On a cold, windy Friday afternoon at Penn Park, the Penn softball team lit up the scoreboard with a no-hitter and 19 combined runs in two games against a struggling Lafayette squad.
The Quakers had trouble gaining rhythm early in both games against Lafayette but quickly found their footing, posting an 8-0 afternoon victory followed by an 11-2 evening rout of the Leopards (3-8).
In the first game, Penn’s sophomore pitcher Alexis Borden notched her second career no-hitter.
In the bottom of the first, the Quakers (6-10) quickly put two hitters on base but couldn’t finish the inning with any runs. However, it was clear that Penn had Lafayette junior pitcher Melissa Robinson’s number.
After Borden finished off another inning, freshman catcher Korinne Raby crushed her third career home run to give Penn a 3-0 lead.
“I felt like my rhythm was a little off, because we were walking a lot of girls … but we worked out of it,” Borden said of her performance in the early going.
In the fourth inning, she walked two more hitters yet still didn’t give up any hits to the Leopards.
Not only did Borden stay dominant, but the hitters also remained confident in the bottom of the fourth.
“We did a much better job today of executing with runners on,” coach Leslie King said.
Penn senior catcher Brooke Coloma plated Samantha Erosa to begin a five-run inning. Raby came in and hit a double leading to an 8-0 finish, capping Borden’s no-hitter.
Freshman Lauren Li made her Penn Park pitching debut in the evening matchup. Lafayette took advantage of Li’s debut and posted two runs and two hits, but didn’t rattle Li’s confidence, as the pitcher only gave up one other hit throughout the game.
Junior first baseman Georgia Guttadauro extended her hitting streak to three games and senior Bridget Ellsworth put Guttadauro on third with an error on a sacrifice-bunt attempt. After an illegal pitch Guttadauro scored a run and advanced Ellsworth to third. An Erosa single gave the Quakers a 3-2 lead.
“I thought defensively we played well,” King said. “If you look at our stats, our defensive play has been exceptional.”
Penn then enjoyed a seven-run fourth inning. Raby notched another home run on the day to continue Penn’s stellar offensive performance. Big hits by junior catcher Elysse Gorney and Erosa then increased Penn’s lead to 11-2 for good.
“Today was not only my breakthrough day, but as a team we had a breakthrough day,” Raby said.
Since the Quakers struggled with consistency during their Florida trip, their success against Lafayette has lifted the team’s spirits.
“It’s just giving us the confidence back that we lost,” Borden said. “Confidence is a big thing for us and having that … is our new start.”
This new start will be put to the test next week against Lehigh, a club that King says “will be a challenge for us.” Penn will look to carry this momentum and confidence into next week.
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