The best sports teams are rarely perfect. But they do learn to recover after they stumble.
The Penn softball team (24-16, 13-3 Ivy), on the path to winning the Ivy League championship, suffered a hiccup in an otherwise stellar season when it blew the second game of a doubleheader against Cornell on Saturday.
The spell of a less than stellar play lasted into the next day, when the Big Red took a 4-1 lead in the third inning. But Penn recovered nicely, winning both games Sunday to finish the weekend with a 3-1 series victory.
Saturday, Penn seemed to have its second game locked down. After trouncing Cornell, 13-0, the Red and Blue allowed three runs in the first inning of the second game.
Senior second baseman Samantha Erosa and senior outfielder Brooke Coloma, however, sparked a comeback, combining for three RBIs on two hits.
By the fifth inning, the team was up, 7-3. And going into the final inning, the team led, 9-6.
But, in the bottom of the seventh, the Big Red scored three runs on two singles. They then sealed the game on a walk-off sacrifice fly.
“They just kind of caught up to us in the second game,” Erosa said.
“I think it was a fluke … Things just started to fall apart.”
The team left disappointed and entered Sunday craving a ‘W.’
“They’re a good team, but we’re a better team,” Erosa said. “We came back with revenge.”
However, the team struggled at the beginning of the day. Cornell scored four runs in the third inning and was ahead, 4-3, going into the seventh.
Senior Jessica Arneson bunted fellow senior Jessica Melendez in. Senior shortstop Stephanie Caso and sophomore outfielder Sydney Turchin batted in two more runs. The Quakers finished the game ahead, 6-5.
By the time the fourth game rolled around, Penn had learned its lesson against Cornell.
“Our mentality was to get insurance,” Erosa said. “We just thought, ‘get on base get singles.’”
Entering the seventh inning with a 3-2 lead, the Quakers crushed any hope of a Cornell comeback.
Coloma batted in one runner and Melendez proceeded to hit a homer into left field, bringing the game to a final score of 6-2.
“That game was also great. People got on base. We scored on that,” Erosa said. “We shut it down defensively after the bottom of the seventh.”
Penn has performed excellently so far this season when it plays in the Ancient Eight. The team swept Yale, Harvard and Brown, and it has only lost once each to Princeton, Dartmouth and, now, Cornell.
At 13-3, the Quakers lead the league ahead of Dartmouth (12-4) and Harvard (11-5).
“We were thinking winning [when we entered the weekend. This is our year,” Erosa said. “We are doing so well … We want it real bad. It’s been a while since we had an Ivy Championship.”
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