Softball Sweeps Columbia With Two More Wins

Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

PHILADELPHIA – After being outscored by Columbia in two games last year, 17-1, the Penn softball team had a bone to pick with the Lions. And pick it they did. The Quakers made it a four-game sweep of their Division and League rivals today, as they came from behind to win twice. Penn made a comeback in the first game, to win in a dramatic 5-4 finish. In the second game, the come from behind was the same, but the ending wasn't nearly as dramatic, with the Quakers winning 13-5.

The Red and Blue got off to an early start in the first inning of the first game. Junior Annie Kinsey was the lead-off batter for Penn, and was walked by Columbia’s pitcher. Up next, senior Stephanie Reichert singled to left field, advancing Kinsey to scoring position. Junior Christina Khosravi was up next, and grounded out, but the fielder’s choice was enough to advance both runners. Senior Brandi King came up to the plate next, and hit a two-run double to left field, bringing in Kinsey and Reichert. The Quakers ended the bottom of the first inning up 2-0.

In the bottom of the second, they increased their lead. Senior Melissa Haffner singled to get on base as the lead off batter. She was advanced by Susan McIlvaine’s sacrifice bunt, and advanced again when Kinsey was walked, and advanced to second on a passed ball. Freshman Keiko Uraguchi singled to bring in the run, and give the Quakers a 3-0 lead.

Columbia tied up the game in the top of the fourth, as they scored three runs on two doubles and a single. They took the 4-3 lead when they scored again in the top of the sixth. It looked like the Lions had momentum enough to win the game, but a big hit from Penn in the bottom of the sixth squelched whatever spirit they had. Senior Kaelin Ainley was walked to lead off the inning, and two quick outs followed. Senior Stephanie Reichert came up to bat, and hit a home run to right field, bringing in the tying run, and scoring the game-winning run on her own. Tough pitching from senior Erin Boyle in the top of the seventh spelled the end for Columbia, and Penn took the first game, 5-4.

The Quakers had three strong performances from their pitching staff, as senior Casey Hare wentthree innings, giving up five hits and three runs. Senior Olivia Mauro went for 3.1 innings, allowing only three hits and no earned runs. Senior Erin Boyle earned her second save of the season, as she pitched the last two thirds of an inning giving up no hits.

Offensively, the Red and Blue had strong performances throughout the lineup. Uraguchi went 1-for-3 with an RBI, King went 2-for-4 with two RBI, and Haffner went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Senior Stephanie Reichert was the leader for the offense though, as she went 2-for-3, with two runs scored and two RBI.

In the second game, it was the Lions who got off to an early lead. Freshman pitcher Susan Miller got her first start of the year, and it was a rocky one. Columbia hit two singles and a triple off of Miller, to take a 3-0 lead. Sophomore Emily Denstedt came in after a third of an inning, and they hit an RBI double off of her, to take the 4-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning, the Quakers scored two runs of their own to get on the board. Reichert was walked, and Khosravi’s single to the shortstop put runners on first and second. Brandi King was up next, and doubled to center field to bring home both runners. Penn ended the first inning down 4-2.

The Quakers continued to chip at the lead, however. In the bottom of the second, Melissa Haffner singled to center field to start off the inning. Ainley got out on a fielder’s choice, advancing Haffner to second. Kinsey singled up the middle, bringing in the run, and cutting Columbia’s lead to 4-3.

The Lions scored again in the top of the third inning, but the Red and Blue answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. King, Cheney and Haffner had back-to-back-to-back singles, to score King for Penn’s fourth run of the game. In the bottom of the fourth was when the Quakers tied up the game. Kinsey got it started for Penn with a single to left field. Uraguchi followed her with a single of her own, to center field. The Lions’ pitcher walked Reichert and Khosravi, bringing home the tying run.

In the bottom of the fifth was when Penn began to connect on offense, and opened up the lead. Haffner was walked to start the inning, and Susan McIlvaine was sent in to pinch run. A sac bunt from Theresa Leyden sent McIlvaine to second, and put the winning run in scoring position. Ainley singled to center field, sending McIlvaine to third. Columbia intentionally walked Annie Kinsey, in hopes of getting a double play, but the plan backfired. Uraguchi was up next, and she received a base on balls as well, walking in McIlvaine, and giving the Quakers a 6-5 lead. Stephanie Reichert came up with the bases loaded, and hit a base-clearing double to left field, giving Penn a 9-5 lead. Khosravi followed up Reichert’s double with one of her own, and brought in another run, giving the Quakers a 10-5 lead after the bottom of the fifth inning.

Tight defense in the top of the sixth from Penn prevented the Lions from scoring any more runs. But Columbia’s pitcher was tired, and the Quakers capitalized in the bottom of the inning. Ainley got things started for the Red and Blue, with a single to right field. Kinsey followed that up with a double to left field, advancing Ainley to third. Uraguchi was up next, and got on base with a fielder’s choice. The Lions couldn’t make the out at home, and Ainley scored, to give Penn an 11-5 lead. Reichert flied out to right field, but it was enough to allow Kinsey to tag up and score, to make the gap 12-5. Junior Christina Khosravi ended the game win a single to right field, which scored Uraguchi, and gave Penn a 13-5 lead, putting the mercy rule into effect.

Denstedt pitched 5.1 innings for the Quakers, giving up five hits and only one earned run. Annie Kinsey went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI. Reichert was 1-for-2, with two runs scored and four RBI. Khosravi went 3-for-4 with one run scored and three RBI, while King went 2-for-4, with a run scored and two RBI. Uraguchi went 1-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, while senior Melissa Haffner went 3-for-3, with one run scored and an RBI.

Up next, the Quakers will be right back at it, as they host Lehigh tomorrow at 3 p.m. Penn will be looking to avenge a 3-1 loss that the Mountain Hawks handed them in Orlando earlier this season.