Just a bump in the road.
The Quakers were looking to keep their recent run of success going as they tried to build on the three wins that they picked up in their last four games against their rival Princeton Tigers.
Yesterday, however, Monmouth featured a bit too much offense, and Penn was unable to claw out of an early hole, falling 4-2.
The Quakers (15-18, 10-5 Ivy) had to fight an uphill battle the entire game and almost managed to come all the way back due to some defensive miscues by the Hawks, but in the end, they were unable to even the score.
After the Red and Blue offense was turned aside in the top of the first, Monmouth (15-17) pounced quickly in their first turn at-bat.
After a lead-off walk issued by sophomore starting pitcher Amanda Gisonni, the Hawks were able to put together a string of run-scoring at-bats, with the biggest blow coming from an RBI double from freshman Justene Reyes. When the dust settled in the first, the Hawks had plated three runs and taken the early lead on Penn.
The Quakers would continue to fight and demonstrate the fortitude that they have shown all year. In fact, out of its 17 losses, Penn was within three runs of its opponent by the end of the game in 10 of them, showing that the Quakers seem to always be in the game until the very end. The same can be said of this game.
In the top of the second, Penn showed fight by scratching out a run on an RBI double from sophomore Korinne Raby, and the Quakers in prime position to get back a couple more against the Hawks’ pitching staff and take advantage of some shoddy defensive play.
Unfortunately for the Red and Blue, one of the main stories today was a lack of timely hits with runners in scoring position, and with the bases loaded and only one away, a strikeout and ground out ended the threat without any harm.
The battle continued in the fourth inning after the Quakers allowed the fourth Monmouth run to cross the plate. The Quakers answered back with a run on a Raby groundball that chased freshman Vera Barnwell home due to another error from a Monmouth infielder, this time an errant throw from Reyes.
From then on, both teams’ bats were quiet, with the biggest threat coming from the Quakers in the top of the sixth when they stranded a pair of runners on the bases in a critical two- out opportunity to cut further into the Hawks’ lead.
While the pitching staff certainly kept Penn within striking distance throughout the entire game, the Quakers were unable to muster up enough offense to come back from the three-run first inning deficit.
The Red and Blue will look to right the ship with two weekend doubleheaders against Ivy League rival Columbia Lions and try to claim the Ivy South Division title with a couple wins.