The Penn softball pitching staff has carried the load for most of this season. Wednesday night against Drexel, Penn’s offense returned the favor.
Under the lights for the first time at Penn Park, the Quakers came back from a deficit on two occasions and piled up a season-high 16 hits to beat the Dragons, 8-7.
The game-winning single came from sophomore Georgia Guttadauro. With the contest tied at seven apiece, Guttadauro entered the batter’s box with one out and runners on second and third.
Penn (24-14) spent time in practice this week on situational hitting, and Guttadauro knew exactly how to approach the scenario.
“I knew I wanted to hit [the ball] down and preferably to the right side and really get that run in,” Guttadauro said.
Sure enough, the designated hitter drove a ground ball in the gap to the right side, scoring one run and giving the Red and Blue the lead for good.
With two hits on the day, Guttadauro was not alone in offensive production, as five of her fellow Quakers also tallied multiple hits. Sydney Turchin and Karina Rios logged three-hit games and Brooke Coloma delivered a two-hit, three-RBI performance that included a two-run homer in the first inning.
“We had 16 hits today, and it’s so nice to know that anyone on the team can get that hit,” Guttadauro said. “It was a really great game for the whole team offensively.”
The Quakers would need all 16 hits to overcome the Dragons (18-20), who capitalized on three hits and two errors in the top of the third inning to take a 5-2 lead against Penn pitcher Mikenzie Voves.
The Quakers responded in the fourth by unloading for four runs and five hits, giving the Red and Blue a 6-5 lead.
However, Drexel battled back again in the fifth, picking up a walk to open the inning. Though Voves retired the next two batters, she was unable to keep Drexel off the scoreboard, as the Dragons’ Amanda Bachmann hit a two-out triple to tie the game at six.
Coming off a three-win weekend, freshman Alexis Borden replaced Voves in the circle to start the sixth inning. Despite two strikeouts in the inning for Borden, Drexel managed a run on two singles — one of them a bunt — and the Dragons took the lead, 7-6, setting Penn up for some late game heroics.
Leading off the sixth inning, Turchin reached base on a single and scored two at-bats later on a sacrifice fly by Coloma, tying up the game. Guttadauro followed suit with a single that scored Elysse Gorney and completed the Quakers’ second comeback of the night.
“When [the opposing] team scores, to come right back at them in the next half of an inning is really a sign of a team that’s playing with confidence and that believes that they can hit anybody,” coach Leslie King said.
The midweek victory gives Penn momentum as it enters a crucial four-game series with Cornell this weekend that will likely determine the winner of Ivy League South Division.