Softball "Walks Off" with a Pair of Victories

Game 1 Box

Game 2 Box

PHILADELPHIA - Dartmouth took an 8-4 lead into Penn's last at bats twice on Sunday and twice it came away with a loss as Penn came from behind in both games, snatching victories away from the Big Green. Kayla Dahlerbruch and Brooke Coloma took turns delivering the final blows in games one and two respectively, but it took a total team effort to put these two in a position to end the games in walk-off fashion. It certainly was not the prototypical sweep that fans are accustomed to, but nevertheless Penn got two Ivy season to finish out the first weekend of league play on the high note. In the end, Penn (10-11, 2-2 Ivy) would take the first game 9-8 and finish the second game with a 10-8 victory on a walk-off home run to leave Dartmouth (7-12, 2-2 Ivy) in disbelief.

Game 1: Penn 9 Dartmouth 8

In the first game, Dartmouth would jump out on top early, scoring twice in the top of the first to give the Big Green the early lead. However, the Quakers would respond in the bottom of the inning with a three spot of their own. Elysse Gorney started Penn off with a bunt single and stolen base to put a runner on second. Stephanie Caso followed that with a walk. On the fourth ball to Caso, a passed ball allowed Gorney to move up to third. Caso would then steal second on the next pitch and Dartmouth tried to trick the Quakers firing to shortstop to try and get Gorney to leave third; however the throw went into left field, allowing Gorney to score. Alisha Prystowsky would then bring Caso around on her first home run of the season over the left field fence, making the score 3-2 in favor of Penn after the first.

The second and third innings would not be as eventful as neither side could do anything offensively. In the top of the fourth, a leadoff error would come around to score for Dartmouth to tie the game at three. Eventually, Dartmouth would put runners on second and third with just one out, but Mikenzie Voves would get the ground ball right back at her and fire home for the tag out at the plate. Penn would get out of the inning on that same play when the batter tried to take second, but Prystowsky fired to Caso, who tug the batter ending the Dartmouth fourth.

In the top of the fifth, Dartmouth would take the lead with two more runs in the fifth. Following back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, a fly ball moved the runner up to second and third. Both those runners would score after a fielder's choice and double down the left field line. Cailyn Hennessy came on in relief and got two strikeouts to get Penn out of the jam without any further damage. Penn would get one of those back in the bottom of the inning after Caso reached base on a fielder's choice. She would come around to score all the way from first on a ball that was dropped by the right fielder, which would have ended the inning. This made the score 5-4 Dartmouth after five innings.

Both sides went down in order in the sixth, which just set the stage for the seventh. Dartmouth led off its seventh with a solo home run and followed that up with a single and walk that were both brought home on a double into right field. This made the score 8-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning with Penn needing a huge rally to pick up its first Ivy League win of the season.

Justine Payne got the inning started with a double over the centerfielder's head. Pinch-Hitter Kristen Johnson followed that up with a single into left field, setting up runners on second and third after moving over to second on the throw in from the outfield. With Penn coming alive on the bench, Dartmouth went to the bullpen and the move would pan out initially as the Big Green got a strikeout to put one away.

Caso would pick up the rally again, singling just out of the reach of the right fielder and advancing to second after the ball got away from the outfielder. This brought home the first two runs of the inning and made the score 8-6 with just one away and the tying run coming to the plate. The tying run would reach base when Prystowsky was hit by pitch to put two runners on board. Brooke Coloma would then bring both those runners home with her double into the left centerfield gap, tying the game at eight. The suspense would not last much longer as Dahlerbruch would single into left field, scoring Coloma and sending the Penn bench to mob both Coloma and Dahlerbruch after their consecutive hits that gave Penn the 9-8 victory in game one.

Hennessy picked up the victory on the mound after coming on in relief in the fifth inning for her second win of the season. The top of the order was certainly productive in game one as Caso, Prystowsky, Coloma and Dahlerbruch, the two through five hitters in the lineup combined for seven RBI's in game one. Caso also scored three times in game one, while Prystowsky crossed the plate twice, including the game tying run.

Game 2: Penn 10 Dartmouth 8 (8 Innings)

After Penn's morale was through the roof and Dartmouth was just searching for answers following the walk-off loss, it would be the Big Green that would quickly shake off the first game defeat. Dartmouth scored seven times in the first inning of game one to jump out to the early lead. Those seven runs came on just five hits and put Penn in the early hole. The Quakers would get one of those runs back when Gorney legged out a triple into the right centerfield gap. After a groundout to third held the runner, Gorney scored on an illegal pitch to put one run on the board for Penn.

In the second inning, Taylor Tieman came on in relief and would hold the Dartmouth hitters at bay, getting two fly outs and a groundout to retire the side in order. Penn continued to chip away at the lead in the bottom of the second. Jessica Melendez doubled and was brought around to score on Gorney's RBI single to make the score 7-2 after two innings.

In the third, Dartmouth got a leadoff home run to start the inning, but Tieman settled down and retired the next three hitters. Penn chipped two more runs off the deficit in the bottom of the inning. After Coloma reached base on a fielder's choice, Dahlerbruch singled and Kelsey Wolfe walked to load the bases. Johnson would bring home two of those runs on a double into left field, making the score 8-4 after three innings.

Tieman just continued to hold the Dartmouth offense off the board in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Over that span, she retired the side in order in the fourth, and allowed just a single in both the fifth and sixth innings. However, the Dartmouth pitching was just as effective as Penn was also held off the board in the fourth through sixth innings.

In the seventh, Tieman continued to roll as she got two fly outs and a ground out sandwiched around a two-out single to give Penn another crack at its second comeback victory of the day.

Penn would make sure that Tieman's efforts were not in vain in the bottom of the inning. Coloma started off the inning with a single and Dahlerbruch followed that up with a walk to put two runners on base with nobody out. That brought Elizabeth Madara to the plate as a pinch-hitter. Madara, who just seems to have a knack for coming through with big hits in key situations, singled through the right side and brought home the first run of the inning. More importantly, the tying run was now at the plate with nobody out. With two runners on, Johnson quickly emptied the base paths and tied the score with her three-run blast to left field. This was certainly a good time for the freshman to hit her first career home run in a Penn uniform. Dartmouth would go to the bullpen and slam the door in the rest of the seventh to send the game into extra innings with the game knotted at eight.

Tieman just continued to fire away in the circle, retiring the Big Green in order to get Penn right back on the offensive. It would not take Penn long to land the final blow of the game in the bottom of the inning. Prystowksy would single into centerfield to start the inning and Coloma would send the home crowd away with a victory after her home run flew over the left field fence, setting off the second walk-off celebration of the day for the Quakers.

Taylor Tieman was definitely the unsung the hero in Penn's victory. On her way to picking up her second win of the season, Tieman went seven innings, allowing the one run while scattering four hits to keep her team in the game. Offensively, Johnson finished the game with five RBI's, while Coloma also scored three runs in addition to her two RBI's on the walk-off home run.

After fighting its way to a split in the opening weekend of Ivy League play, Penn will host Villanova in non-conference action this Tuesday at Warren Field. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. The Quakers will get back into the Ivy League portion of their schedule this Friday and Saturday when they travel to Yale and Brown.