PHILADELPHIA - The Penn softball team wrapped up its out-of-conference schedule on Wednesday with a doubleheader against University City rivals the Drexel Dragons. The Quakers scored three runs in the final two innings to win the first game, 4-3, but could not complete another comeback attempt in Game Two, falling 7-4.
Freshman Alisha Prystowsky drove in a run and scored the game-winning run in Game One, going 2-for-2 in the game. Freshman Jessie Lupardus continued her record-breaking season in the circle, winning her 17th game of the season in her 17th complete game.
In the second game, freshman Tory Satagaj made her first collegiate start and pitched well, giving up just two earned runs over six innings. Nevertheless, she took the loss, dropping her record to 1-1. Freshman Kelsey Wolfe had three hits and three RBIs in addition to catching most of Satagaj's start.
The Quakers got on the board first, denting the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning of Game One. Freshman Bridget McDugall led off by drawing a walk and promptly stole second base. After senior tri-captain Annie Kinsey walked, sophomore Keiko Uraguchi put down a sacrifice bunt that moved both runners up. Prystowsky then lofted a fly ball to right field that was deep enough to allow McDugall to tag and score the game's first run.
Drexel tied the score in the fifth and added two more in the sixth, pushing their lead to 3-1. But the Quakers came storming back, tying the score in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Freshman Taylor Tieman, perhaps the Quakers' hottest hitter of late, got things started with a double laced to the game in right-center field. Satagaj then came in to pinch run, and it appeared that she was promptly picked off the bag. The freshman kept a run down going for several throws, though, and managed to knock the ball out of the pitcher's hand as she covered third, earning herself a stolen base.
With a runner just sixty feet away, sophomore Susan Miller lined a single over the head of the shortstop and into center field, scoring Satagaj. After Ellen Boundy replaced starter Breanna Gomez for Drexel, freshman Hilary Sheridan drew a walk. Junior Anna Puglisi's sacrifice bunt moved both runners up, and McDugall lifted a flyball to deep left field which was more than deep enough to score Miller with the game's tying run.
In the seventh, Prystowsky led off by roping a double to right-center which got the Dragons into a defensive mindset. Trying to intentionally walk senior tri-captain Christina Khosravi, Boundy threw a wild pitch that allowed Prystowsky to move to third. Drexel's pitcher seemed incapable of hitting her spots even as she tried to give Khosravi the base, as the next pitch - intended to be wide - caught the outside corner for strike one. The next two pitches were outside though, making the count 3-1.
With first baseman Molly Dacey charging into foul territory to prevent another wild pitch from rolling too far away on every pitch, Boundy's next pitch again eluded the grasp of Drexel catcher Ashley Botelho. Despite Dacey's charge, Prystowsky made a break for the plate. Dacey picked it up and threw to Botelho covering, but Prystowsky slid under the tag and the Quakers walked off with a victory.
In the second game, the Quakers were not so fortunate in producing runs. Two runners were thrown out at the plate in the first inning, and seven runners were left on base over the next three innings.
Nevertheless, Penn was able to take a 2-0 lead in the fourth. After Lupardus, serving as the designated player, reached on an error to lead off the inning, McDugall walked. Puglisi came in as a pinch runner for Lupardus, and Kinsey hit a slow roller towards the shortstop. Head coach Leslie King's decision to pinch run proved smart as Puglisi beat out a throw to third, allowing all runners to reach safely.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Kelsey Wolfe stepped to the plate and ripped a single up the middle. Puglisi and McDugall scored, putting Penn on the board.
In the sixth, though, the Dragons were able to score five times, only two of which were earned thanks to a costly Quaker error.
Penn scored twice in their half of the sixth, pulling back within one. Freshman Diana Ark pulled a screaming line drive down the right field line to lead off the inning. The ball went into the corner and Ark pulled into third with a stand up triple. Kinsey followed by roping a double to the gap, scoring Ark. After a Uraguchi groundout moved Kinsey to third, Wolfe lined a double to deep center that brought home Kinsey.
That would be as close as the Quakers would get, though, as the Dragons scored twice more in the seventh to make it a 7-4 win.
Penn is back in action on Saturday, when they travel to Columbia for their final road doubleheader of the season. The Quakers close out the season on Sunday at Warren Field when they will honor seniors Christina Khosravi and Annie Kinsey on Senior Day against Columbia. First pitch both days is set for 12:30 p.m.