Softball Sweeps Columbia to Open Ivy Play

Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

PHILADELPHIA – The Penn softball team opened their Ivy League season in a big way this weekend, as they swept Columbia in a doubleheader, winning the first game, 11-6, and the second game 3-1. With the wins, the Quakers improved to 10-6 overall, 2-0 in Ivy League play.

In the first game of the day, the Lions got things started first, when Chantee Dempsey hit a home run off of pitcher Emily Denstedt in the bottom of the second, to give Columbia a 1-0 lead. But the Red and Blue’s offense came alive in the top of the fourth inning. Senior Stephanie Reichert and junior Christina Khosravi led off the inning with back-to-back walks, to get two runners on base. Senior Brandi King advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt, and then senior Melissa Haffner was walked to load the bases. Senior Susan McIlvaine hit a single past the shortstop to bring home Reichert, and the game was tied, 1-1, with the bases loaded. Senior catcher Kaelin Ainley was up next, and was walked, bring home Khosravi, and giving Penn a 2-1 lead. Junior Annie Kinsey was up next, with the bases still loaded. She hit a single up the middle of the infield, bringing in McIlvaine and Haffner, and giving the Red and Blue a 4-1 lead in the top of the fourth.

In the top of the sixth, Penn went on a scoring streak again. This time it was senior Julia Cheney who got thing started, as she hit a deep single to center field. Sophomore Anna Puglisi came in to pinch run, and promptly stole second base, to put a runner in scoring position for the Quakers. McIlvaine was up next, and walked, putting runners on first and second. Ainley was up next, and hit a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, but got on base when the Lions’ second baseman muffled the throw. Puglisi scored on the play, and there were runners at second and third, with the top of Penn’s batting order at the plate. Annie Kinsey singled again, this time through the left side, scoring McIlvaine, and advancing to second base on the throw. Kinsey was advanced to third, and Ainley scored when Columbia’s pitcher threw an illegal pitch. Freshman Keiko Uraguchi came up to the plate, and hit the ball to right field, where an error by the outfielder brought Kinsey home. The Quakers ended the half inning with an 8-1 lead.

Columbia scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth, both unearned, as defensive errors surfaced again for Penn. But with an ample lead, the Quakers were comfortable starting the seventh inning with the score 8-3.

Senior Brandi King didn’t want any comebacks though, and made sure the Lions knew it, as she hit a home run to lead off the top of the seventh inning. Cheney was up next, and got on base and advanced to second when the right fielder dropped the fly ball. Senior Kaelin Ainley brought her home when she hit a double to left center. And Annie Kinsey brought Ainley home on a deep single to center field. The Quakers went into the last half inning, leading 11-3.

The Lions scored three runs in the bottom of the inning, but it wasn’t enough to take the win from Penn, and the Quakers finished their first game of the day with an 11-6 win.

Sophomore Emily Densdtedt pitched a complete game, going seven innings, and allowing seven hits. She improved to 5-3 with the win. Senior Kaelin Ainley was the offensive leader, as she went 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBI. Junior Annie Kinsey went 3-for-5 against the Lions, with one run scored and four RBI. Brandi King went 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI, while senior Susan McIlvaine went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.

In the second game, it was the Quakers who got things started early on offense. Junior Annie Kinsey, leading off the order for the Quakers, hit a home run to left field, giving Penn a 1-0 lead from the start.

In the third inning, it was Kinsey again, as she doubled to right center to get on base. She was advanced by Keiko Uraguchi’s sacrifice, and scored when senior Stephanie Reichert reached first on an error by the shortstop.

Columbia scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth, on a fielding error. The Red and Blue went into the sixth with a 2-1 lead. Senior Stephanie Reichert gave the Quakers an insurance run, as she hit a home run to right center field to lead off the inning. Strong defensive play in the bottom of the sixth and the seventh kept the Lions from scoring again, and the Quakers brought home the sweep with a 3-1 win.

Senior Erin Boyle provided strong pitching for the Quakers, as she went the complete game for the first time this season, giving up only five hits in seven innings. Annie Kinsey was Penn’s main source of offense, as she went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and one RBI. Stephanie Reichert went 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.

With the two wins, Penn improved to 10-6 overall and 2-0 in Ivy League play. Columbia fell to 9-12 and 0-2. The Quakers will get another shot at the Lions on Monday, as the two teams return to Warren Field for another doubleheader, rescheduled from Saturday. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.