PHILADELPHIA -- The Columbia softball team fell to Ivy League foe Penn in two games at Penn Park on Friday in the first half of their four-game season series.
In the first game, Christie Taylor hit a solo homer in the second inning to give Columbia (12-31, 6-12 Ivy League) an early lead, but the Penn (30-15, 13-5 Ivy League) responded with five unanswered runs to take a 5-1 win. The Quakers used a four-run second and a four-run third to seize momentum early in the second game en route to a five-inning, 9-1 Penn win.
GAME 1: Penn 5, Columbia 1
Designated playor Christie Taylor got things rolling for the Lions in the top of the second inning. With two outs, Taylor smashed a 2-1 pitch from Penn ace Alexis Borden over the wall in right center for her third longball of the season.
The Lions left a pair of runners stranded in the third after a hot start. Emily Caruthers knocked a leadoff single through the left side and Alison Lam followed with a base hit over the third baseman’s head. After a passed ball, Columbia had two runners in scoring position. Borden escaped the inning by inducing a pop up to third, a foulout to the catcher and a 4-3 groundout.
Penn took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third. With one out and a runner on second, Sydney Turchin hit an RBI double off Columbia starter Brooke Darling to deep right field. Two batters later, Kayla Dahlerbruch hit an RBI single up the middle.
Columbia had a scary moment in the top of the fourth. With two outs, Taylor was hit in the helmet by a pitch from Borden. Taylor was able to walk off the field and Alex O’Hagan pinch ran for her.
The Quakers extended their lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth. With two runners on and one out, Eylsse Gorney hit and RBI single up the middle. Columbia closed out the inning with two impressive defensive plays. With runners on the corners, Emily Snodgrass caught a lineout bullet at third base off the bat of Dahlerbruch. The Lions got a 2-6-2 out at home on a heads-up play between catcher Liz Caggiano and second baseman Alix Cook to prevent Turchin from stealing home.
Leading off the bottom of the sixth, Brooke Coloma hit a solo home run to straightaway center to push Penn’s lead to 4-1. Three batters later, Samantha Erosa hit a one-out RBI single o left field to score Guttadauro and extend the Quakers’ advantage to 5-1.
Darling (9-16) struck out two and allowed four earned runs over six frames.
Borden (20-4) tallied five strikeouts and allowed one earned run in the complete-game win.
GAME 2: Penn 9, Columbia 1 (5 Innings)
Penn took command of the game in the bottom of the second when the Quakers put four runs on the scoreboard. With one out and the bases loaded, Stephanie Caso hit an RBI single to right field off Columbia starter Kalli Schultea. Sydney Turchin followed with an RBI groundout to second base. Elysse Gorney hit a two-RBI single to center field in the next at-bat. Tristin Moone entered the circle in relief of Schultea to get the final out of the inning and she pitched the remainder of the game.
The Quakers’ lead grew to 8-0 in the third inning. With one out and the bases loaded, Turchin reached on a fielding error at second base and Georgia Guttadauro and Samantha Erosa scored on the play. Two batters later with two outs and the bases loaded again, Brooke Coloma hit a 2-RBI single to right to push Penn’s lead to 8-0.
Penn added one run in the fourth inning when Justine Payne hit an RBI double to left field to drive in Karina Rios.
Schultea (3-14) took the loss after allowing four earned run s over 1.2 frames. Moone struck out two and allowed two earned runs over 2.1 relief innings.
Alexis Borden (21-4) earned her second win of the day after posting two strikeouts and allowing one earned run over five innings.
The Lions and Quakers will meet again on Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 12:30 p.m. at Columbia Softball Field.