William Penn (11-20, 4-4 MCC) offense was clicking from the start with six runs in the first two innings. Brittanee Grove provided the early pop with an RBI single in the first and a three-run double in the second.
The Eagles (13-19, 3-5 MCC) responded with two runs in their half of the second, but starting pitcher Lunden Young tightened up when needed to keep it a four-run margin after five frames.
The wheels came off in the sixth, however, as AIB put four on the board to knot the contest at 6-6. Paige Miguel came in to relieve Young, but could not get out of her own trouble as Young re-entered in the seventh. The senior failed to stop the proverbial bleeding soon enough with the visitors pushing across the eventual winning run in the seventh.
Only three navy and gold batters reached base after the second in a game that witnessed AIB own a 9-7 advantage in hits. Grove was 2-for-3 with four RBIs and Ashlee Dennis was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Miguel, who tossed 1 1/3 frames, took the loss to fall to 1-7. Young struck out six, but also walked five in 5 2/3 innings.
The Eagles scored the first run of the nightcap as well, doing so in the third. Helped by a run-scoring single by Jorden Steele, William Penn jumped past the visitors 2-1 in the bottom half.
Another big inning–this time five runs in the fourth–appeared to again sink the hosts with AIB going up 6-2. Two Statesmen runs in the bottom of the fourth acted as a decent response to the Eagles, but no additional commentary in the fifth and sixth left WPU behind 6-4 going into the final frame.
AIB made things even more dire with two more scores in the top of the seventh to lead 8-4. The Statesmen were tasked to plate four runs in the bottom section in order to force extra innings, a job that seemed near impossible with all the momentum in the other team’s dugout.
Back-to-back-to-back lead-off walks fortunately offered more than just a glimmer of hope for William Penn. Grove then drove in two of her teammates with a single to slice the deficit in half at 8-6, but consecutive outs forced WPU against the wall.
One more base on balls was earned to load the pads once again and Callie Arnold poked a single into center to tie the game at 8-8.
Marissa Pereyra then served as the inning’s final hero as she hit a towering flyball into right field. AIB’s second baseman and right fielder failed to communicate on whom would catch it and the ball fell to the grass, allowing WPU to score the game-winning run.
William Penn overcame all sorts of issues, including being outhit 12-10 and committing three errors. Grove went the distance to claim the win, improving to 5-6. In addition to two RBIs, she finished with three strikeouts against three walks.
Arnold was 2-for-3 with three RBIs, while Taylor Vernon was 2-for-4. Dennis also scored on two occasions.