Coming fresh off a doubleheader sweep in a series win over Harvard, Penn softball couldn’t manage to stick to its winning ways and suffered an unexpected loss to Rider at Penn Park on Wednesday afternoon.
The Quakers (11-10) never led against the visiting Broncs (2-20) and fell by a score of 5-2 after giving up the first five runs of the game.
The Red and Blue entered the seventh and final inning trailing 5-0, but their late rally, in which two runs were scored and the bases were loaded, was not enough to overcome a poor defensive performance.
Penn committed five errors in the field Wednesday, and a shaky pitching performance by the Quakers — in which none of the four pitchers lasted more than two innings — didn’t do much to help the hosts' cause.
While neither team found a way to put runs on the board in the first two innings, Rider was able to get things started in the third frame when sophomore designated hitter Sam Ward scored junior center fielder Kelsey Marigliano on an RBI single.
The third inning outburst didn’t stop there for the Broncs; the visitors extended their lead to three by capitalizing on Penn's errors. Rider freshman right fielder Lani Moreno reached first base on a fielder’s choice, but two ensuing throwing errors allowed Ward and junior shortstop Rachael Zeides to cross home plate from third and second base, respectively.
The very next inning, Rider added to its lead with a two-out rally. Two straight walks put a runner in scoring position for Zeides to score with a single. The threat didn't end there: A hit batsman loaded the bases before a strikeout ended the inning.
The Broncs' lead expanded to five in the sixth inning thanks to two more errors. A single and a two-base error put the leadoff batter on third to start the inning before another error scored the runner. Of the five runs Penn allowed, three were unearned.
Entering the final inning, Penn was trailing 5-0 and had committed more errors (five) than hits (four). The Quakers did have a few chances with runners in scoring position thanks to earning walks at the plate. In the bottom of the sixth, the Red and Blue had the bases loaded with two outs after a single and two walks. The Quakers couldn't get the run across.
Just one out away from being shut out in the bottom of the seventh, junior left fielder Clare Sebastianelli stroked a solo home run to put Penn on the board. Two straight walks gave senior first baseman Sarah Cwiertnia a runner in scoring position. Cwiertnia took advantage with an RBI double to left.
Another walk put the winning run at the plate, but freshman Corrie Phillips struck out to end the game.
The game was initially scheduled as a doubleheader, but was changed to just one game after a change in Penn's schedule for the weekend. Due to weather concerns in Hanover, N.H., the Quakers' weekend series with Dartmouth has been moved up a day. Instead of getting in three games on Saturday and Sunday, the series will begin on Friday before ending on Saturday.
The Big Green are coming off a weekend series at Columbia that ended in a sweep for the Lions. Dartmouth hasn't won since it beat California State Northridge on March 19.
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