Another big weekend for Penn softball. Another big weekend for Sarah Cwiertnia.
As the Quakers took two of three games from Dartmouth this weekend, they relied heavily on the offensive production of senior first baseman and designated hitter Sarah Cwiertnia, whose strong hitting earned her DP Sports Player of the Week.
Cwiertnia started the week going just 2-for-8 in the team’s 5-2 loss to Rider on Wednesday and the first game of Friday’s doubleheader against Dartmouth. However, the senior was quick to shake off her slow start, leading the Quakers to wins in the final two games of the series.
In the second half of Friday’s doubleheader, Cwiertnia got the scoring started, driving in three runs with her first home run of the season to left-center field. This blast would prove to be the difference maker, with the Red and Blue ending their two-game skid with a 6-3 victory against the Big Green.
In the series finale, Cwiertnia entered a new gear. After falling behind 6-1 early on, the Quakers battled back to even the score at six before Cwiertnia came to the plate with the bases loaded. The senior delivered a clutch two-RBI double down the left-field line, giving the Red and Blue their first lead of the game as part of a nine-run fifth inning. Cwiertnia got another chance with two runners on in the sixth, once again delivering a base hit that would drive in both runners. In the end, Cwiertnia would finish the game 3-for-6 with four RBIs.
Throughout the weekend, the senior had seven RBIs and three doubles, while hitting .357 in 14 at bats.
As a senior, Cwiertnia has filled a much bigger role for the Quakers this season. After appearing in just 26 games for the Red and Blue last year, the first baseman has already seen action in 23 contests this spring. She has a batting average of .358 — which is tied for second best on the team — as well as 10 RBIs. It was this week where she began to really find her power stroke, accounting for over half of her extra-base hit production in just four games.
The Red and Blue will certainly hope that Cwiertnia maintains her newfound pop as they prepare for a matchup against area rival Villanova on Wednesday.