Penn softball struggles on the road
Softball | The Red and Blue split two games against Dartmouth, but are swept by Harvard
April 9, 2012, 12:21 am · Updated April 11, 2012, 12:14 am·
Patrick Hulce | DP
It’s almost as if there are two Penn softball teams: at home, the Quakers sport a 10-2 record, crushing their opponents, 62-23, in runs scored. But on the road, they are just 2-6 with the score, 35-21, in their opponents’ favor.
The Red and Blue’s road woes continued this weekend as Penn lost three of four games during its trip to North Division opponents Dartmouth and Harvard.
On Friday afternoon, the Quakers dropped their first game, 1-0, against Dartmouth, who was winless in Ivy League play up to that point. Penn evaded back-to-back losses in the second game with a 6-2 victory.
However, the Quakers were unable to avoid the sweep against defending Ivy champion Harvard, as the Crimson escaped with a 4-3 win in the first game and won the second, 10-1.
In Penn’s first contest of the weekend, a pitcher’s duel unfolded between freshmen pitchers Alexis Borden and Kristen Rumley. Though Rumley’s record is just 4-7 on the year, she has held her opponents to a stifling .195 batting average and limited Penn (20-13, 5-3 Ivy) to just two hits and one walk in seven innings.
Borden was just one pitch away from matching Rumley’s feat. In the third inning, Hillary Barker put Dartmouth (8-15, 1-7) up on a solo homer that ultimately gave her team the victory.
The second half of the doubleheader looked to be another close affair with Penn leading, 1-0, entering the fourth inning. After the first two Quakers struck out to open the inning, junior Samantha Erosa started a two-out rally by smashing a solo home run. Penn went on to take a five-run lead in the inning.
Both of Penn’s contests against Harvard (19-9, 7-1) began with the Crimson leaping out to an early lead. After Harvard mounted a 4-0 lead in the first inning, the Quakers failed to answer for four innings.
In the fifth inning, Penn broke through for three runs on four hits, but the rally left the Quakers one run shy of Harvard, who went on to win by that margin, giving pitcher Alexis Borden just her fourth loss in 16 decisions.
To start the second game, Harvard yet again led off with a four-run first inning, this time against pitcher Mikenzie Voves. In the innings that followed, the Quakers were unable to stop the bleeding, as Harvard unloaded for 13 hits, extending its lead to 10 runs. Penn scored a run in the fifth inning, but it was not enough to continue the game, as Harvard won by mercy rule, 10-1.
Despite the losses, sophomore third baseman Kayla Dahlerbruch was a bright spot for the Quakers offensively, hitting .417 on the weekend with three RBIs. Her five hits brought her average up to .305 on the season.
Penn will have to turn around its road-game blues next weekend to keep its Ivy title hopes alive, as the Quakers will face South Division opponent Princeton (9-20, 5-3) in back-to-back doubleheaders next weekend.