09 Dec 2021 | 14:47 | Softball
VILLANOVA, Pa. – Penn built an early lead and then held off a late rally to down Villanova 4-2 in the second game of a doubleheader Wednesday afternoon. The Wildcats (17-9 overall) had taken the opener 6-2 earlier Wednesday.
Penn jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Sammy Fenton drilled a two-out double into the gap in left center field. Villanova starter Anissa Amarillas retired Sarah Schneider on a fly ball to left fielder Dani Dabroski to insure there was no further damage.
The Quakers added another run in the top of the third inning when Fenton grounded out to shortstop Julia DaCosta with a pair of teammates in scoring position after a Julia Mortimer double. Angela Giampolo retired Penn’s Sarah Schneider on another ground out to end the inning with the Wildcats trailing 3-0.
An infield single by Dabroski helped create a Villanova threat in its half of the third. Paige Rauch, stationed at first base after pitching seven innings to earn the Game 1 win, sent a hot smash through the right side of the infield to give the Wildcats two runners in scoring position with one out. But the Wildcats were unable to break through with a run.
Villanova threatened again in the bottom of the fifth after a Dabroski leadoff single. But a pair of hard-hit balls were snagged by the Quakers, who escaped without further damage.
The Wildcats broke through against Penn starter Julia Longo in the bottom of the sixth when Julia DaCosta led off the inning with a long drive to center field that sailed over the wall to shave the deficit to 3-1. A two out walk to Sydney Hayes brought Dabroski to the plate and she sent a shot into left center field that scored Hayes to pull Nova to within 3-2 after six innings.
A single and two base error got Penn’s Mortimer to third base in the top of the seventh with one out. Amarillas struck Fenton out before a two-out single to right field by Sarah Schneider gave Penn a 4-2 lead.
Rauch sent a rocket into center field to lead off the seventh inning but the Quakers Emma Nedley made a sharp defensive play to record the out. But the Wildcats’ weren’t done as Tess Cites walked and Chloe Smith drilled a single to right field. However, a double play turned by the Quakers put the wraps on a Penn victory.
The Wildcats return to action Saturday when they are slated to host DePaul in a doubleheader with first pitch in Game 1 set for noon.