PHILADELPHIA - Softball racked up 23 hits and 14 runs on Friday afternoon, sweeping Columbia in the final regular season games of the year at Penn Park. The Quakers (30-15, 13-5 Ivy) also got solid pitching from Alexis Borden, who threw two complete games against the Lions (12-31, 6-12 Ivy). She allowed one run in each as Penn took home the first game, 5-1, and finished up the sweep with a 9-1 run-rule shortened victory in the second game. With the two wins, Penn is now a game up in the standings over Cornell, but the two schools are even in the loss column after the Big Red were idle today.
Penn 5, Columbia 1 (Game one)
Borden got the Quakers off to a quick by setting Columbia down in order in the first. Sydney Turchin and Kayla Dahlerbruch singles put Penn runners on first and third with one out. The Quakers would try to execute the double steal during the next at-bat, but had the runner from third gunned down at the plate and Columbia would later get out of the inning. In the second inning, the Lions would get one of their only five hits in the first game on Christie Taylor's homer to right-center field, giving the Lions the early 1-0 lead.
Columbia would threaten again in the third after back-to-back singles to start the inning. Those runners would advance to second and third with nobody out on a passed ball, but Borden got the next three hitters to pop out on the infield to escape that jam. Penn would break through in the bottom half. Jessica Arneson got the inning started with a leadoff single. She was bunted into scoring position by Stephanie Caso and came around to score on a double by Turchin. The Quakers would then take the 2-1 lead when singled back through the middle with two outs.
In the fourth and fifth innings, Borden would allow just two runners on base over that span and Penn would tact on another run in the bottom of the fifth. Caso got this inning started when she reached on a chopper to short that was misplayed. A second Turchin double would then put runners on second and third. Elysse Gorney then singled back through the middle to bring home Penn's third run of the day.
After Borden worked a perfect sixth, Penn added two more in the bottom half. Leading off the inning, Brooke Coloma homered to straight away center over the highest part of the fence. Her fifth home run of the season gave Penn a 4-1 lead. Georgia Guttadauro followed that at-bat up with a double into left-center field and she came around to score on Samantha Erosa's RBI single into center field, giving Penn a 5-1 lead heading to the final inning.
In the seventh, Borden allowed just one infield single as she locked down the 5-1 win. In the first game, Borden went the full seven innings and struck out five during her time in the circle. The Quakers finished with 12 hits in game two, led by Turchin's 4-for-4 performance. Dahlerbruch also finished with two hits as eight of the nine starters had a hit in the opening game.
Penn 9, Columbia 1 - 5 Inn. (Game two)
With Borden not having allowed a run over the final five innings of game one, the Quakers went back to their opening game starter. She responded by setting down Columbia in order in the first. Penn would put runners on first and second with one out, but a fly out to short right turned into two outs when Penn got too aggressive on the base paths.
Borden again retired the Lions in order in the second and Penn erupted in bottom half. A Guttadauro walk, followed by singles by Erosa and Arneson loaded up the bases. Caso singled home the first run with her hit into right. Turchin then grounded out to second, bringing home the second run of the inning. Gorney would make it three straight at-bats with a RBI as she singled into center field, scoring the final two runs of the second.
Columbia got its first hit of the game in the third inning, but Borden would work around the leadoff runner and Penn scored four more in the bottom half. Guttadauro and Arneson singled with no outs around an Erosa walk to load the bases for the second straight inning. A fielding error with one out allowed two runs to score off the bat of Turchin. Two more walks loaded the bases and Coloma singled home two more runs to give Penn an 8-0 lead after three innings.
In the top of the fourth, Borden set down the Columbia order in succession for the third time in the first four innings. In the bottom half, Penn added one final run. Karina Rios doubled in her pinch-hit at-bat to start the inning. On Senior Day, Justine Payne drove in the final Penn run of the day on her double into left field, making the score 9-0.
Borden locked down her 21st victory of the season after a one-out walk came around to score, but the Quakers would prevail in the 9-1 run-rule shortened win. In the second game, Borden allowed just two hits and one walk over the five innings. For the day, she allowed just seven hits in her 12 innings of work. Ten different players recorded hits in the second game for Penn. Turchin finished her day with five hits, while eight different players had multiple hits over the two games.
Penn will now be on the road to finish up the regular season against Columbia. The second half of the home-and-away series will get underway tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. in New York City.