March 24, 2012
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -
Host Penn scored six unanswered runs to register a 6-3 decision over Army at Penn Field in closing out round robin play with a 3-0 mark at its own Penn Spring Invitational to advance to Sunday's championship game at 2:15 p.m. Army, 1-2 at the invitational, will play in the consolation game at 12 p.m.
The Black Knights (13-11) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead capitalizing on four hits and an error to push across three runs (all unearned) in the top of the first inning for the most runs scored in the tournament against the Quakers (13-9).
Amanda Nguyen, 3-for-4, beat out an infield hit to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a fielding error by the second baseman attempting to get the out on April Ortenzo's fielder's choice. Alex Reynolds followed with a single up the middle to load the bases.
Following a strikeout, Army scored three straight runs on Alexis AuBuchon's run-scoring single up the middle, Reanna Johnson's fielder's choice RBI with Alex Gaff's infield hit closing out the scoring.
Penn, scoring its first five runs without the benefit of a hit, cut Army's lead to a single run capitalizing on four walks along with an error in the home half of the first inning for a pair of unearned runs to draw to 3-2. Black Knight starter Morgan Lashley, who went the distance in Army's 1-0 win over Villanova in the morning, left bases loaded when she ended Penn's run with an infield popup.
The Quakers took advantage of a walk and a pair of Army errors in the second inning to score the equalizer. Lashley (10-9) retired the side in the third, but Penn took advantage of five straight walks with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning to snap the tie and pull ahead 5-3. After chasing Lashley, the Quakers added a run in the fifth off reliever Jules Steurer.
Winner Alexis Borden (8-2), who was raked for 10 hits, kept Army scoreless over the final six frames stranding runners in five straight innings. Ali Cleinmark and April Ortenzo smacked singles in the second inning and were in scoring position with two outs, but Borden closed the door on a foul ball to left field and line drive to the shortstop.
In the top of the fourth inning with the score still tied 3-3, Army had the potential tie breaker in Nguyen (hit, stolen base and throwing error) at third with one out, but a flyout and infield popup ended that threat.
Marina Northup, who scored the lone run in the Villanova run, led off the top of the fifth with a double to right field, but Borden then retired the side in order. With one out in the sixth, Cleinmark reached on an error by the third base and moved to second on Nguyen's third hit of the game, but Borden retired five straight batters to preserve the win.
Seven Army batters collected hits with Nguyen beating out three infield hits.
Army will play Rider on Sunday in closing out the three-day Penn Spring Invitational. The Black Knights and Broncs met the opening day of the tournament with Rider taking a 2-1 eight-inning decision from Army.