Penn softball coach Leslie King said she hoped that the week’s earlier loss to Monmouth was a gut-check.
Maybe it was exactly the gut-check the Quakers needed.
Penn (17-13, 7-1 Ivy) swept Yale (7-21, 3-5) courtesy of back-to-back shutouts, 7-0 and 9-0, respectively. Then the Quakers swept Brown (7-16, 1-7) in two more solid performances, 7-1 and 6-4.
In the first game of the Yale doubleheader, sophomore pitcher Alexis Borden earned seven more strikeouts and surrendered only three hits for the Red and Blue.
Penn scored four runs in the first inning from hits off the bats of senior outfielder Brooke Coloma, junior third baseman Kayla Dahlerbruch and a walk by senior shortstop Stephanie Caso.
The rout continued with two more runs added by Caso, who notched three RBIs on the day. In the top of the seventh, senior catcher Jessica Arneson also plated senior outfielder Jessica Melendez to seal the 7-0 victory.
“We’ve been scoring a lot of runs, we tend to score a lot earlier,” freshman pitcher Lauren Li said. “[So] we made a goal of ours not only to score earlier but often, and I feel we achieved our goal.”
Junior catcher Elysse Gorney ignited the scoring in the nightcap by knocking in a run, followed by senior second baseman Samantha Erosa’s reach on a fielder’s choice to plate sophomore outfielder Sydney Turchin from third base. That gave the Quakers an early lead, 2-0.
Later, a triple from Erosa plated two more runs to complete the second shutout of Yale.
Coming off a 17-2 blowout loss to Monmouth in their previous outing, the Red and Blue tightened up their pitching and defense as well. Li yielded only five hits until Penn won on a mercy ruling in the sixth inning of the second game.
The Quakers enjoyed still more success in Rhode Island with a near-shutout led once again by Borden, who earned six more strikeouts.
A wild pitch from Yale pitcher Jessica Cherness scored Gorney, giving Penn an early 1-0 lead.
Penn’s affinity for fifth-inning explosions continued, starting with an Erosa sacrifice fly. The Quakers’ Coloma then hit a single-RBI run by Gorney. Soon after, with two runners in position, junior first baseman Georgia Guttadauro scored two more runners off of a right-field single to give the Quakers a 5-1 edge, en route to a 7-1 romp.
Penn’s offense kept the momentum going in the second game.
Turchin responded to an early lead by the Bears with a groundout run. Gorney then scored another runner with a double. The Quakers’ top scorers on the day, Erosa and Coloma, then hit consecutive doubles plating two more for Penn. Dahlerbruch punched in another run with an RBI double for a 5-1 Penn lead.
Brown posted a run in the bottom of the second and two more in the fifth, but the Quakers’ stout defense ultimately preserved the 6-4 win.
“That Monmouth game was tough and it was a terrible feeling,” Li said. “But it was good in a way that we were able to see what if felt like not being focused in the game and not wanting that feeling ever again.”
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