Penn softball may be down, but they are certainly not out.
Last weekend, the Quakers (13-16, 2-6 Ivy) played through a string of disappointing road losses to Dartmouth and Harvard.
We're heading down the home stretch of the spring season as most of Penn's teams are halfway through their Ivy League campaigns.
An extra-inning defeat followed by a run-rule loss. Friday and Saturday took on unfortunately similar appearances for Penn softball this weekend.
For Penn softball, not much has changed in the last two seasons. They have had a strong offense, made several runs at the Ivy Title and had an ace starter named Alexis.
But this year, the difference is in the last name.
Just a year after graduating perhaps the most illustrious pitcher in program history in Alexis Borden, the Quakers have found a new star in the circle in junior Alexis Sargent.
After waiting in the ranks for two years behind Borden, Sargent emerged as Penn's next top starter early in the season, wasting little time in establishing herself as a bona fide ace.
Less than a day after their men’s hoops counterparts won a national championship on an improbable buzzer-beating three pointer, Villanova softball traveled to University City to take on its counterparts from Penn.
Unlike the Wildcats’ victory over North Carolina, however, the outcome of this cross-town matchup was never in doubt, with Villanova cruising to a 10-0 decision.
The following things happened to Penn softball this weekend:
They went to extra innings. They got run-ruled.
Not many players can look back at a season of batting .278 and tallying 31 RBI and call it an off year. But for Penn softball’s Leah Allen, that’s exactly what 2015 was.
Well, hopefully they got that out of their system.
In their last action before kicking off Ivy League play on Friday against Yale, Penn softball fell in both games of a doubleheader versus Lehigh at Penn Park on Wednesday afternoon.
Perfection is hard to reach in sports. To be able to play an entire game without a single blemish is something that few can claim to do.
Wednesday night was a lesson in getting halfway there for the Quakers.
Despite recording hits in nearly every one of the 14 innings played against La Salle at home on Wednesday night’s doubleheader, Penn (9-7) couldn’t manage to bring most of those eager runners on base home.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
After a rousing comeback to win the first game 8-4, Penn softball dropped the second game of their doubleheader by the score of 13-0 to Army on Friday night at Penn Park.
Junior outfielder Leah Allen strides from the dugout to the batter’s box, pounding bass echoes through the relatively empty stands at Penn Park.
They've been so close, they could almost taste it.
For consecutive years, Penn softball has reigned supreme in the Ivy South Division.
Following last May’s season-ending loss in the Ivy League Championship Series to Dartmouth, Penn softball said a heartfelt goodbye to a talented group of graduating seniors.
In poker and in softball, having an ace dramatically increases the likelihood of victory. In the initial stretches of the season, however, it is clear that Penn softball will have to bet with different odds.
Ten games in seven days. That’s how Penn softball spent its spring break, as the team kicked off their 2016 season with a week of training and competition in Clearwater, Fla.
While the rest of Penn’s student body will be busy relaxing and enjoying its week off, the Quakers will be hard at work as they kick off their season
Take a look at the statistical leaderboards from Penn softball’s 2015 season and one name appears over and over again: Jurie Joyner, Jurie Joyner, Jurie Joyner.
Thanks to Isaac Newton, it is a law of motion that an “object in motion tends to remain in motion.”
This principle, otherwise known as inertia, holds true for Dartmouth softball.
Imagine it’s the bottom of the sixth inning in the rubber match of the Ivy League Championship series, your team is up 3-2 and just three outs separate you from an Ancient Eight crown, an NCAA berth and a chance at glory.
Then, the opposing team drills in five runs, gains control of the lead in punishing fashion and all of that glory slips away.
Penn softball doesn’t have to imagine.