The Quakers posted a program-best record of 33 wins, including a 15-5 conference record, but could not overcome the repeat-champion Crimson, who won 1-0 and 5-2 in the Ivy League Championship series.
Game one featured two of the league’s most dominant pitchers, Penn’s Alexis Borden and Harvard’s Rachel Brown. The pitchers each held their opponents hitless until the fourth inning, when Elysse Gorney doubled to right-center field — the only extra base hit of the game — and scoreless until the sixth, when Borden walked the first two batters and a throwing error on an infield single allowed the first and only run to cross the plate.
Borden and Brown each gave up just three hits and finished with four strikeouts apiece.
In the second game, the Quakers again turned to Borden, and Laura Ricciardone opposed her in the circle.
Harvard again struck first in the third inning, when two singles, a stolen base and a walk loaded the bases. Borden walked the next batter to force the first run of the game with one out. A sacrifice fly scored the second run of the inning, giving the Crimson the 2-0 lead when Borden escaped the inning.
Harvard stranded runners on base in the fourth but was able to score again in the fifth. The Quakers struck back at the bottom of the inning when Georgia Guttadauro cracked a leadoff double down the right field line. Sam Erosa hit to center field to bring home Laura Placentra, who was in as a pinch runner for Guttadauro, but that turned out to be all the Red and Blue could muster.
The Crimson tacked on two more runs in the top of the sixth, taking a 5-1 lead. With the pressure on, Penn put the first two batters on base to close out the sixth and moved them both over to scoring position on a wild pitch. Kayla Dahlerbruch grounded out to second and brought one run home but Gorney was stranded at third.
Though Borden set the Crimson down in order in the seventh, the Quakers could only get a single to close out both the game and the season.
The Red and Blue’s achievements this season, however, cannot be forgotten. Despite the loss in the championship series, this year’s squad set a program record by becoming the first team to win over 30 games in a season. Moreover, 17 of the 19 players on the roster will be returning for at least one more season, including the 11 regular starters.
Four batters hit over .300, with one just shy at .299, and three pitchers posted sub-3.00 earned run averages.
Penn also had eight players earn All-Ivy honors, marking just the third time in program history that eight or more players have earned the All-Ivy distinction. Three players (Borden, Gorney and Brooke Coloma) were named to the first team and three (Erosa, Karina Rios and Sydney Turchin) to the second team, and two (Dahlerbruch and Jessica Melendez) earned honorable mentions.
Borden made Penn history in her rookie campaign in more ways than one. She recorded the first-ever perfect game in program history in the South Division playoff against Cornell, the game that sent the Quakers to the Championship against Harvard. She was also named Rookie of the Year, making her the third player in program history to win the award.
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