Softball Sweeps Princeton Sunday, Takes Three in Weekend Set

Penn 4, Princeton 1 (Game one) Box Score

Penn 5, Princeton 1 (Game two) Box Score

PRINCETON, N.J. - After a split yesterday did nothing to separate the two second-place teams in the Ivy League's South Division, softball took hold of the second slot Sundaywith a sweep of Princeton. In game one, Princeton (12-23, 6-6 Ivy) scored first but the Quakers (23-14, 8-4 Ivy) came back with four unanswered to take the opening game. In game two, Penn jumped out early with a three-run home run by Jessica Melendez in the first inning, riding the early lead to the 5-1 victory.

Alexis Borden pitched both ends of the doubleheader Sunday, throwing two complete games andallowing just a first inning run in each. She picked up her 14th and 15th wins of the day in these games. Penn's two victories, coupled with a Cornell split vs. Columbia leave the team just two games behind the Big Red with the four-game matchup on the horizon.

Penn 4, Princeton 1 (Game one)

The Tigers went with yesterday's game two starter in the first game on Sunday and she set the Quakers down in succession to start things off, allowing Princeton to get on the board first. The Tigers first two hitters started the game with back-to-back singles. The Quakers retired the third and fourth hitters in the lineup, but a two-out single gave Princeton the early 1-0 lead.

Penn would answer right back with a run in the second. Brooke Coloma walked and Melendez singled, putting two runners on to start the frame. They were then bunted into scoring position by Samantha Erosa. Karina Rios would then put the ball in play as her RBI on the grounder to the shortstop tied the game at one. In the bottom half, two strikeouts by Borden started the half inning. Princeton singled twice, but would strand those runners on an infield pop-up.

The Quakers would take the lead in the third. With one out, Kayla Dahlerbruch walked, while Coloma and Melendez followed that up with a pair of singles to load the bases. Erosa would make it three hits in a row with her single back through the middle that scored Laura Placentra, who was running for Dahlerbruch, and Coloma to make the score 3-1. Borden did not allow a hit in the third to maintain the lead.

In the fourth and fifth, neither side could make anything happen offensively. Penn managed just a Melendez single during that time, but Borden would work her first two clean innings of the day, as no balls left the infield in these two innings for Princeton.

Rios singled to start the sixth and was bunted to second by Jessica Arneson, but two hard-hit line drives to short ended the scoring chance. The Tigers put the game-tying run in scoring position in the sixth with runners on second and third with two out, but Borden got the two-out strikeout following a drawn-out at-bat to hold the Tigers' offense off the board again.

Penn added an insurance run in the top of the seventh. Elysse Gorney singled to start the inning off. After an error and Coloma single loaded the bases, Melendez put the ball in play, earning the RBI groundout and giving Penn a 4-1 lead. That would be more than enough for Borden, who got two ground outs to Erosa at second and took the last herself via the strikeout to nail down the game one victory.

In the winning effort, Borden allowed six hits over the seven innings and just two walks. After working around some early singles, Borden allowed just one hit from the third inning on of game one. She struck out nine in the first game. Seven different players recorded a hit in game one for Penn, led by Melendez's three. She drove in one, while Erosa finished with two RBI and Coloma scored twice.

Penn 5, Princeton 1

The Quakers jumped on Princeton early in game two. Sydney Turchin singled to start the game and Gorney dropped down a bunt single to put the first two runners on base. Princeton would get two outs without allowing a run, but Melendez would not let them be stranded as she cleared the base paths with her seventh home run of the season to left-centerfield, staking Penn to an early 3-0 lead.

With Borden rolling from her game one performance, the Quakers went back to their game one starter in the beginning of game two. Just like the first game, three singles would lead to a first inning Princeton run, cutting the lead to 3-1. However, those three hits would be the last hits Princeton would record until the final inning of game two.

Both sides were set down in succession in the second inning. In the third, Dahlerbruch and Coloma worked back-to-back walks, but would endup being stranded in scoring position. The only base runner the Tigers managed in the bottom half of that inning was when a strikeout victim reached base on a third strike that could not be handled cleanly.

Three walks in the fifth would allow Penn to load the bases. Stephanie Caso drew the first walk and was bunted over by Turchin. After a wild pitch, Caso moved to third. Gorney walked later in that at-bat and would steal second. With two outs, Coloma walked to load the bases, but a groundout stranded the runners. However, Penn maintained its 3-1 lead behind Borden, who struck out the side in the fourth inning before getting two ground outs and fly out to set the Princeton side down in the fifth.

Erosa drew the leadoff walk and was bunted over by Rios to start the sixth. With two outs, Caso then walked to put two runners on. Erosa and Caso both stole on a pitch in the dirt shortly after and they would come around to score on Turchin's two-RBI single into right field, giving Penn a 5-1 lead.

From there, Borden just finished what she started. She got three ground ball outs in the sixth to retire the Tigers in order for the third straight inning. A leadoff double to start the seventh snapped a streak of 12 straight outs for Borden. The one that last reached was the strikeout pitch that got away. That was the only batter to reach in the previous 18 at-bats against Borden. However, that leadoff double would not move as Borden worked around the runner in scoring position to finish off the daily sweep.

In the second game, Borden again threw seven innings and allowed just the first inning run. She conceded just four hits, three of which came in the first inning. She did not walk a batter and struck out eight. For the day, she pitched 14 innings, allowing just 10 hits and two walks, while striking out 17 in her two wins. The Quakers made effective use of their hits in the second game as Turchin led the way with two, including the two-RBI single. Melendez used her three-run homer to finish the day with four RBI on four hits.

After two straight weeks of not seeing any non-conference action during the week, softball will host cross-campus rival Drexel this Wednesday in a single game beginning at 6 p.m. The next Ivy weekend on tap will see first-place Cornell come to Penn Park in another four-game series.