HANOVER, N.H. – After dropping the first game, 5-1, the University of Pennsylvania softball team broke open Game Two, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first with back to back singles from junior tri-captain Sydney Turchin and sophomore Kanani Datan against Dartmouth in the Ivy League Championship series. The Quakers went on to win Game Two, 5-3, forcing a third game.
The Red and Blue and Big Green will battle it out on Sunday for the Ivy title with the first pitch set for 1 p.m. at the Dartmouth Softball Park. This is the fourth time since the Ivy League Championship series began in 2007 that a decisive game has been needed. In each of the three-game series, the host team won games one and three, a trend the Quakers will look to change.
WP: Kristen Rumley (16-7), 5.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Save: Morgan McCalmon (2), 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
LP: Alexis Borden (11-9), 6.0 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
Penn was first on the board in the top of the second when freshman Alexis Sargent smacked a double to right field, knocking freshman Leah Allen home safely for the 1-0 lead. The Quakers held on to the lead until the bottom of the third when Dartmouth’s Katie McEachern hit a two-run shot to left center. Up 2-1 after three, the Big Green never looked back and kept the Red and Blue from recording any more hits.
In the bottom of the sixth, Dartmouth added three more runs to secure the win at 5-1.Game 2
WP: Alexis Borden (12-9), 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
LP: Morgan McCalmon (10-5), 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Playing as the home team, the Quakers were once again the first to put runs on the board. After back-to-back singles by tri-captain Sydney Turchin and sophomore Kanani Datan, senior tri-captain Elysse Gorney moved the two into scoring position with a groundout to second. Freshman Leah Allen added a third single in the home half, allowing Turchin to score easily. After Allen recorded her 13 stolen base of the season, freshman Alexis Sargent grounded out to short moving Allen to third and Datan home for the 2-0 lead. The third run of the inning came when senior Kayla Dahlerbruch laid down a bunt that third baseman Kelsey Miller couldn’t not cleanly field, allowing Allen to slide into home safely.
But Dartmouth wasn’t about to go down without a fight, responding with a second two-run shot of the day in the top of the second by Karen Chaw to cut the Red and Blue’s lead to 3-2. The Big Green then tied the game in the top of the third when Megan Averitt got on after hitting a double down the left line, only to be sent home on a single to the right line by Katie McEachern and a fielding error. It was the last time Dartmouth would score, as the Quakers shut down the Big Green and didn’t allowed them to record any more hits.
Penn put up the winning run in the bottom of the third, starting the half off with a hard hit double to left center by leadoff Datan. One out later, Allen came up and hit a second double to almost the exact location in left center, allowing Datan to make it home safely.
The Quakers then added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth when sophomore Korinne Raby led off with a single to short. After two outs and with Turchin back at the plate, the Big Green made a pitching change and put left-handed pitcher Kristen Rumley back in the circle. But after two thrown strikes, left-handed batter Turchin found the perfect pitch, placing the ball in the middle of three Dartmouth players in left center for an RBI double.
After playing tough defense, it all came down to three final outs in the top of the seventh. Big Green Karen Chaw blasted a ball out to left center and it looked as if it was out of the park. However, Datan made an ESPN worthy grab on the fence to erase Dartmouth’s hopes of scoring. After what looked like a routine fly out, Turchin couldn’t quite grab the ball which allowed Rumley to reach first. However two groundouts ended the game and gave the Red and Blue the 5-3 win to push the series to a deciding third game.
Before the day’s games, Morgan McCalmon for the Big Green was leading the League with a .424 batting average. However, Borden shut the best hitter down, forcing her to go 0-for-6 on the day with three strikeouts to lower her average to .400.