COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The University of Pennsylvania softball team (30-19) dropped its opening round NCAA regional matchup on Friday night, falling 12-0 in five innings to host No. 16 Texas A&M (40-15). Penn will be back in action tomorrow evening in an elimination matchup against Arizona (32-25) on ESPN at 5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT.
The top of the first went by quick for Penn as the Quakers were sent down in order. It was not as quiet for Alexis Borden in the home half. The Aggies would proceed to put up a five spot on the sophomore pitcher. It began with a one-out single, followed by another single. Then, the following batter for Texas A&M hit a three-run shot over the centerfield wall to bring the score to 5-0 through one. The Yorba Linda, Calif. native was not all nerves, though, striking out two A&M batters in the process.
The second was much like the first for the Quakers. After Penn went down in order in the top half, the Aggies put across five more to stretch the lead to 10-0 through two, chasing Borden from the game. After the sophomore got the first two outs of the inning (including another strikeout), Texas A&M had a couple run-scoring singles and a two-run homer to deep left-center. Lauren Li would come on in relief to get the final out, a lineout to center.
Stephanie Caso was able to break through for the Red and Blue in the top of the third with a two-out double down the leftfield line, breaking up the perfect game. In the home half, Li would allow one RBI-single to make the game 11-0 but Samantha Erosa’s highlight catch to end the inning on a double play was the story of the inning. With one out and runners on second and third, the senior captain caught a hard liner above her head and then sprinted to second, diving into the base ahead of the Aggie runner for out number three.
Penn went down in order in the top of the fourth, but Erosa’s solid play in the field continued into the bottom half of the inning. The A&M pitcher would knock in a run with a single to left, but Penn threw her out trying to advance to second. With runners on the corners and one out, Erosa picked up a ground ball and tagged out the runner on her way to second. The Penn senior then tossed easily to Georgia Guttadauro at first for the 4-3 double play.
Unfortunately the Quakers would go down in order in the top of the fifth as well, closing the game out for the 12-0 opening round loss. Borden suffered the loss in her first NCAA postseason start.
The Quakers will look to bounce back tomorrow afternoon at 5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT when they take on Arizona in the second game of the day. The contest will be broadcast live on ESPN and the WatchESPN app, and live stats will be available as well. Make sure to follow @UPennSoftball for live in-game updates and conversation for the rest of the weekend.