bottom of the seventh was a little less so. The Dragons got into another bases loaded, one out situation as they looked poised to at least send the game into extras. Fortunately, Datan was able to get the double play to end the game. The freshman caught the fly ball for one out in centerfield and threw out the runner at home trying to score to end it.
The Red and Blue will be back in action this weekend when they travel to Ithaca, N.Y. for a pair of afternoon doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday against Cornell. The Quakers currently hold a four-game lead in the South Division and a two-game lead on the entire conference. Live stats will be available on Cornell’s athletics website for all four contests.