Softball Splits with Villanova

Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score

PHILADELPHIA – Penn softball split their doubleheader with Villanova today, winning the first game, 6-5, and falling in the second, 7-4, as the game was called at the end of the sixth inning due to darkness.

In the first game, sophomore pitcher Emily Denstedt got off to a rocky start, as she gave up two singles and a home run to Villanova’s first three batters. But Denstedt and the defense recovered after the homer, and got a quick three outs to end the inning. The Quakers struggled to get their offense going early in the game, as Villanova pitcher Laura Determan proved to be one of the best arms Penn has seen this year, striking out eleven batters. But in the bottom of the second inning, Penn began to chip away at the Wildcats’ 3-0 lead. Determan walked junior Christina Khosravi to start the inning, and walked senior Brandi King two batters later. Senior Melissa Haffner then singled to load the bases with two outs. Senior Teresa Leyden came up next, and hit a single to left field to bring in the run.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth that that Penn was able to get more runs scored. Freshman Keiko Uraguchi led off the inning, as she reached on an error by the shortstop. Determan walked Khosravi again, putting runners on first and second. Senior Julia Cheney was up next, and hit a three-run homer to left field, giving the Quakers a 4-3 lead. The home run was Cheney’s third infour days.In the bottom of the sixth, junior Annie Kinsey followed suit, hitting a home run of her own, to take a 5-3 lead. But the Wildcats weren’t ready to give up. In the top of the seventh inning, their lead-off batter hit another home run off Denstedt to close the lead to 5-4. A second Wildcat reached on an error, and was brought home two batters later on a single, to score the tying run.

It was do or die for the Quakers in the bottom of the seventh inning, and the bats came through. Khosravi led off the inning with a double to right field. After two quick outs, senior Melissa Haffner came to the plate, and hit a single, bringing in the run to end the inning and the game. Haffner finished the day with three hits and a very important RBI. Cheney had one hit, a run scored, and three RBI in the first game, while Kinsey had a hit, a run scored and an RBI.

In the second game of the day, the Quakers were again plagued by early pitching troubles. Senior pitcher Erin Boyle got the start, and gave up five singles in the first inning, giving Villanova a 2-0 lead. In the second, Boyle gave up another five singles to score two more Wildcat runs, before senior Olivia Mauro came in to relieve her. But Villanova’s lead was a hefty 4-0, and the Quakers had trouble recovering from the deficit. Penn got on the board in the bottom of the second, when Brandi King and Teresa Leyden were both walked. Villanova got a quick out to make it two, and then intentionally walked Annie Kinsey to load the bases, looking for the last out of the inning. They didn’t get it. What they got was freshman Keiko Uraguchi hitting a single to right field to bring King home, and get Penn on the board, 4-1.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, it was sophomore Addy Crocker who brought in the run for Penn. After Villanova’s pitcher walked Stephanie Reichert and Christina Khosravi, Crocker hit a double to center field, earning her first collegiate RBI, and cutting the lead to 4-2. But Villanova answered in the top of the sixth. A Wildcat batter hit a two-run home run, which was followed by a single and a double, giving the ’Cats a 7-2 lead. The Quakers managed a rally in the bottom of the inning, but it wasn’t enough. Annie Kinsey started it off with a walk, Keiko Uraguchi followed with a single, and Stephanie Reichert brought them both home with a two-RBI double to center field. With one inning left to play, the game was called due to the darkening skies, and Penn never got the chance to even the 7-4 score.

With the split, the Quakers improve to 18-12 overall. Up next, Penn hosts a game with Ivy implications, as Cornell travels to Warren Field for doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday. The Big Red and the Quakers are currently tied for first place in the South Division, as Cornell is 7-1, and Penn is 9-3. Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m., with Sunday’s game slated to start at noon.