LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – The University of Pennsylvania softball team took to the road on Saturday, and notched a doubleheader sweep of Rider University at Herb and Joan Young Field. The Quakers compiled triumphant scores of 5-0 and 12-4, improving to 11-7 on the season.
In a season of stellar performances, junior Alexis Sargent may have come up with her most dominant one yet on Saturday. The junior right-hander allowed just one hit, on the way to a 14-strikeout shutout of the Broncs. In addition, Sargent didnt walk anyone—facing just two batters over the minimum.
It is her seventh-straight complete game, and improves her record to 8-1 this season.
On the other side, it was a pair of freshmen that led the way for the Quakers. Sarah Cwiertnia and Sam Pederson combined to go 5-for-8 at the dish with a pair of RBI. Lauren Li also notched a pair of hits, to go along with a walk.
Penn jumped out to the lead in the top of the first thanks to a pair of walks, and some sloppy fielding from Rider. Pederson led off the game with a hit—and after a sacrifice bunt and a pair of walks—the Quakers loaded the bases. Pederson would then score on a dropped Sargent fly ball, and the Red and Blue led 1-0.
The Quakers added to their lead in the third, with Cwiertnia drilling a two-out RBI double to right-center field. Sophomore Jurie Joyner scored on the play, after reaching on a two-out Broncs’ error.
Penn erupted in the seventh, padding its lead with three more runs. Leah Allen sparked the rally with a two-run home run over the right-field wall. Li trotted around the bases, following a lead-off hit. Cwiertni would then double again, scoring Hayley Metcalf from second. Metcalf pinch-ran for Sydney Kranzmann, who reached on Rider’s fifth error of the game.
The Quakers kept the momentum rolling in Game Two, and who else but Allen led the charge. The junior slugger homered twice in the fifth inning, sparking a nine-run explosion for the Quakers. She continues to lead the Ivy League in RBI, upping her total to 23 this season.
Back-to-back walks to begin the second sparked Penn’s first rally. Sargent would come around to score on a Korinne Raby RBI ground out, while Metcalf was plated on a Rider error.
The Quakers would go on to take a 3-2 lead in the third, but it was a nine-run fifth that provided the exclamation point for the Quakers.
Allen led off the frame with a solo blast, and then knocked her league-leading fifth home run--a three-run shot--later in the inning. The Red and Blue would tally nine hits in the fifth, including RBI knocks from Jessica England and Kanani Datan.
Li and sophomore Mason Spichiger saw time in the circle for the Quakers, with Li picking up her first win of the season. She didn’t allow a run in 1.1 innings of work.
The Quakers return home for a doubleheader against Lehigh on Wednesday. Penn and the Mountain Hawks are set for a 3 p.m. first pitch at Penn Park.