The bats are coming alive at the right time for Penn softball.
The Red and Blue defeated Drexel 10-3 on Wednesday and can now shift their focus onto the weekend as they await Ivy League-leading Princeton for a crucial set of doubleheaders around the diamond.
The Quakers (12-11, 6-3 Ivy) and Dragons (9-18) played evenly in the first few innings, as Drexel took a 2-1 lead early on with a two-run shot. The Red and Blue answered in the next few innings and eventually put on a scoring show, finishing with 10 runs on a season high 16 hits and giving the Dragons their eighth-straight loss of the season.
Junior third baseman Molly Oretsky hit her third home run of the season, continuing her dominant play of late. This past weekend, she had a hit in each game, including five RBIs and a three-run homer.
“She’s just being nice and relaxed at the plate and just going pitch by pitch. She swings and misses and says it’s okay and shakes it off and attacks each pitch as a new at bat,” assistant coach Danielle Gonzales said.
Senior pitcher Courtney Cuzick earned the win for the Quakers, improving to 2-2 on the season, while the Dragon's Ilissa Hamilton recorded her first loss of the year for Drexel.
“Just taking it game by game is really our mentality right now. We’ve done work like outside of the softball field, just working on our mental game, of just staying within ourselves and just taking it inning by inning,” Gonzalez said.
The Quakers split games with Brown on the road in a doubleheader this past weekend but were coming off a 3-1 stretch, leading into today’s showdown with the Philadelphia rival.
Penn hosts Princeton (14-13, 6-2) this weekend in four games in an all-important showdown with Ivy League pride and standings on the line.
Princeton defeated Monmouth on the road 5-1 this Tuesday and sits at the top of the Ivy League standings with a 6-2 record in Ivy League play. Penn and Columbia are both only one game back of the Tigers in both the South Division and overall Ivy League standings.
Freshman outfielder Megan Donahey stood out for the Tigers last weekend with a .385 batting average, one RBI, four runs scored and four stolen bases in a 2-2 weekend on the road against Dartmouth and Harvard.
After the weekend against Princeton, the Quakers only have four Ivy League games left in the season, two against Cornell and two against Columbia, all on the road.
“We’re really confident right now in what we can do. I think our bats are coming alive, when they need to come out,” Gonzales added.
The Quakers have stood out in close games this season, with a 6-2 record in one-run games.
“Confidence with a little extra hunger. I think last year we lost like five walk-offs and those like hurt," the fifth year assistant coach added. "And so we refuse to let that happen again this year, so we just have like a better drive, a better determination to not let that happen this year.”