Softball Splits with Providence and USF

TAMPA, Fla. – Tenacity is one word to describe the University of Pennsylvania softball team for its performance on Wednesday in the USF Under Armour Showcase, coming back to defeat Providence 8-7 and hanging tough with USF in a 1-0 loss. On the day, the Quakers totaled eight runs, 11 hits, one error, and two home runs.

Game 1 – Providence (0-6)
WP: Alexis Sargent (2-0), 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

LP: Shanelle Harrell (0-1), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, HBP (Weaver)

Down 7-1 after the fourth inning against Providence, Penn looked as if they might not be able to notch their fourth win in a row. However, in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Quakers proved that they shouldn't be counted out, scoring six runs and tying the game on a grand slam from freshman Leah Allen. The next inning, freshman Alexis Sargent knocked a second home run out of the park to score the winning run.

Providence started hot out of the gate in the top of the first, scoring five runs. The Friars then scored another run in the second inning and took a 6-0 lead.

Penn got on the board in the bottom of the third after Vanessa Weaver tallied the first hit for the Red and Blue with a double to left center. Weaver was then knocked in by Casey Stevko’s single to left center. Providence still held the lead at 6-1.

In the top of the fourth, the Friars increased the point margin by six again after Kristie Dederick hit a ground-rule double out to left field with McKall Miller on second base. However, the score didn’t stay at 7-1 for long.

Leading off in the bottom of the fifth for the Quakers in the sixth spot was Lauren Li, who singled out to right field. Out at second on a fielder’s choice, Courtney Cuzick took first and advanced to second after Weaver singled up the middle. With the top of the order due up and bases loaded, both Turchin and Gorney singled and Penn added two to the board. After Kayla Dahlerbruch hit a pop up, the Red and Blue faced two outs and bases loaded.

It was one of those moments where everyone held their breath, wondering what was going to happen next.

Freshman Leah Allen walked up to the plate and answered, blasting the ball out to left field and notched her first collegiate grand slam to tie the game at 7-7.

Penn’s defense held off Providence in the top of the sixth, keeping them to one hit while leaving two on base.

With the opportunity to take the lead, the Red and Blue watched Alexis Sargent take matters into her own hands and hit a bomb out of the park to score the winning run and record her first collegiate home run. The Quakers took the field for one final outing and quickly ended the contest.

Game 2 – USF (22-7)
WP: Sara Nevins (12-4), 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

LP: Alexis Borden (2-3), 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

The intensity and determination didn’t stop after the comeback over Providence, as Penn took a short break and prepared to play host USF in a game under the lights. The Bulls came out on top at the last minute after innings of battling back and forth. USF, which is receiving votes for the top 25, improved to 22-7 with the victory and the Quakers snapped their four-game winning streak and have a record of 4-5.

Turchin led off for the Red and Blue with a single up the middle but was the only one to record a hit that inning. With three quick outs, Penn was back on offense and in the batter’s box was Sargemt, who singled out to right field. Like Turchin, Sargent was left on first at the end of the inning.

With zeroes across the board for USF, the Quakers had their best scoring opportunity in the top of the third, after an intentional walk which put a second runner on the bases with two outs. Allen approached the plate but was unable to get anyone home safely, striking out on a full count. The Bulls recorded their first hit during their next at bat, but the two teams’ defenses were tough as nails making it difficult for either team to do much else.

On their last opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the seventh, USF recorded two hits and a run, ending the tight contest, 1-0.

Penn and USF combined for a total of seven hits and one run over the seven innings played. A total of five Quakers were left on base during the game, while only three were left by the Bulls.

Coaches and members of the Track and Field team also made an appearance at the game against USF to support their fellow Quakers.

The Red and Blue will be back in action tomorrow when they square off with Butler at 11 a.m. and Maine at 1:15 p.m.

Download: PENNPC Box.pdf