PHILADELPHIA - Three home runs were more than enough offense for Penn on Wednesday evening as the Quakers (8-9) downed La Salle 6-0 in their last game before the Ivy League season begins. Kayla Dahlerbruch, Justine Payne, and Samantha Erosa all had home runs in the winning effort, while Mikenzie Voves and Taylor Tieman combined to hold La Salle for the entire game.
With the aid of some defensive miscue, Penn got out to the early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Elysse Gorney got the game going with a perfectly placed bunt and legged out the leadoff single. She would then advance to second on a wild pitch. With one out, Alisha Prystowsky hit a high fly ball into left field that was dropped, allowing Gorney to get to third and a hustling Prystowsky to get into second base. A second wild pitch in the inning would allow Gorney to bring home the first run of the game.
In the bottom of the first, Voves worked around two singles, getting out of the inning with back-to-back strikeouts for the second and third outs. Penn was held scoreless in the top of the second. In the bottom half of the inning, La Salle once again put two runners on base with just one out. However, a groundout and swinging strikeout would end the La Salle threat.
Penn was unable to score in its half of the third inning. In the bottom half of the third inning, Voves added two more strikeouts to her total, giving Penn another chance to push across a second run.
The Quakers would get that run in the fourth when Dahlerbruch hit the first of three Penn home runs on the night, making the score 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth. This home run was also the first home run of the season for the Penn freshman. In the bottom of the inning, Voves allowed a leadoff single, but retired the next three hitters to leave La Salle scoreless through four.
In the top of the fifth, following two quick outs, Erosa delivered her second home run in as many games, widening the gap to 3-0. In her final inning of work, Voves allowed a walk, but got a double play on a line drive right at Dahlerbruch, who doubled the runner off at first. Voves got the final out of her evening on a grounder to second.
Penn would add three more insurance runs in the top of the sixth. A Dahlerbruch walk, followed by Kelsey Wolfe reaching base on an error put two runners aboard for Payne with just one out. She would bring home both Wolfe and Laura Placentra, who was on to run for Dahlerbruch, clearing the bases with her second home run of the season, extending the lead to 6-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, Voves gave way to Tieman who was just as effective coming on in relief. In her first inning of work, Tieman got two strikeouts and groundout to quickly retire La Salle in the sixth.
The Quakers were unable to add any more in the top of the seventh, but it would not matter as Tieman shut the door in La Salle's last at bat, preserving the shutout and the 6-0 victory.
Combined, Tieman and Voves allowed just six hits over the seven innings, while striking out nine. Along the way, Voves picked up her sixth victory of the season.
Penn will now look to carry that momentum into this weekend when Ivy play opens around the league. Penn will open the Ivy slate at home as it hosts Harvard on Friday and Dartmouth on Saturday. Both doubleheaders will begin at 2 p.m.