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The Quakers lost 1-4 to the St. Joseph Hawks at Warren Field on Wednesday, March 18, 2009. Penn's only run was scored early in the game, while the Hawks continued to score through the end of the game. Alisha Prystowsky Credit: Michael Chien

On the surface, the box scores show a 2-5 record for the Penn softball team’s spring break stand.

But a closer look reveals a persistent squad that consistently fought back in the late innings.

Head coach Leslie King attributed the team’s losing record to the fact that the games in Kissimmee, Fla., marked the team’s first matches played outdoors.

“It always takes some time to get the linkup between our outfield and infield going as fluidly as we would like,” King said.

But something clicked for the Quakers in their first game, a 1-0 victory over South Dakota (4-10).

Sophomore Chelsea Ott pitched a shutout to lead the defensive effort for Penn.

The game’s lone run came in the sixth inning when freshman Brooke Coloma singled to push across junior Alisha Pyrstowky, who led off the inning with a double.

However, the momentum didn’t hold, as later that day Penn succumbed to Youngstown State, 10-3.

It was neck and neck for the first two innings, with the Penguins (5-8) scoring two in the first inning and Penn quickly tying the score in the second.

But YSU rebounded with three runs in the top of the third, and it was smooth sailing for the Penguins thereafter.

The next day’s twin bill resulted in two more disappointing losses. The Quakers suffered a nail-biting defeat against Butler (3-2) that went into extra innings and a comeback that fell short against Detroit Mercy.

Against Butler, the Red and the Blue held a strong 3-0 lead until the fifth inning, when the Bulldogs evened the count. Both teams scored in the seventh, but the game ended in the bottom of the eighth on a wild throw that allowed Butler to score the decisive run in a 5-4 loss.

Penn immediately plunged into the nightcap with Detroit Mercy. Battling back from a six run deficit, Penn was able to score six runs in the last four innings, but ultimately lost, 8-6.

Penn continued producing late runs into the next day.

In its initial game against Bryant (1-11). the team fell into a 2-0 hole early but rallied in the final innings, securing a 3-2 victory. The winning run came on a double by junior Hilary Sheridan.

Later that day, the Quakers lost to Wagner. Down 6-0 in the fourth inning, the Red and the Blue once again railled for a win. Penn delivered five runs in the fifth inning but still came up short in the 6-5 loss.

The team’s final three scheduled contests were cancelled due to inclement weather.

The last game Penn played before the rain arrived resulted in a 6-1 loss to Butler.

“We would’ve liked to have those last 3 games, because I think we were getting better and better,” King said. “Our team has a lot of fight in them. They just don’t give up, and that is very encouraging as a coach.”

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