Strong Pitching Shuts Down Softball in Ivy Openers

Game 1 Box Score

Game 2 Box Score

PHILADELPHIA - Penn Softball fell victim to a pair of strong pitching performances on Saturday against Harvard. Penn (8-11, 0-2 Ivy) managed just one hit in each of the games to fall against Harvard (16-10, 2-0 Ivy) in the Ivy League opener. In the first game, Mikenzie Voves' strong outing on the mound was not enough as Rachel Brown was slightly better for Harvard in the 2-1 victory. In game two, Harvard's Laura Ricciardone was just as good, shutting out Penn on the way to a 10-0 Harvard win.

Game 1: Harvard 2 Penn 1

In game one, Voves started out her Ivy season a strong note, setting down the Harvard lineup in order in the first inning. Penn would also go down in order to end the first; however, it would not be quietly as Alisha Prystowsky was robbed of a home run with two outs. Her shot had the distance to clear the fence, but the Harvard centerfielder reached over the wall to pull the ball back into play to end the inning.

In the second inning, Harvard got a double down the left field line, but Voves would get a strikeout and infield fly to strand the runner at second base. Penn would go down in order in the bottom of the second.

Harvard would put the first run on the board in the third inning. After a leadoff walk to start the inning, Harvard executed the sacrifice bunt to move the runner over to second base with just one out. The next Crimson batter would knock a single right back through the middle to bring home the first run of the game. Penn would get a strikeout and ground out to get out of the inning without any further damage. Brown would once again set the side down in order in the third to go through the Penn order perfect the first time around.

Voves would allow two runners to reach base in the fourth via the base on balls, but would not allow a batted ball out of the infield in the inning to work her way out of the jam. Elysse Gorney would give Penn its first runner of the game with her double down the left field line to lead off the bottom of the inning. Making every effort to push across the tying run, Stephanie Caso successfully bunted Gorney over to third with one out. Prystowsky was then hit by pitch to put two aboard and promptly stole second on the next pitch to put two runners in scoring position with just one out. Just when Penn looked ready to break onto the scoreboard Harvard got a strikeout and a groundout to first to get out of the inning with no runs.

Neither side would be able to produce any offense in the fifth inning. In the sixth, Whitney Shaw would homer to lead off the inning to put Harvard up 2-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth.

In the sixth, Penn would once again have another chance to overcome the two-run deficit. Samantha Erosa led off the inning with a walk and was moved over to second on a Gorney sacrifice bunt. Caso would then reach on an error and a walk to Prystowsky would load the bases with just one away. Harvard would then get a foul out, but the out was anything but routine. With the foul ball to the right side of home plate, the Harvard catcher looked to have a beat on the ball, but it would bounce out of her glove and, unfortunately for Penn, land safely in the glove of the first baseman that was right behind the play. A wild pitch would allow Erosa to score the only run of the game for Penn with two outs, but the rest of the runners would be stranded following a fly out to right field.

Voves would once again retire the side in order in the top of the seventh, but Penn would also go down in order in the bottom of the inning to drop game one. Voves took a tough loss on the mound as she went seven innings, allowing just two runs on three hits.

Game 2: Harvard 10 Penn 0

In game two, Penn sent Cailyn Hennessy to the circle and she would be impressive in the early going. In the first she quickly retired the first two batters, but consecutive hits put runners on second and third with two outs. However, Hennessy would find her grove again, getting the pop out to Kayla Dahlerbruch at third to end the inning. Penn would go down in order in the bottom of the first, but Hennessy would match that result in the top of the second. In the bottom of the inning, Kelsey Wolfe reached on a fielding error with two out, but she would be stranded there at the end of the inning.

In the top of the third, Harvard would put its first run of game two on the board following a defensive lapse by Penn. After a leadoff single, Harvard looked to bunt the runner into scoring position, but the throw on the play to first got away and the runners ended up on second and third with nobody out. Harvard would get a sacrifice fly to score the unearned run, but Hennessy would buckle down get out of the inning with just the one run crossing the plate.

In the top of the fourth, Penn went to the bullpen but was promptly greeted with a home run that was on a line over the centerfield fence. Harvard would then get two more singles that came around to score on a double down the left field line. This brought back Hennessy, who re-entered at pitcher to try and get Penn out of the jam. The runner on second would score on a single to make the score 5-0 and defensive miscues throughout the remainder of the inning led to three more runs. Penn would get out of the inning when Wolfe fielded a ground ball down the first base line and tug the batter and fired home to get the runner trying to score from third on the play.

Penn would get its lone hit of the game in the fourth inning when Prystowsky singled through the right side with one out. However, two more Penn strikeouts would leave her standing at first to end the inning.

In the top of the fifth, Harvard would add its final two runs. After a double, Ellen Macadam would take the pitch over the centerfield wall bringing home the ninth and tenth runs of the game for Harvard. In the bottom of the inning, Penn went down in order, ending the game after five innings.

After a tough opening day in the Ivy League the defending North Division Champions, Penn will now try to pick up its first Ivy victories tomorrow afternoon against Dartmouth. The first game of the doubleheader will get underway at 12:30 p.m. Dartmouth (7-10, 2-0 Ivy) is coming off of a pair of victories today against Columbia.