CLEARWATER, FL. – A full week of softball in Florida has come to an end, as the University of Pennsylvania softball team played its final game over spring break on Friday morning. The Quakers took on the national team from the Netherlands and fell, 3-2, but still hold a 4-7 record as it was an exhibition game. The Red and Blue notched four consecutive wins over Colgate, Seton Hall, Quinnipiac, and Providence.
Penn began the season in Florida, weeks behind many institutions around the country, and used it as preparation for the Ivy season. The young squad, consisting of 10 freshmen, played in 11 contests, including games against three Big East teams and two from the American Athletic Conference.
In the first game of the UCF Spring Fling against Troy, the Quakers found themselves behind 4-0 but never gave up. Going into the bottom of the seventh, the Red and Blue had one final chance as Troy held the lead, 4-3. With one out, freshman Leah Allen approached the plate. Allen struck out swinging but sped down to line and reached first on a throwing error and continued rounding the bases until she scored the tying run. Penn pushed the game to 10 innings, but the Red and Blue couldn’t respond as the Trojans scored two. Junior Alexis Borden pitched all ten innings, totaling 15 strikeouts.
Jumping out to an early 4-0 lead and scoring seven more runs in the top of the sixth, the Quakers captured their first win against Colgate, ending the game early, 11-1. The first home run of the season was hit by sophomore Lauren Li to start the second inning.
The Red and Blue went on to win the next three games, with the last being another come from behind win.
Playing in the USF Under Armour Showcase at the USF Softball Complex, Providence came hot out of the gate, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first and then one in the second, to put Penn behind, 6-0.Each team added an additional run, as the Quakers came up to bat in the bottom of the fifth, trailing 7-1. With two runs in and two outs, Allen stepped up to the plate with bases loaded. Waiting for the perfect pitch, Allen hit a grand slam out past left field and tied the game at seven apiece.
Unable to make anything happen, the Friars took the field once again to start the bottom of the sixth. With one out and no one on, freshman Alexis Sargent came up to the plate and hit a bomb out of the park over right center, clearing at least 220 ft. It was the hit that won the game, as Providence was stifled by the Red and Blue defense in the top of the seventh.
A total of six home runs were recorded by the Quakers over the course of the trip. Junior Sydney Turchin hit her first career homer in the fifth inning against Quinnipiac and Allen hit a total of three, all of which were against members of the Big East.
After the return home, Penn will prepare for a doubleheader against Lehigh on Wednesday at 3 p.m.