NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Power at the plate and in the circle propelled the Iona College softball program to a doubleheader sweep over the University of Penn Quakers on Saturday afternoon.
GAME ONE: Iona 3, Penn 2
Penn struck first in the opening inning behind a pair of leadoff hits from senior Leah Allen and sophomore Sam Pederson. Allen crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly hit by sophomore Sarah Cwiertnia.
Junior catcher Tori Danner tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth with a solo homerun, her seventh of the season, over the leftfield wall. Two batters later, freshman Jasmine Temple basher her second career round-tripper to give the Maroon & Gold a 2-1 edge.
The offensive pendulum continued to swing the Gaels way following a walk by sophomore pitcher Alana Evans. Sophomore third basemen Kimberly Chiapparelli drove in Iona’s hurler with her first triple of the season to give Iona a two-run cushion.
Senior outfielder Ashlyn Morris ended with a team-high two hits and one walk from the leadoff spot.
After giving up two hits and one run in the first inning, Evans was simply dominant in the circle. The constantly kept the Quakers off guard, finishing the game with 5 strikeouts compared to 1 walk.
Iona’s next contest is its home-opener against St. John’s on Tuesday, Mar. 28 at 3:00 PM.
GAME TWO: Iona 9, Penn 3
Iona jumped out to a 1-0 lead when sophomore Marisa Gergel crossed the plate via a RBI single to right center from Temple. Senior shortstop Katie Newton followed it up with another base-knock to the right side, scoring Turner for the Maroon & Gold’s second run.
Senior outfielder Kelsey Long knocked out her first homerun of the season in the second inning to bring the Gaels advantage up to three.
The Quakers got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning. Sophomore Jessica England earned a walk, stole second base, and eventually crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Allen. Come the fourth Penn added another to bring itself within one run.
In the top of the fifth inning, senior first basemen Kristen Turner, Iona’s all-time homerun leader, took it upon herself to pad the Maroon & Gold’s cushion. A long drive to left cleared the fence, scoring three runs and giving the Gaels a 6-2 clearance. She has five homeruns and 21 runs batted in on the season thus far.
Up by three runs entering the seventh and final frame, Iona tacked on a trio more. Gergel, Morris and Long all scored to bring the contest to its final score, 9-3.
The Gaels had 10 hits in game two, stranding just two runners on base. Four hitters had at least two hits, including Turner who drove in a game-high four runs.
Sophomore Jessica Harkness was effective in the circle to begin the game, going 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks. Freshman Marnie Skinner took the mound and secured the win with the final 1.2 innings.
Iona’s begins its home season at Donald E. Walsh field on Tuesday, March 27 against St. John’s at 3:00 PM.