Softball Readies for Midweek Battle with Bears

PHILADELPHIA – After a tough weekend up north, the University of Pennsylvania softball team will look to bounce back and put a pair of wins over Brown under its belt before starting division play this weekend with Cornell. The Quakers (7-14, 2-3 Ivy) will battle the Bears (2-20, 0-6 Ivy) Wednesday in a doubleheader at Penn Park with the first pitch set for 1:30 p.m.

Live Audio/Stats

A free live audio feed for the doubleheader on Wednesday will be provided by the Ivy League Digital Network.

All the action can also be found through live stats, here.

Last Time Out

Penn had its first Ivy road test this past weekend when the team traveled to Harvard and Dartmouth.

At Harvard, the Quakers were only able to complete one game, as the second had to be halted after the sixth inning due to darkness. In the first game, the Crimson came up with an 8-3 win, tacking on four of those runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Scoring two of the Red and Blue’s two runs was freshman outfielder Leah Allen, who blasted her fifth and sixth home runs of the season.

In game one at Dartmouth, a late rally in the top of the seventh fell short for the Quakers. With the bases loaded, senior third baseman Kayla Dahlerbruch recorded a single and knocked in two runs. After a pitching change by the Big Green, sophomore Lauren Li laid down a perfect bunt, moving runners to third and second. However, Dartmouth picked off freshman Lainey Dorris at third and saw junior Vanessa Weaver fly out to right field, ending the game on a 3-2 victory.

The Big Green’s bats went to work right away in the second game with a two-shot home run in the bottom of the first. As the Red and Blue struggled to find a continuous rhythm on offense, Dartmouth put the ‘pedal to the metal’ in the bottom of the third, scoring 10 runs to take a 12-0 lead. Penn was able to score one run in the top of the fifth and held off the Big Green from recording a shutout, after sophomore Kanani Datan singled up the middle which allowed Weaver to score. However, the Quakers were unable to bring anymore home safely, leaving three on the bags at the end of the game.

Scouting Brown

The first and last win the Bears recorded was on March 1 and 2, during the UNC Wilmington Tournament in Wilmington, N.C. Brown pulled out a 10-9 win over Bucknell after 8 innings of play and followed it up with a 7-6 win the next day over host school, UNC Wilmington.

This past weekend, the Bears were swept by Cornell (8-3, 7-1) and Princeton (7-6, 8-3) and have yet to win an Ivy contest this season. Brown had a chance for its first Ivy win in game one with the Tigers, as the two teams played bonus softball. Down 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh, the Bears rallied to tie the game at five-all, pushing the contest to extra innings. However, Princeton responded with two runs and took the lead once again, 7-5. With one out, freshman Julia Schoenewald put Brown within one with her home run to left field, but Princeton’s Shanna Christian shut down the rest of the Bear offense, recording the final two outs on grounders.

The Tigers ran away with the second game, scoring six runs through the first four innings. They took a 7-0 lead after the top of the fifth, until the Bears cracked the scoreboard and cut the deficit to 7-2 in the bottom half. Princeton scored one more insurance run in the top of the seventh for an 8-2 lead. With their last chance, Brown’s sophomore Molly Ann Mecca led off with a solo shot just inside the left foul pole to make it 8-3. However, the Bears were unable to score any more as Tiger Erica Nori ended the sweep with a strikeout.

Bears to watch:

Freshman Shortstop/Utility Christina Andrews – Fourth in the League and first on the team in batting average (.364) … Has team-best on base percentage (.400) and second best slugging percentage (.545) … Recorded most hits for a Bear so far (24).

Freshman Outfielder Casey Fisher – In a six-way tie for fifth in the League with 5 stolen bases … Holds the team’s third-best batting average (.290) … Currently has second most hits on team (20).

Junior Pitcher Jessica Cherness – Six in the League and first for Brown with 47 strikeouts … Top of the list for Bears in K/G with 4.86 and innings pitched with 67.2.

The Series with Brown
Brown leads the series, 22-41

First Meeting: The Quakers fell to the Bears in 1980, 9-8
Last Meeting:
April 6, 2013 - Penn defeated Brown in a doubleheader, 7-1 then 6-4
The last time Penn lost to Brown was in 2006, when the two teams split the day’s games - the Bears took the first game, 2-1, while the Quakers took game two in six innings, 8-0.

League Leaders

Earning her second Rookie of the Week award for her performance last week, freshman Leah Allen is tied for the League lead in home runs with six and has the League-best slugging percentage of the season (.696). She has the second best batting average at .377 and has the third best RBI of 19 (behind Harvard’s K. Lange and Dartmouth’s K. Chaw who are tied for first with 21).

Also among the Individual League Leaders is fellow freshman Alexis Sargent. Sargent is atop of the list in ERA with 1.45 and is sixth in the League with 5.97 K/G. Aside from her power pitching; Sargent’s presence at bat has also been a big factor for the Quakers, as she has the League’s fifth best slugging percentage (.556). She is also tied for fifth in the League with four home runs.

A two-time unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection, junior pitcher Alexis Borden holds the League’s second best K/G (8.08) behind Dartmouth’s Ashley Sissel (8.10) and is also second in the League in strikeouts with 77. Borden holds the sixth best ERA around the League at 2.31 and is seventh in innings pitched with 66.2.