Softball Sweeps Brown to Start Ivy League Play

Penn 7, Brown 4 Box Score (Game 1)

Penn 5, Brown 4 (9 innings) Box Score (Game 2)

PHILADELHPIA - Year after year, the Ivy League always seems to provide tight competition regardless of the team's records coming into the games. The Quakers (17-10, 2-0 Ivy) took both ends of the Friday doubleheader against Brown (3-13, 0-2), but if these games were any indication, the 2012 season will be no different.

In game one, Penn jumped out to a 6-2 lead after four innings, but Brown would score twice and strand four more runners over the final two innings as the Quakers held on for the 7-4 win. In the second game, Penn was up 4-1 after five innings, but the Bears scored three times in the sixth to send the game into extra innings. It was not until Kayla Dahlerbruch's line smash got past the third baseman, allowing the game-winning run to score in the ninth inning, that Penn was able to secure the sweep.

For the day, Alexis Borden won both games in the circle. After throwing a complete game victory in the first game, she came on in relief in the second game and shut down Brown for another 3.1 innings to pick up the win in game two. Jessica Melendez led the offensive charge as for the second straight season she hit three home runs in one day after doing so against Cornell last season. In total, she drove in seven runs between the two games.

Penn 7, Brown 4 (Game 1)

In the first Ivy League game of the year, Penn handed the ball to the freshman Borden. She would allow a leadoff home run to Kat Strobel, but struck out three of the next four hitters to get out of the inning. Penn responded to the early deficit with three runs of its own in the bottom half. Sydney Turchin got things going with a leadoff walk. After a stolen base and passed ball, she got to third, but with two outs. Brooke Coloma worked the walk, putting runners on the corners. Melendez then delivered the first of her big blows, clearing the bases with a three-run homer over left field wall.

Borden would strike out two more to start the second, making her first five outs all strikeouts. She would go on to retire the side in order. Penn would stretch its lead in the bottom of the second. Samantha Erosa got things going with an infield single. Jessica Arneson then laid down the sacrifice bunt that put two on when Brown was unsuccessful in going for the lead runner. A one-out walk to Turchin would load the bases and Elysse Gorney would beat an infield single for a RBI. When the throw to first went wild, a second run scored, giving Penn a 5-1 lead after two innings.

Penn worked around a two-out single to start the third inning. In the bottom half, Melendez delivered her second home run into left center, giving Penn a 6-1 lead after three innings. Following a strikeout to start the fourth, Trish Melvin hit Brown's second solo home run of the first game, making the score 6-2. The Quakers answered with a run of their own in the bottom half. Turchin reached after being hit by pitch. She would swipe her second base of the evening and then move to third on a wild pitch, before scoring Penn's seventh run on a passed ball.

In the fifth, neither side could push any runs across. Borden set the Bears' side down in succession in the fifth, while the Bears would work around singles by Karina Rios and Arneson, stranding both runners. In the sixth, the Bears' Stephanie Thompson would hit her team's third home run of the game. Two errors in the field looked to possibly get Brown back in the game, but the Quakers settled down after that and stranded both runners.

In the final inning, a throwing error allowed the leadoff runner to get to second. The Bears followed that up with a walk to put two on. Following a strikeout, Thompson doubled home another run, making the score 7-4 with the tying run coming to plate and just one out. Borden would settle in as she got the next two hitters in order to stymie any possible rally.

For the win, Borden threw another complete game, her 10th consecutive, collecting what was at the time being her 10th victory, allowing just seven hits, while striking out a season-high 12 batters. Melendez's two home runs brought home four runs in all during game one. She and Turchin each finished with two runs, while Coloma, Erosa, and Justine Payne, who came in as a pinch-runner, all scored as well. Gorney had the only other RBI as two of Penn's runs were unearned.

Penn 5, Brown 4

In game two, Penn turned to Mikenzie Voves. The Bears would again jump out to an early 1-0 lead in this game. After two singles and a walk loaded the bases with just one out, a hit-by-pitch would bring home the first run. The Quakers would escape the jam with minimal damage though with two ground outs, cutting down one run at the plate. In the bottom half, Brown's pitching would hold onto the lead, retiring the Penn side in order.

Brown tried to start its second with another hit-by-pitch after Voves struck out the leadoff hitter. A double by Thompson put runners on second and third with one out, but Penn escaped the jam unharmed. The Quakers first threat came in the third when they would get their first runners on a Stephanie Caso walk and Turchin single, but both would be stranded. Fortunately for Penn, Voves also began to find her grove as she set down Brown in order in the third and allowed just one hit in the fourth.

Dahlerbruch's walk, followed by Coloma's single in the fourth would get Penn going offensively as waiting in the on-deck circle was Melendez. She would stand a deliver her third home run of the day, this time going to right field and giving Penn the lead for the first time all game. Caso restarted things with a two-out walk. She came around to score all the way from first as an infield single from Laura Placentra was then thrown away and Penn took a 4-1.

In the fifth, Brown had back-to-back singles to start, but a strong throw in the outfield by Coloma would nail the lead runner trying to take third on the second hit. With the defense behind her, Voves struck out the next two. However, Brown's pitching also settled down as Penn was shut down for the frame. After a leadoff single, Strobel hit her second home run in as many games in the sixth, making the score 4-3. The Bears would string together three more singles after that to load the bases and get another run with a bases loaded walk, tying the score at four.

Penn threatened in the sixth as it loaded the bases with a double by Rios and back-to-back walks. However, strong defense from Brown cut down the run with one-out at the plate and the teams went to the seventh tied. Each side would manage a base runner in the seventh via singles, but neither was able to push across a winning run, forcing extra innings.

Thompson led off the Brown eighth win a single, but Borden, who came on in relief during the sixth, did not allow another hit or a ball to leave the infield. In the Penn eighth, the Quakers were set down in succession by the Brown bullpen. Penn was given another chance to walk off with the win in the ninth as the only Brown runner in the frame reached on a wild pitch following a strikeout.

The Quakers would capitalize on that chance in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Turchin singled back through the middle and Gorney followed that up with a walk to put two aboard. After Brown went back to its game one starter to try and get out of the jam, Dahlerbruch would smash a game-winning line drive single right off the third baseman. When the ball ricocheted off the fielder and down the left field line in foul play, Turchin came around with the game-winning run, as Penn secured the sweep with a 5-4 win in game two.

This also allowed Borden to pick up her second win of the day, improving to 11-2 on the season. She pitched the final 3.1 innings, a total workload of 10.1 innings for the day. Offensively, Penn had 16 hits today, led by Turchin and Melendez with three, while Erosa, Rios and Gorney each had two hits. Melendez and Turchin also scored three runs each on the day.

The Quakers will be back in action tomorrow afternoon for a 12:30 p.m. doubleheader against Yale. The Bulldogs split with Columbia in their Ivy doubleheader this afternoon.