Strong Pitching Carries Softball to a Pair of Wins Monday

Penn 2, Sacred Heart 0 Box Score

Penn 2, Indiana State 0 Box Score

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Bouncing back from a tough opening weekend at the UCF tournament, softball won its first two games at the Rebel Spring Games by identical 2-0 scores over Sacred Heart and Indiana State on Monday. The Quakers rode strong pitching performances from Mikenzie Voves and Alexis Borden to victory in each contest. Both pitchers threw complete game shutouts in their respective starts, helping Penn to get within striking distance of evening up the team's record.

These shutouts marked the first time in program history that Penn pitchers have thrown back-to-back shutouts on the same day. Previously, there had six occurences where Penn has thrown consecutive shutouts that spanned multiple days, but this was the first time this happened on the same day.

Penn 2, Sacred Heart 0

Going up against a NCAA qualifying team from a season ago, Voves was ready from the start as she set the Pioneers down in order to start the game. Sydney Turchin led off Penn's half of the first with a single into left field, but would be doubled off on a sharp liner the next at-bat as Sacred Heart's Nicole Sidor threw her own shutout inning.

In the second inning, Voves would allow an infield single to reach with two outs, but got a strikeout to end the top of the frame, one of three punch-outs in her first two innings of work. But again, Sidor held the Penn lineup in check. The Pioneers tried to play small ball in the top of the third, but Penn was on top of them defensively as the Quakers made the final two outs of the inning as Sacred Heart tried to bunt its way on base.

Samantha Erosa led off the bottom of the third with a single into centerfield and would be bunted into scoring position with one out on a sacrifice by Laura Placentra. After a strikeout put two away, Turchin put the ball in play, forcing the defense to make a play, but Sacred Heart was unable to do so and Erosa scored all the way from second base on a line drive that was dropped in the outfield. This gave Penn the 1-0 lead after three innings of play.

Sacred Heart doubled to start off the fourth and a single would put runners on the corners with nobody out. Voves would get the next batter to pop-up to her in the circle to put the first hitter away. Sacred Heart tried to bunt home the run with one out, but Kayla Dahlerbruch fielded the bunt and came home to Elysse Gorney, who applied the tag to cut down the run and preserve the lead. A grounder right back to Voves would get Penn out of the inning. Dahlerbruch then doubled with one out in the fourth, but would be stranded in Penn's half of the inning.

The Pioneers had another scoring chance in the fifth after a one-out single, followed by a double, but Voves would get the groundout to short, holding the runners on the second out. She would then strand them both on a strikeout to get her through five. By this time, Sidor has also settled into a rhythm and retired the Penn side in order.

Voves would take her turn in the top of the sixth, allowing just a two-out single as no other ball left the infield in the inning. In the bottom half, the Quakers added some insurance. Turchin singled back through the middle with one out and Penn would put runners on second and third following a Gorney double into the right centerfielder gap.

Dahlerbruch would then bring home Turchin on a sacrifice fly, extending Penn's lead to 2-0 heading to the last inning. In their final at-bats, Voves would get the Sacred Heart leadoff hitter via the strikeout. She would concede a one-out single, but slam the door shut, inducing two groundouts to record her first collegiate shutout.

For the game, Voves scattered seven hits over her seven innings of work. She also struck out five batters on the afternoon, while walking just one to pick up her first victory of the season. Penn managed just five hits off of Sacred Heart's starter, but made the most of their opportunities, stranding just two runners on the day.

Penn 2, Indiana State 0

Playing as the visiting school in the second game, Turchin again got on base to start Penn's first, drawing the walk and stealing second base with one out. However, Indiana State's starting pitcher, Lindsay Beisser, would not let her get any further. In the bottom half, the Sycamores' leadoff hitter reached on a throwing error, getting to second, but Borden would get the next batter to pop out before getting two strikeouts of her own to end the inning.

Beisser retired Penn in order in the second and Borden would concede back-to-back one-out singles in the bottom of the inning for the only time all day, but stranded both runners on the base paths.

In the third, Penn would get all the offense that its freshman pitcher would need on the day with two outs. Turchin again got things going, drawing the two-out walk. Gorney would follow that at-bat up with her second double of the day into the right center, putting runners on second and third. Dahlerbruch would then work the count full before taking a pitch back up the middle, scoring both of the runners and giving Penn the early lead.

With the lead in hand, Borden would not allow a Sycamore base runner in either the third or fourth inning. Three of those six outs would come via the strikeout. Penn threatened in the top half of the fourth when Kristen Johnson led off with an infield single, followed by a bunt single for Vanessa Weaver. Jessica Arneson would sacrifice the runners into scoring position with one out, but Indiana State would cut one run down at the plate before getting out of the inning.

In the fifth, Penn put two more runners on with two outs following a Dahlerbruch hit by pitch and Brooke Coloma walk, but Beisser would escape any damage on a line out to centerfield. Borden allowed her only walk of the game to start the inning in the fifth. That runner would steal second with nobody out and get sacrificed to third. However, two ground outs to the middle infielders would keep her right there as the as the score remained 2-0 through five full innings.

Beisser allowed nothing to Penn in her sixth inning of work, but Borden just continued to roll along. She allowed a two-out pinch hit single to reach base, but fielded a grounder right back at her to get through her sixth inning of work. Stephanie Caso singled to try and extend Penn's lead in the top of the seventh, but an infield pop-up that was followed by a line drive double play got the Sycamores one more chance at bat with Borden.

Borden would not even concede a base runner in her final inning. She got the first out with a grounder to third before taking the next two herself, ending the game with a swinging strikeout for her second win of the season.

For the game, Borden allowed just three hits and one walk over her seven innings. She retired 21 of the 26 batters that she faced on the day, which included retiring the side in order in three different innings. Over the last five innings, she allowed just two base runners.

Turchin, Dahlerbruch and Gorney all finished the day with a pair of hits. Both of Gorney's went for doubles, while Turchin also reached twice on walks, reaching base four of her seven times at bat. Penn's pitching combined to hold the opposition to a .192 batting average on the day.

The Quakers will be back in action tomorrow with two more games at the Rebel Spring Games. The first game will be at 11 a.m. against South Dakota. After a game off, Penn is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start against Detroit. Both of those games will be played on the Fortune Road fields.