ITHACA, N.Y. - Cornell used seven home runs and 23 hits to pound out 18 runs over two games against Penn in the first of two doubleheader meetings between these two squads who came into Friday just a game apart. The Big Red (22-18, 9-5 Ivy) now lead Penn (15-18-1, 6-8 Ivy) by three games in the Ivy League South Division with just two games left between the Big Red and the Quakers and just six games overall in the Ivy League. The two squads are rained out for the rest of the weekend and will play the second doubleheader sometime between Monday and Wednesday of the upcoming week.
In game one, Cornell hit the ground running with a leadoff double, followed by a walk. A double down the left field line would bring home the first Big Red run of the game. Following another base on balls, Mikenzie Voves got the first out on a strikeout with the bases loaded. A groundout to second would get the second out of the inning, but the second Cornell run crossed the plate in the process. Another groundout would get Penn through the first down 2-0. In the second, a Big Red two-out single was followed by a two-run home run that gave Cornell a 4-0 lead after the second inning.
Jessica Melendez got Penn on the board in the third with a solo home run to centerfield. This was Melendez's first home of the season and was just a sign of things to come as she would go deep a total of three times during the day.
Penn held the Cornell offense off the board in the third and the Quakers looked to rally in the top of fourth. Alisha Prystowsky drew a leadoff walk and Brooke Coloma put runners on first and second with nobody out after she singled through the left side of the infield. Kayla Dahlerbruch moved both runners into scoring position with one out following a successful sacrifice bunt. However, Cornell's starting pitcher, Elizabeth Dalrymple, would get two consecutive strikeouts to end the Penn threat.
In the top of fifth, Melendez once again led off the inning and would once again take the pitch over the fence; this time going to left for her second home run against Dalrymple. Penn was unable to cut the gap any further in the fifth and headed to the bottom of the inning down 4-2 with the only RBI's coming from Melendez solo home runs.
Cornell started the bottom of the fifth with back-to-back singles and moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt. A hit by pitch loaded up the bases and a pinch-hit grand slam by Erica Gaeta made the score 8-2 Cornell. A one-out double by the Cornell leadoff hitter, followed by a two-run home run by Jenny Edwards made the score 10-2. With the eight run lead, the game ended after five with Cornell taking game one.
Dalrymple threw well for Cornell on her way to the victory. Outside of Melendez's two solo shots, the Big Red senior allowed just two hits throughout the game. In addition to Coloma's single in the fourth, Prystowsky also had a two-out single in the first. Dalrymple struck out 10 over the five inning game, while just walking one.
Penn looked to be rebounding nicely from a tough defeat in game one when it scored twice in the top of the first. Samantha Erosa got the inning started with a two-out single through the left side and Prystowsky blasted her fifth home run of the season over the left field fence for her team leading fifth home run of the season. Cornell managed just one hit in each of the first two innings as Cailyn Hennessy was in control of the Big Red offense early on in the game.
In the third, Penn added two more runs to take a 4-0 lead. Erosa once again got the inning rolling for Penn; this time with a leadoff walk. After two consecutive outs, Melendez delivered her third home run of the day and her first in game two.
Cornell would get on the board in the bottom of the third. Following two singles, a double down the left field line brought home the first Big Red run of the game with two outs. Hennessy would get the fly out to Coloma in right to end the inning, preserving the three run lead heading into the fourth.
In the fourth, Cornell would tie up the game on back-to-back-to-back home runs to lead off the inning. This tied the score at four and brought Voves out for her second consecutive game. Two runners would reach base, but Voves would keep the game tied heading into the fifth.
In the fifth, Cornell would bring Dalrymple back for game two and she would surrender just a walk to Prystowsky in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the inning, a leadoff walk and fielder's choice preceded a one-out single that put two runners on with just one out. Ali Tomlinson would bring home both those runs with a three-run home, making the score 7-4 after the fifth.
Penn would cut into the lead in the top of the sixth with two runs of its own off Dalrymple. The Big Red would not let Melendez hurt them again as she drew a leadoff walk. Dahlerbruch would make that walk hurt when she took the pitch down the left field line and over the left field fence. Dahlerbruch's second home run of the season would bring Penn to within a run at 7-6.
In the bottom of the sixth, Cornell would manufacture an insurance run. After getting a leadoff single from its leadoff hitter, Cornell bunted her over to second and brought her around to score on a double. This put Penn down 8-6 heading into its final at bats of the day.
This two run lead would be enough for Dalrymple who retired the Penn side in order in the seventh, earning her second victory of the day. In what was overall a tough outing offensively, Melendez finished the day with 4 RBI's from her three home runs.
Penn managed just four hits in the second game, but three of them came on home runs. For the day, Penn finished with just eight hits between the two games and five of them were home runs. However, Cornell combined for seven home runs on the day in the sweep of the doubleheader.
Penn will be off for the rest of the weekend with the bad weather and Penn and Cornell will resume their four-game series early on next week. Check back over the weekend for a finalized date that Penn will make the trip back to Ithaca.