Softball Takes Two from Brown

Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score

PHILADELPHIA – Penn softball is three-quaters of the way through their Ivy League season, and on their way to the best Ivy League record in program history. With a 3-2 win in the first game, and a 14-6 win in the second game over Brown today, the Quakers improved to 9-3 in Ivy play, the most league wins in program history, and only the third winning Ivy record since 1981, when Penn went 5-0 to win the Ivy League title.

The Quakers also set a new record today, when senior Stephanie Reichert hit a home run in the bottom of the second inning in the second game. That home run was her sixth of the season, and set a new single-season home run record. Junior Annie Kinsey tied the old record of five home runs with a home run of her own in the second game.

Most of the offensive excitement took place in the second game. The first game was a pitching battle, with Penn coming out on top, 3-2. Sophomore Emily Denstedt pitched the complete-game win for the Quakers, pitching four shut-out innings, and allowing only five hits. Penn got on the board early in the game, as Brown’s pitcher walked Kinsey to start the first inning. She was brought home four batters later, when senior Julia Cheney hit a double down the left field line. The Quakers took the early 1-0 lead, and strong pitching from Denstedt kept it that way for two more innings, as she lasted the first three innings with no hits allowed.

In the top of the fourth, a triple to left field broke up the potential no-hitter, and put a Brown runner in scoring position. Just two pitches later, she scored on a passed ball, tying it up at 1-1. Brown scored again in the top of the fifth on a home run, taking the 2-1 lead. But the Quakers answered in the bottom of the fifth with two runs of their own. Kinsey got it started with a single to left field, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Freshman Keiko Uraguchi singled to left field, advancing Kinsey to third. Reichert cleared the bases with a single deep to right field, and Penn took the 3-2 lead. Strong defense from the Quakers kept Brown from coming back. In the top of the seventh inning, two batters singles, and a wild pitch put runners on first and third. With the tying and winning run on base, Brown brought in junior Linnea Anderson to pinch hit at the bottom of the order. She hit a fly ball to right field, which looked like it would be enough to bring in the runner from third and tie the game up. But right fielder Melissa Haffner made the catch, followed quickly by a clean throw to home, where catcher Kaelin Ainley tagged out the tying run to end the inning and the game.

After a dramatic finish to a low-scoring game, the second game of the day was a complete change, with a combined nine runs being scored in the first inning alone. The Bears were up first, and scored five runs off of pitcher Olivia Mauro, before Erin Boyle came in to close out the inning. With a 5-0 lead after the first half-inning, the Bears seemed confident going into the bottom of the first. But Brown’s pitcher had some problems of her own, starting with Annie Kinsey. Kinsey, who was leading off for the Quakers, hit a home run to put Penn on the board. Brown’s pitcher then walked Uraguchi and Reichert, to put runners on first and second. Julia Cheney didn’t let those runners on base go to waste, as she hit a home run of her own, her second in two days. Penn was back in it, 5-4. Brown scored once more in the top of the second inning, taking a 6-4 lead. But it wouldn’t even last until the end of the inning. Facing the top of Penn’s line-up again, Brown continued to struggle with their pitching. Kinsey and Uraguchi both got on base, but didn’t stay for long. Senior Stephanie Reichert hit a home run, putting Penn up, 7-6. With that home run, her sixth of the season, Reichert broke the school’s single-season home run record.

With the 7-6 lead, Penn played strong defense for the next three innings. The Quakers widened the gap in the bottom of the fourth. Christina Khosravi and Julia Cheney were both walked, and then senior Brandi King reached first on an error by the pitcher, loading the bases. Senior Teresa Leyden hit a single past second base, bringing home Khosravi, and putting Penn up 8-6. Ainley was up next, and was also walked, bringing home Cheney, and increasing the lead to 9-6. Freshman Keiko Uraguchi was up next, and got on base on a fielder’s choice. The throw home was too late, and Leyden scored to make it 10-6. Reichert came up to the plate, and singled to right field, bringing in Ainley. With an 11-6 lead, Penn got three quick outs in the top of the fifth, and got their shot at the Bears once more.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, King got on base on an error by the catcher, and was followed by Haffner, who singled past third to put runners on first and second. Leyden was up next, and hit a ball hard to the shortstop, who made a crucial error and couldn’t make the play. As the ball made its way into deep left field, both King and Haffner scored, giving Penn a 14-6 lead, and ending the game due to the mercy rule.

Boyle pitched for four innings, allowing only one run and four hits. Against the Bears, Reichert was 4-for-6 with two runs scored and six RBI. Kinsey went 3-for-5, with four runs scored and two RBI. Cheney was 3-for-6 with two runs scored and four RBI, as Leyden was 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI.

With the win, Penn improves to 9-3 in the Ivy League, and 17-11 overall. Up next, the Quakers will host Big 5 rival Villanova at Warren Field, Tuesday at 3 p.m.