PHILADELPHIA - The defending Ivy League South Division champion Penn softball team opened its league schedule Saturday with a doubleheader against Yale. The Quakers came back from a 3-0 deficit in the first game to win, 4-3, on an RBI single by junior Anna Puglisi in the eighth inning. They could not mount a big enough comeback in Game Two, as they fell behind 9-0 and lost, 9-5, despite senior tri-captain Annie Kinsey's first home run of the season.
Freshman Jessie Lupardus moved to 10-2 with a complete game victory in the opener, while junior tri-captain Emily Denstedt fell to 1-5 in the back end of the twin bill.
Penn fell behind early in the first game, as Yale's Lauren Huddleston was hit by a pitch in the second inning and scoredwhen Katie Edwards ripped a two-run homer, the first given up by Lupardus this season. An Ashley Sloan double and a Megan Enyeart RBI double in the sixth gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.
The Quakers were not about to give up, though. Sophomore Keiko Uraguchi led off the sixth with a swinging bunt just feet in front of home plate which she beat out for a single. Senior tri-captain Christina Khosravi followed with a single to left center, and Uraguchi's aggressive baserunning distracted the Yale left fielder enough that she bobbled the ball, allowing both runners to take an extra base.
Freshman Kelsey Wolfe got the Quakers on the board when her RBI groundout brought home Uraguchi. Then, with two outs, freshman Alisha Prystowsky provided a big two-out hit as she laced a single to center that plated Khosravi, pulling the Quakers within a run.
With one out in the seventh inning, Puglisi drew a walk. After Kinsey struck out, Uraguchi blooped a single down the left field line. Khosravi then ripped a liner to first that Yale's Enyeart could not grab. Khosravi beat her to the bag for a single, and Puglisi scampered all the way home to tie the score.
With new life, Lupardus put the Bulldogs down in order in the eighth. In the bottom of the inning, Prystowsky's one out single got the Penn rally started. After freshman Hilary Sheridan popped out, freshman Bridget McDugall walked to keep the inning alive.
That brought up Puglisi, who lined a ball over the shortstop's head and towards the left-center field gap. It could easily have gone for extra bases, but one was all she needed as Prystowsky came around to score and give Penn a victory in their Ivy League opener.
The second game again saw Penn fall behind early, as five Quaker errors and some timely hits by Yale allowed the Bulldogs to build upa 9-0 lead by the sixth inning.
Penn got three back in the sixth, as sophomore Susan Miller led off with a single and freshman Diana Ark lined a triple down the left field line to put the Quakers on the board. Puglisi then added another hit, plating Ark with a single to left. Kinsey made it four straight hits to start the inning when she added a single to left. After Uraguchi flew out, Khosravi and Wolfe walked, forcing home Puglisi.
A last-minute comeback in the seventh inning saw Puglisi reach on a two-out error. Kinsey followed with a drive to left-center field that hit the backdrop beyond the fence for her first home run of the season. The Quakers had life, and after Uraguchi slashed a single up the middle and Khosravi and Wolfe walked, the tying run was at the plate in the person of Taylor Tieman. Unfortunately, the freshman grounded out to second to end the game.
Penn is back in action tomorrow at Warren Field when they take on Brown in a doubleheader that is set to begin at 12:30.