A couple mistakes on the mound combined with a limited offensive production spelled out a gloomy day for Penn softball.
The Quakers (5-4) woke up this morning prepared to play a double header against Saint Joseph’s (13-12) at Penn Park, instead they travelled to St. Joe’s to play only one game. After scoring 11 runs against La Salle on Saturday, Penn was only able to score once on a home run in a 3-1 loss to St. Joe’s to put an end to their three-game winning streak.
“This year, with COVID-19, we were expecting to have a different outlook on the season. I think that we’ve just tried to be flexible with everything and we feel really grateful to be given the chance to play at all and we’re just trying to make the best of it,” senior pitcher Abigail Abramson said.
After pitching a shutout on Saturday, junior right-hander Julia Longo took the mound again for the Quakers on Wednesday. Despite pitching great through six innings, a couple of bad pitches spoiled the Quakers’ afternoon and ended Longo’s day early. Longo ended the game with four strikeouts and three earned runs in four and two-thirds innings against the Hawks.
The three runs from Wednesday were the most Longo gave up since her first start of the year against Delaware, and the first time this season she didn’t end the game on the mound. Longo gave up a combined two runs in her last three games before Wednesday.
Longo cruised through the first two innings before giving up a home run to St. Joe’s, off the bat of catcher Sarah Ostaszewski that tucked inside the foul pole in right field. The Quakers had the chance to respond in the bottom of the third, after a leadoff single by sophomore Alyssa Pope. Their momentum was halted after Pope was called out for leaving early from first base, and the Quakers went down in order to end the inning.
The Red and Blue would go on to tie the game in the fourth inning after a persistent at-bat from freshman right fielder Julia Mortimer. Mortimer worked the count to 3-2 and fouled off four pitches before driving the ball over the left-field fence for her second home run of the season. After a single and a stolen base from sophomore catcher Sarah Schneider with one out, Penn was in position to score again, but couldn’t drive Schneider home.
Ostaszewski would strike again with a two-run single in her next at-bat in the fifth inning to put the Hawks on top for good. Longo would give up three more hits in the inning before being replaced by senior Abigail Abramson, who caused a groundout to leave the bases loaded. Abramson would finish out the last two innings giving up only one hit. On the offensive side, the Red and Blue would only muster one more hit through the final three innings.
“Our team is never fully out of a game, we’ve come back from many deficits before. So I really just try to go in and do my best to give us that chance to make a comeback,” Abramson said. “We always know that at a moment’s notice somebody might be thrown in and just always being ready to pick up our fellow pitchers if we need to.”
Wednesday’s offensive struggles were uncharacteristic for the Quakers over the past couple weeks. Until Wednesday’s game, Penn has scored at least two runs in every game since their 11-0 loss to Delaware on their first day of the season.
The Red and Blue have one more chance to end their season on a high note when they take a short trip to Drexel (15-5) for a double header next Wednesday.