The oft-cited baseball statistic that the winning team scores the majority of its runs in one inning proved true for softball as well.
Wednesday afternoon, St. Josephs’s (11-3-1) convincingly beat Penn (4-10), 5-0. The Hawks stole a lead early on in the first two innings and held on from there.
St. Joe’s put the Quakers in a big hole early, scoring three runs in the first on an error by pitcher Alexis Borden, a passed ball, a triple by Sarah Yoos and a single by Brandi Harkness.
“We definitely were not on our game off the bat on our first inning,” coach Leslie King said.
The Hawks tacked on another run in the second on an RBI single by Dana Parks.
After the first two innings, though, the Quakers tightened up their defense, but the damage had been done and the Hawks maintained their lead for the rest of the seven-inning game.
“We didn’t make a lot of miscues after [the first inning],” King said. “But you can’t spot a team like St. Joe’s three runs in the first inning. We got tighter but it was too late.”
On offense, the Quakers struggled as well, managing only a pair of singles from right fielder Brooke Coloma and first baseman Georgia Guttadauro.
The squad is currently struggling with hitting, amassing only a .212 team batting average compared to their opponents’ .322 clip. With a batting average of .323, Coloma is the only member of the squad hitting over .300.
“Our situational hitting hasn’t been all that strong all spring,” King said. “Hitting can be contagious. We have a very talented hitting team. We have a few people that are struggling.”
Penn had a strong season last year, going 33-17 and 16-7 in the Ivy League. This year, however, victories have been sparse. The squad lost four of five games in the UCF Spring Fling Tournament and five of eight games in the Rebel Spring Games. Last year, Penn won eight of its first thirteen games and beat St. Joe’s in their first game held after spring break.
King said that a major problem has been stranded runners. Against the Hawks on Tuesday, the Quakers stranded six runners, which looks especially woeful compared to the two runners St. Joe’s left on base all game.
“They’re a very aggressive team,” King said. “They took advantage of all their baserunners and we did not take advantage of all of ours … you have to give them credit for that.”
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