Softball Drops Both Games in Home Opener vs. Saint Joseph's

Game 1 Box Score

Game 2 Box Score

PHILADELPHIA - In its home opener of the 2011 season, softball dropped both ends of the doubleheader Wednesday night against cross-town rival Saint Joseph's (12-5). The Quakers went toe to toe with Saint Joseph's best pitcher in the first game, before falling just short, 5-2. In the second game, Saint Joseph's used a huge offensive outburst to carry the team to the 13-4 victory in five innings.

Game 1: Saint Joseph's 5 Penn 2

In the first game, freshman Mikenzie Voves got the ball and the challenge of going up against Saint Joseph's number one, Erin Gallagher, who threw a no-hitter against the Quakers a year ago when the two teams met. However, it was Voves who would come out with the dominating stuff in the first inning. After getting the groundout to start the game, Voves struck out the next two batters to get Penn up for its first at-bats. Gallagher was nearly as impressive in her half, getting the first two outs before allowing a triple to Alisha Prystowsky. Undeterred, Gallagher got the final out of the inning with next hitter.

In the second, Voves would have to work out of trouble to keep pace with her counterpart. After another groundout to start the inning, Voves allowed a walk, single, and hit by pitch to load the bases with one out. The next batter grounded to third, but Kayla Dahlerbruch was able to come home and get the force at the plate. With two outs, the Hawks drew a walk that forced in the first run of the game, but Voves would settle down and induce a grounder to first to mitigate the damage.

In Penn's half of the second, it would get the equalizer. After Dahlerbruch singled with one out, Gallagher got a strikeout to put two away, but Bridget Ellsworth then beat out an infield single to put runners on the corners. A Samantha Erosa walk loaded the bases and Elysse Gorney also beat out an infield hit, allowing Dahlerbruch to tie the game at one.

The Hawk's half of the third inning started innocently enough with a strikeout and groundout to the pitcher, but a walk and single through the middle set up Rochelle Christman, who homered to left field, making the score 4-1.

Penn would go down in order in the bottom of the third and Saint Joseph's would load the bases in the fourth with a walk and infield single to put runners on first and second. Both runners stealing, put them on second and third and single brought home one run, but Brooke Coloma gunned the runner from second down at the plate for her third outfield assist of the year. Prystowsky would then catch the runner on first trying to steal in the next at-bat to end the inning.

The Quakers did not score in the fourth and shut down the Hawks offense in the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, Gorney walked with one out and eventually came around to score on a Prystowsky double into the left-center field gap, making the score 5-2.

Taylor Tieman came in to pitch in the top of the sixth and shut down the Hawks in their half of the inning. Dahlerbruch would double in the bottom of the inning, but Penn could not get anything else going and went to the seventh down 5-2.

Tieman allowed a double with one out, but retired all three other batters she faced in the top of the seventh to give Penn one last chance in the bottom of the inning. For the day, Tieman went two innings, allowing just two hits and one walk to keep Penn in the game. Unfortunately, a Gorney walk would be the only runner Penn got in its last at-bat as the Quakers were held scoreless and ultimately fell 5-2 in the first game.

Game 2: Saint Joseph's 13 Penn 4

In game two, Saint Joseph's jumped out to the early lead with three runs in the top of the first, which was aided by two soft grounders on the infield that Saint Joseph's beat out at first and also a defensive lapse by the Quakers in the middle of the inning.

In the bottom of the first, Penn had its opportunity to get right back in the game. Gorney walked to lead off the inning and Stephanie Caso singled to put two aboard. Prystowsky walked to load the bases with nobody out, giving Penn a great chance to score. However, after starting out shaky, the Hawk's starting pitcher settled down in a hurry, striking out the next three hitters to retire the side and end the threat.

In the second inning, Saint Joseph's manufactured a run with a lead-off single and sacrifice bunt that set up an RBI single, making the score 4-0 after one and a half. In their half of the third, Saint Joseph's got a run on a single that was moved over on a sacrifice bunt. An RBI double brought that run home and another single would eventually score the run standing on second, making the score 6-0 at the time.

Penn would get on the board in the bottom of the third. After a Prystowsky walk and Coloma single, Justine Payne knocked an RBI single into right field, cutting the lead to 6-1.

However, Saint Joseph's would get right back to business in the top of the fourth with four more runs to build its lead. The big blow of the inning came off the bat of Rochelle Christman when she drilled a ball over the centerfield fence for a two-run home run. After the half inning, the score stood at 10-1

The Quakers would get two back in the bottom of the frame. Kristen Johnson and Gorney had back-to-back one out singles and they were moved up when Caso grounded out to third. Prystowsky singled into right-center, bringing home both Johnson and Gorney for Penn's two runs in the inning. At the end of four, Saint Joseph's held the 10-3 advantage.

Saint Joseph's put another big blow on the scoreboard after two singles set up a Monica Aguilar three-run home run to put the Hawks up 13-3.

Penn would put one more run across on a Georgia Guttadauro solo home run just to the right of the 220 ft. sign in centerfield. Jessica Arneson and Johnson also reached base in the inning on walks, but would be stranded to end the game.

With Saint Joseph's having a 13-4 lead after five the game and the Quaker's home openers came to an early end.

The task at hand gets no easier for Penn as the Big East's Syracuse Orange will visit Warren Field on Friday. The first pitch of game one is scheduled for 2 p.m.