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Losing their sixth straight game, the Penn softball team has fallen into a slump.

And after being shut out in both games against Villanova yesterday, the Quakers’ inconsistent offense was once again exposed.

The team was held to just four hits total in both games at Villanova yesterday, losing 8-0 in the first game and 1-0 in the next.

“We didn’t play well at all,” said head coach Leslie King. “We made several physical and mental errors.”

The Quakers seemed to show signs of offensive improvement last Wednesday when they managed a six-run, sixth-inning rally in a losing effort against Lehigh. However, the bats remained cold Sunday as the Quakers failed to plate a single run.

The Red and Blue squeezed out just one hit against Villanova’s Caitlin Delahaba, while the Wildcats racked up 14.

Meanwhile, the pitching staff also struggled. Penn’s strongest pitcher, sophomore Chelsea Ott — who started yesterday’s first game with a 1.86 earned run average — was lit up by the Wildcats. She gave up five runs on six hits in three innings of work, a performance that raised her ERA to 2.24.

Nevertheless, the theme of the weekend was Penn’s lack of scoring. King blames the offensive stall on a failure to stay mentally positive.

“Hitting is 98 percent mental and we are just trying to keep everyone positive when things aren’t going well,” she said.

Things have not been going so well for junior Alisha Prystowsky. The Montclair, N.J., native started the season off strong, leading her team with a .407 batting average. However, lately she has had trouble in the batters’ box. Her BA has plummeted to .277 and she has managed only one hit in Penn’s past five games.

“There are a few players that are struggling a bit and going through some slumps but they are trying to persevere,” King said.

In the seventh inning of the nightcap, the Quakers had a chance to win the game. Freshman Stephanie Caso led off the seventh inning with a double and freshman Brooke Coloma followed with a single, putting the winning run on base. And despite having only one out, the team could not manage to bring either of the runners across the plate.

Even with the lackluster offense, junior Taylor Tieman had a strong performance in her first outing of the season. Though Tieman gave up a home run to the first batter she faced, she did not allow a single run for the rest of the game.

“We bounced back in the second game and played pretty well,” said King. “We had a very good chance to win the ball game. We’re plugging away, but we’re not catching any breaks.”

King hopes to catch these breaks as Ivy play begins next week.

“It’s a whole new season,” she said.

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