NEWARK, Del. - Softball lost its final non-conference game of the season on Wednesday at Delaware. Penn (15-19-1) got down in the early 3-0 hole, but climbed its way to back to make the score 3-2. However, Delware (18-29) would pull away in the bottom of the sixth and hang on for the 6-2 win. Penn will get back into Ivy League action this weekend when it travels to New York on Friday against Columbia at 2 p.m.
Delaware starter Hannah Rust pitched the first two innings for the Blue Hens and was successful at shutting down the Quaker offense. The only base runner she allowed during her two innings of work was Kayla Dahlerbruch, who singled into centerfield to start the second inning.
Penn's starting pitcher Mikenzie Voves was just as impressive during that stretch. Voves worked around a leadoff walk to start the first inning and stranded two more runners in the bottom of the second as both teams headed into the third inning unable to break though on the scoreboard.
Kathleen Conway came on in relief in the third inning for Delaware and once again held Penn off the board. In the bottom of the frame, Delaware worked a one-out walk that moved up to second and eventually came around to score on an RBI single. After Voves got an infield fly to Justine Payne at second base, Gina Knutson came through with a two-out home run to center.
Trailing 3-0, Penn threatened in the top of the fourth. With one out, Alisha Prystowsky got on when she was hit by pitch for the 11th time this season. Dahlerbruch followed her plate appearance with a single into left field to put two on with one out. Delaware would escape the inning with a strikeout and fly ball to center field to retire the side.
Taylor Tieman came on to pitch in the bottom of the inning and quickly retired the first two hitters she faced. With two-out, Delaware drew a base on balls, but that runner was quickly cut down on the base paths as Prystowsky caught the Blue Hen runner trying to steal with two outs.
Penn would finally breakthrough in the fifth inning. After another change in the circle for Delaware, Kristen Johnson greeted the new pitcher with a single through the left side. Following two consecutive groundouts, Johnson was standing on third with two out. She would come home on Elysse Gorney's double down the left field line. Gorney then scored on Stephanie Caso's two-out single into right field. Tieman shut down the Delaware offense in the bottom of the inning and Delaware was clinging to a 3-2 lead heading into the sixth inning.
The sixth inning saw another pitcher change for the Blue Hens and Penn would not get to the new pitcher until there were two outs. Meg Krasne tried to get the Penn rally going with her single back through the middle. Johnson would follow that hit up with a ball driven to the gap, but Krasne was thrown out at the plate and Delaware preserved its one run lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Tieman got the first two outs with just one walk allowed. However, with two outs, Delaware got a single followed by a double to bring home the fourth run of the game. Penn looked to be out of the inning shortly after that but a defensive error brought home two more Delaware runs.
In the top of the seventh, Gorney singled back through the middle and Caso reached on an error, but Penn could do no more damage as Delaware held on for the 6-2 win.
Penn will be back in action this Friday at Columbia with the first game of the doubleheader scheduled to get underway at 2 p.m. The two teams will then return to Philadelphia on Saturday to complete the home and home. If Penn is within striking distance of Cornell after this weekend, Penn and Cornell will have to play the final two games of their four game series next week.