Softball Takes out Tigers in Two Contests Saturday

PRINCETON, N.J. – After ending the first game early in six innings with an 11-1 victory, the University of Pennsylvania softball team ended the day with two diving plays from sophomores Kanani Datan and Lauren Li to take the second game for the sweep on Saturday at Princeton’s Class of 1895 Field, 4-3. The Quakers now hold a 14-16 overall record and a 9-4 record in the Ivy League.

Game 1 – Princeton (14-22, 6-7 Ivy)

WP: Alexis Borden (7-8), 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
LP: Shanna Christian (5-10), 5.0 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

After the Tigers cracked the board first with a run in the bottom of the first, the Quakers responded on the first pitch of the next at bat. Leading off for the Red and Blue was freshman Leah Allen, who hit her tenth home run of the season to center field which tied the Penn record for most home runs hit in a season.

Some tough fielding plays made by the Quakers – sophomore Lauren Li at shortstop and junior Vanessa Weaver at second -- helped kept the Tigers at bay, until the Red and Blue were able to take the lead in the top of the fifth.

With two outs and two on, junior Sydney Turchin knocked what would be the winning run in with a single to left field. And then Penn just kept them coming, putting the ball in play with three more hits – a single through the right side from sophomore Kanani Datan, a single to right center by senior tri-captain Elysse Gorney, and a single to shortstop by Allen -- to score three more runs.

Princeton gave the Quakers a little bit of a scare, loading the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. However, Borden pulled the team out of the situation, striking out the batter for the out.

And then the Red and Blue bats unloaded, going through the entire lineup and scoring seven runs in the top of the sixth. Penn continued to swing the bat and move runners allowing them to score four runs before Allen blasted her second home run of the day, with two runners on, to give the Red and Blue the 11-1 lead. The shot out to right field was her 11th of the season, which moved her to the top of the list with most home runs by a Quaker in a single season.

The rally ended there and the defense took the field for one last time that game, as they shut down the Tigers and Borden ended it with a strikeout.

In game one, Allen was 3-for-4 (two being her home runs), scored two runs, and recorded 4 RBI. Turchin was 2-for-4, scored two runs, and recorded 2 RBI.

Game 2 – Princeton (14-23, 6-8 Ivy)

WP: Alexis Sargent (6-4), 5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Save: Alexis Borden (1), 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
LP: Meredith Brown (1-4), 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K

Princeton was first to strike again, putting up one on the board in the bottom of the first. The Tigers threatened to score more with two on the bags, but a diving catch and throw to junior Vanessa Weaver at second by shortstop Lauren Li ended the inning and Princeton’s chances.

The Quakers were able to match the Tigers score in the top of the third, after sophomore Lauren Li singled to right field, knocking freshman Alexis Sargent home, and extended the lead with two more runs in the top of the fourth. Senior tri-captain Elysse Gorney knocked in the Red and Blue’s second run with a double out to left center and would score the third after a Princeton fielding error.

But the Tigers weren’t done yet and cut the lead to one in the bottom of the fourth, only to see it extended by Penn in the top of the fifth when junior Vanessa Weaver singled to right field and knocked sophomore Korinne Raby home.

A Princeton home run on the first pitch to the second batter put the Tigers within one, 4-3, but the Quakers stopped anymore offensive production.

From then on out, it was a hard-nosed battle to hang on to the lead.

With one out and a runner on second in the bottom of the sixth, head coach Leslie King decided to change things up, and brought junior Alexis Borden back into the game. Two ESPN worthy diving plays by sophomores Kanani Datan and Lauren Li ended the inning, putting the Quakers one step closer to the win. (Datan made a sliding catch out in center field for the second out, while Li made a diving catch towards second base for the third out.)

The Red and Blue attempted to extend their lead, but Princeton was able to end the inning with two runners on the bags.

Penn ended up not needing extra runs, as the Tigers went down in three.

Picking up her first save of the season was Borden, and Sargent added her sixth win.

Weaver went 2-for-4 and recorded 1 RBI, while Li was 2-for-3 with 1 RBI.

Download: Princeton Boxscore 1.pdf