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Inconsistent softball sweeps Penn, sputters against Lions

Crucial home runs power Brown offense to doubleheader sweep over solid Quaker squad

Coming off of a scoreless loss to Princeton, the softball team looked to redeem itself this weekend in a pair of Ivy League doubleheaders. The contests were technically the first home games of the season for the Bears (8-12, 3-5 Ivy), but they took place at Bryant University’s Conaty Park due to field conditions at the Brown Softball Field. The opening homestand saw the Bears match up against middle-of-the-pack Penn and Columbia.

“We wanted to come out this weekend and show we can compete with anyone in the Ivy League,” said Sarah Syrop ’17. “By sweeping Penn, a team that is usually very strong, we showed that.”

Penn (13-13, 4-4) came to the Ocean State armed with a typically strong offense. The Quakers are led by Jurie Joyner, who boasts the Ivy League’s third-highest batting average and second-highest RBI total. In the first game of the series, Joyner supplied her squad’s only run of the game with a single in the top of the fourth. Bruno’s ace, Katie Orona ’18, allowed one run on seven hits in seven innings.

Not to be bested, the Bears responded in the bottom half of the inning with a double from Yeram Park ’18 that scored Lauren Hanna ’17. Emily Springfield ’18 followed Park with an RBI single that sent the score to 2-1 and gave the home team a lead it would not relinquish. Another single from Park in the fifth and a two-out, three-run surge in the sixth secured Bruno’s 6-1 win over Penn.

The second game of the day began in a similar manner as the first, with the Quakers initially claiming a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. Bruno responded quickly with a home run from Syrop to lead off the bottom of the frame. The Bears took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly from Park and a two-run double from Syrop. A two-run home run from Grayson Metzger ’18 in the sixth was crucial to the win, as Joyner hit a three-run homer in the top of the seventh to bring the Quakers within one. Bruno managed to get the final out before any more damage could be done, and the Bears claimed a 6-5 win.

“The team challenged Penn in all facets of the game — our defense was solid and our hitting was clutch,” Orona said. “Overall, we were able to keep our foot on the gas from an offensive standpoint the entire game. Good things happen when you challenge the other team; more pressure was on them, and in the end, we came out on top.”

The following day, Bruno faced off against the Lions (8-16, 5-3). In the first game of the doubleheader, the Bears managed to get an early 3-0 advantage. Columbia responded with a home run in the top of the fourth, but Bruno seemed set to close out the win until the Lions fired off seven hits in a seven-run seventh. The home squad could not overcome the 8-3 deficit and suffered its first loss of the weekend.

The Bears did not fare any better in the second game of the day, as the squad could not even get on the scoreboard.The Lions cruised to an 8-0 victory.

“With every win or loss, there is a lesson to be learned,” Orona said. “One of the biggest lessons the team took away from Saturday is that we have to challenge the opposing team for a full seven innings in order to win a game, not just the first half.”

The Bears will head back to Bryant Wednesday as a visitor, as the squad will take on the Bulldogs before returning to Ivy play with four games against Harvard.

“Coming away from the two big wins against Penn, we set the tone for the rest of the season,” Orona said. “If we don’t play to that high of a level every game, then to us, it is not a good game, regardless of if we win or lose.

“We had a small setback on Saturday, but we all learned and grew from that,” she added. “We’re eager to get back out on the field next weekend and play at the high level we are capable of.”


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