PHILADELPHIA - Since the start of divisional play, softball had only beaten Cornell three out four times once, which was in 2007 season, when the Quakers advanced to the Ivy League Championship Series. With a split on Saturday, the 2012 squad has now also accomplished that feat.
With the win in game one, the Quakers (27-15, 11-5 Ivy) now have more overall victories in one season than any other team in program history. Cornell (20-20, 11-5 Ivy) salvaged the fourth and final game in the series in game two, deadlocking the two schools in the South Division standings with one final weekend and four Ivy games to go.
In game one, the Quakers jumped all over the Big Red early, scoring five runs in the first and three more in the second on their way to the 9-2 victory. In the second game, it was Cornell that jumped on top early with three in the first and another in the second to pace its 5-0 win.
Penn 9, Cornell 2 (Game one)
Cornell singled to start the top of the first, but a strikeout by Alexis Borden and humpback liner to Stephanie Caso, who doubled off the runner on first, set the stage for Penn in the bottom half. Sydney Turchin and Elysse Gorney drew back-to-back walks to get the inning started. After a fly out, Brooke Coloma reached on an infield throwing error to load the bases. Jessica Melendez would bring home the first run with a RBI single into center field, while the second scored on a wild pitch to the next batter.
With runners on second and third, Georgia Guttadauro dropped a single down the right field line to give Penn a 3-0 advantage and placing runners on the corners. Guttadauro then went for the steal of second and got caught in a rundown. This allowed Melendez to score from third for the fourth run of the inning. Guttadauro also escaped the rundown and got to second. She would come around to score on Samantha Erosa's single into center field, staking Penn to a 5-0 lead after the first inning.
Borden set down the Big Red in order in the second and Penn would jump all over the Cornell reliever that came on with one out in the first inning. Kayla Dahlerbruch reached with one out on a fielding error, but was cut down on a fielder's choice. Melendez would keep the inning alive with her double off the wall in right-center field, putting runners on second and third with two outs. This set the stage for Guttadauro, who homered over the highest part of the wall in center field, extending Penn's lead to 8-0 after two innings. The home run was her fourth of the season and second this weekend.
In the top of third, Borden set down Cornell in succession for the second straight inning, but Cornell would hold Penn scoreless for the first time in the bottom of that frame. In the fourth, the Big Red came back with two runs. Four singles from the first five hitters in the Cornell fourth allowed those two runs to score, but Borden would keep her composure and get the final two outs of the inning on the right side of the infield to prevent any further damage.
The Quakers answered back in the bottom of the fourth. Dahlerbruch led off the bottom half of the inning with her first career triple down the right field line and out of the reach of a diving outfielder. She then came around to score on a Guttadauro one-out RBI single through the right side, extending Penn's lead to 9-2 after four innings.
Borden took control over the Cornell lineup in the fifth, setting down the Big Red in order for the third time in that frame. The Quakers threatened to end the game early after singles by Caso and Turchin to start the fifth, but Lauren Marx would get three straight fly outs to keep the game alive.
The two extra innings would make no difference for the Cornell offense that managed just one runner during that time. Borden retired the Cornell side in order in the sixth. In the seventh, strong defense would erase one of two Big Red singles in the inning as Borden finished the seventh for her 18th win of the season.
In the first game, Penn tallied 13 hits with seven different players entering the hit column. Five of those players recorded multi-hit games, led by Guttadauro with three hits and four RBI. Turchin, Melendez, Erosa, and Caso all finished with a pair of hits. The first through third hitters in the Penn lineup each scored one run, while the fourth through sixth hitters each scored twice. The fourth through seventh hitters in the lineup each had at least one RBI during the first game.
Cornell 5, Penn 0 (Game two)
Fighting for their final chance at a victory in the four-game series, Cornell started quickly in game two. A one-out single and two-out walk put runners on first and second. A second single back through the middle brought home Cornell's first run. A key two-out defensive miscue would then allow two more unearned runs to score in the top of the first as Cornell took a 3-0 lead into the second.
In the second inning, Cornell once again did its damage with two out. After Mikenzie Voves got a strikeout and ground out, Jenny Edwards delivered a home run over the fence in center field with the wind blowing out, putting Cornell up 4-0. Melendez would give Penn its first hit of the second game with a single in the bottom half, but she was stranded.
The top of the third saw Voves get the first two batters, but Cornell again threatened with a two-out single and walk. However, this time Voves got the ground out to hold Cornell off the board, but the Big Red's starter, Alyson Onyon, allowed just one runner, a Caso hit by pitch, in the inning. In the fourth, Edwards singled for the first runner of the inning after two Voves strikeouts. She then came around to score on a Kristen Towne double as Cornell took the 5-0 lead.
Penn would look to have something going in the bottom of the fifth with a leadoff single by Erosa and two-out single by Caso, but Onyon again kept the Penn offense at bay by stranding the two runners. In the top of the sixth, Voves worked around a leadoff and one-out single, holding Cornell scoreless for the inning. In the bottom of the sixth, Dahlerbruch doubled off the wall down the left field line, but Onyon would strand another runner.
In the seventh, Cornell started with back-to-back singles. This brought Lindsay Mann out of the bullpen to try and escape the jam. The first batter she faced bunted those runners into scoring position for the first out. Cornell put the squeeze on with the next batter, but the Penn defense was ready for it and got the tag play at the plate. Mann would get the final batter to line out as she retired all three batters that she faced in relief.
The Quakers looked to have something going early in their final at-bats with a Guttadauro single followed by an Erosa walk to start the inning, but Onyon got the next three hitters as the Big Red salvaged the one victory.
The final weekend of the Ivy regular season will see Penn play at home against Columbia on Friday before making the trip to New York City on Saturday. Cornell will travel to Princeton for its final four games of the Ivy League season. Before that weekend series, Penn host Delaware this upcoming Wednesday at 6 p.m.