In a devastating defeat, Penn softball lost its first matchup against Drexel this season by a score of 11-2.
The Dragons (18-6) only needed five innings to knock off the Quakers (5-5). The game at Penn Park was disappointing for the Red and Blue from the first inning.
Olivia Szewczyk started in the circle for Penn. The Dragons jumped on her early, immediately notching two doubles and a single to make the score 1-0. After just four batters, Drexel was able to knock Szewczyk out and the Quakers called upon sophomore pitcher Bella Fiorentino from the bullpen. The Dragons then scored two additional runs, making the score 3-0.
At bat to lead off the Quakers in the bottom of the first inning was their offensive leader, junior Emma Nedley. However, she was unable to make any progress. The Quakers put more players up to bat, but had little luck. The Red and Blue were unable to score a single run in the first inning.
In the second inning, Penn placed more defensive pressure on the Dragons, and the Dragons were unable to score. However, when it was their turn to bat, the Quakers were unable to even the score or knock off Drexel’s pitcher, Meghan Conroy, who remained on the diamond for the entire game. In contrast, later in the game, the Quakers had to substitute out their pitcher for the second time, with senior Abigail Abramson entering the game in the third.
The 3-0 score gap for the Dragons only widened after the second inning. In the third inning, thanks to Drexel’s star player and all-time home run leader Linda Rush, the gap between the Dragons and Quakers widened to 9-0. Drexel capitalized on three Penn errors and three hits, culminating in a grand slam off the bat of Rush, to run up the score.
Penn saw a sliver of hope when sophomore Alyssa Pope notched the Quakers’ first hit of the game in the bottom of the third. Freshman Sammy Fenton followed up with a hard single towards third base, leaving the Quakers with a run finally on their side going into the fourth. Fenton now has six RBIs on the season, putting her only behind Nedley in that category.
The Quakers again blew an opportunity to close the gap during the fourth inning, and the score remained 9-1. Tension was high at the start of the fifth. Drexel scored a pair of runs at the top of the inning to make it 11-1, but Nedley was able to answer back, smashing a home run dead-center for her team.
However, it was not enough for the Red and Blue, and the game wrapped up after just five innings under the mercy rule.