Softball Opens Penn Park with a 1-0 Victory

Penn 1, Saint Joseph's 0 Box Score (Game 1)

Saint Joseph's 3, Penn 1 Box Score (Game 2)

PHILADELPHIA - Softball opened up its new stadium at Penn Park with a 1-0 shutout victory over Saint Joseph's Wednesday afternoon. In the second game, the Hawks (6-13) would salvage the split with a 3-1 victory. The Quakers (9-6) opened their stadium in grand style with a walk off victory in the opener on a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh. Another pitching duel in the second would go the way of the city rivals, who scratched across three runs, while holding the Quakers' offense at bay.

Penn 1, Saint Joseph's 0 (Game 1)

Freshman Alexis Borden got the start in game one going up against Hawks' ace Erin Gallagher. Gallagher came into the game with a perfect 3-0 record against Penn over her first three seasons. However, Borden would go toe-to-toe with her all afternoon.

In the first, Borden allowed a leadoff single, but struck out the next three hitters to get Penn up to bat. Gallagher answered right back. She allowed a walk to Sydney Turchin, but got each of the next three hitters. In the second, Borden set down the Saint Joseph's side in order. After Jessica Melendez drew the leadoff walk, Gallagher again set Penn's next three batters down.

Borden allowed a one-out single in the third. After another strikeout put two away, Saint Joseph's looked to have something going with a single into right field, but Brooke Coloma came up firing and nailed the lead runner trying to get to third for the final out of the inning. In the bottom half, Penn also tried to work some two-out wonders with a Kayla Dahlerbruch single followed by Elysse Gorney reaching on an error. However, Gallagher would escape that two-out jam.

Saint Joseph's had its best chance to score in the fourth inning. After a walk to start the inning, a sacrifice bunt and single would put runners on second and third when the throw came home to hold the lead runner. With just one out and two on, Borden induced infield pop-ups to short and third base, escaping unharmed. Gallagher just continued to answer back, posting another zero in Penn's half.

The Hawks would get a runner on third in the fifth following a two-out double and passed ball, but Borden would strand another runner on third. The Quakers also had a two-out single by Turchin in the bottom half, but could do no more. Saint Joseph's put two more runners on in the sixth inning following a walk and single, but Samantha Erosa would help get Penn out of the inning by starting a double play by tagging the runner on first during a groundout and then making the throw to first base. Penn would put a runner on third with one out in the bottom of the sixth after a Dahlerbruch double and Coloma sacrifice bunt, but again Gallagher escaped any damage.

In the seventh, Saint Joseph's mustered an infield single, but Borden made it through seven without allowing a run. In the bottom half, Penn would not be held down any longer. After Georgia Guttadauro doubled to left centerfield to start the inning, Jessica Arneson was intentionally walked. Stephanie Caso then laid down a perfect bunt that got past all the infielders shifting around on the bunt for an infield single to load the bases. That would set up Turchin. After fouling off a 1-0 pitch, Turchin would watch Gallagher put three straight out of the strike zone, taking the RBI the easy way with the bases loaded walk.

Turchin now has two walk off RBI's as she also drove home the winning run against Holy Cross last week. Her walk allowed Borden to pick up her fifth victory of the young season. It also marks the third shutout of the season for Borden who has now allowed just one earned run in her last 37.2 innings of work. Today, she went seven innings, allowing just seven hits while walking two and striking out seven batters. Gallagher went six innings and allowed just five hits, but walked four as Penn beat her for the first time in her career.

Saint Joseph's 3, Penn 1 (Game 2)

After being shutout in the opener, Saint Joseph's would get on the scoreboard first in game two. Three straight singles brought home the game's first run, but Penn would get a tag-out at the plate on the next hitter for the second out and a groundout to escape further damage. Saint Joseph's starter Taryn Ashway would set down the Quakers in order in her half of the first.

Penn starter Mikenzie Voves conceded back-to-back one-out infield singles in the second, but escaped that inning before retiring the side in order during the third. However, Ashway was just as effective during that span as Penn did not get a runner on base the first time through the lineup.

In the top of the fourth, a one-out double would come around to score on a two-out single back through the middle, stretching Saint Joseph's lead to 2-0. However, Penn would answer back in the bottom half with its first run of the game.

Turchin walked to start the inning and Gorney followed that up with a single. After a groundout moved those runners to second and third with one out, Coloma looked for the opening in right center, but a great diving catch by the centerfielder kept her from tying the game. Turchin would end up scoring on the sacrifice fly, but the tying run at the time would be stranded on the bases with the great defense.

In the fifth, the Hawks singled with two-out, but that runner was caught stealing by Gorney as Penn kept within striking distance. With the two outs in the fifth, Erosa singled through the right side, but Ashway would let her get no further on the base paths. The Hawks would work two walks in the sixth, but Voves would get all three outs that inning herself via the strikeout to keep Penn right there.

After the Quakers went down in order in the sixth, Saint Joseph's added an insurance run in the seventh. A one-out single moved to second on an aggressive defensive play that backfired. That would prove costly as with two outs, a single back through the middle would bring home the third run of the game for the visitors. With a two-run lead, Ashway would allow a one-out single to Melendez, but got the next two hitters to preserve the 3-1 win for her side.

Ashway finished her complete game win with just three hits and one walk allowed. Voves went seven innings in her complete game for Penn. She struck out six hitters with just two of the runs that came around to score being earned. Offensively, seven different players recorded hits today for Penn. Only Dahlerbruch finished the day with two hits, but Turchin reached base four times with her three walks and single.

Softball will be back in action against another city school this weekend when they travel to Temple this Saturday for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.