Softball Earns a Pair of Ivy Wins; Sweeps Columbia 6-5 and 2-1

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New York – The University of Pennsylvania softball team earned its first two Ivy League wins of the season with a sweep of Columbia, 6-5 and 2-1, this afternoon.

In game one, the Red and Blue (12-15, 2-4 Ivy League) posted a 6-5 come-from-behind victory sparked junior Jen Nichols’ home run in the top of the fifth inning. Trailing Columbia (14-19, 1-3 Ivy League) 5-2, Nichols’ solo shot to left center closed the gap to two runs. Sophomores Kim May and Kaelin Ainley followed the homer with back-to-back singles. Steph Reichert then loaded the bases by reaching on a bunt down the third base line looked like it would roll foul but remained in fair territory. Sophomore Teresa Leyden grounded to the second baseman but an error allowed her to reach safely and pinch runner Erin Boyle to touch home. Ainley tied the score by safely sliding home on a fielder’s choice by rookie Annie Kinsey. Freshman Christina Khosravi put the Quakers on top, 6-5, as her fielder’s choice allowed Reichert to score. Columbia threatened in the bottom of the seventh as the Lions put runners on second and third with one out. But freshman pitcher Rachel Mowry forced a pop-up and Leyden made a diving shoestring catch in centerfield to end the game. Mowry (1-0) picked up her first collegiate win allowing just two hits in 3.2 innings of work.

It was a see-saw battle as Columbia struck first in the bottom of the first inning at Marisa Marconi doubled to centerfield to score Ciji Rich. The Quakers took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning as Ainley and May scored on a bloop single to rightfield by Leyden. Ainley got the two-run rally started by legging out an infield hit. May followed with a single to rightfield. The Lions regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning as Kim Krisman bunt with the bases loaded resulted in two Columbia runs. Maiya Chard-Yaron followed with a triple down the rightfield line plating two more runs to pull ahead, 5-2.

In game two, sophomore Brandi King drove in the game-winning run in the top of the sixth inning with a single to leftfield to plate Khosravi. Khosravi put the Quakers on the board in the top of the first inning with a single to leftfield that scored Reichert. The Lions loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the second inning and tied the score on a fielder’s choice. Colymbia threatened in the bottom of the seventh inning as Hilary Parsons roped a one-out double to center. A passed ball allowed Parsons to advance but Chard-Yaron popped out to leftfield to end the game. Sophomore Olivia Mauro (3-2) tossed the complete game allowing just one run on five hits and striking out three batters.

Ainley went a combined 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a stolen base, while Reichert picked up a pair of hits and scored three runs.

The Quakers return home to Warren Field on April 13 as they host Villanova in a non-conference doubleheader at 2 p.m.

-Written by Kelly McCarthy, athletic communications assistant