PHILADELPHIA The Red and Blue dropped their first game to the Lafayette Leopards in the seventh inning, 6-5, after taking a 5-3 lead in the fourth. Penn recovered from the tough loss to come back strong in the second game of the doubleheader, winning 5-0.
In the first game of the day, the Leopards took an early lead, scoring two runs in the first inning, and adding a third in the bottom of the third inning, giving Lafayette a 3-0 lead. In the top of the fourth, however, Penn’s bats woke up, and the Quakers started scoring. Senior Julia Cheney was walked to get on base, and freshman Justine Wilson came in to pinch run. Senior Brandi King singled down the left field line to advance Wilson to scoring position. Senior Melissa Haffner was up next, and singled down the middle of the field and advanced on the throw, bringing Wilson home, and advancing King to third. King also came home, on an error by the Leopards’ center fielder, cutting the lead to 3-2. Senior Kaelin Ainley was up next, and hit a home run deep to center field, bringing in the tying run, and giving Penn a 4-3 lead. Junior Annie Kinsey came up next, and hit another home run to left field, giving the Quakers a 5-3 lead at the top of the fourth. The fifth inning would remain scoreless, and the Quakers still had the lead going into the bottom of the sixth. But there, the Leopards opened up the game. Two runs scored on a costly error, to tie the game up at 5-5. Lafayette freshman Aimee Dassner was up next, and hit a home run off of pitcher Emily Denstedt to give the Leopards a 6-5 lead. Three quick outs in the top of the seventh spelled the end for the Quakers, as Lafayette retired the side in order and won, 6-5.
Denstedt pitched six innings for the Red and Blue, giving up nine hits and only one earned run. Kinsey led the way for Penn on the offensive side of the ball, as she went 2-for-4 with a home run scored and an RBI. Ainley went 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI, King went 2-for-3 with a run scored, and Haffner went 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
The Quakers rebounded from that tough loss with strong defense and good pitching in the second game of the doubleheader. Senior pitcher Olivia Mauro went the first five innings of the game, allowing only two hits and no runs, while senior Erin Boyle closed out the win, pitching two innings of relief and allowing only one hit.
Senior Julia Cheney opened up the game for Penn on offense in the top of the fifth. Leading off the inning, she hit a home run to left field, to give the Quakers a 1-0 head start. They never looked back. In the top of the sixth, it was Cheney again, who singled in two runs, to give Penn a 3-0 lead. In the seventh, sophomore Anna Puglisi led off for the Red and Blue, and hit a textbook bunt, beating the throw to get on base. Senior Theresa Leyden followed suit with a sacrifice bunt that advanced Puglisi to scoring position. Senior Kaelin Ainley’s bat came up big again, as she doubled down the left field line to bring in Puglisi and give Penn a 4-0 lead. Senior Stephanie Reichert had a single up the middle to bring home Ainley, and the Red and Blue took a 5-0 lead. Boyle closed out the bottom of the seventh allowing only one hit to give Penn the 5-0 win, and the split with the Leopards.
Cheney was the leader for Penn’s offense in the second game, as she went 2-for-3, with a run scored and three RBI. Reichert went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, as Ainley went 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
Penn improved to 8-6 overall, as Lafayette came out 6-6 at the end of the day. Up next, the Quakers will open their Ivy League season as they host Columbia this Saturday at 1 p.m.
Game One Box Score and Play-by-Play
Game Two Box Score and Play-by-Play