For the first time this season, Penn softball now has success to maintain.
This spring, the Quakers had a dismal beginning, going just 4-10 in their first fourteen games, all of which were away. However, the team has rebounded, winning four straight since last Friday.
“Sometimes it takes getting back home to make you feel comfortable again,” coach Leslie King said. “The hitters certainly are having better at-bats, particularly with runners on. We struggled with that in Florida, so we’re really pleased with the progress we’ve made.”
The team has a chance to continue its streak by beating Holy Cross (6-8) this Saturday, the penultimate game before Ivy play.
“They’re a very strong team, so I expect them to be strong when we face them Saturday,” freshman pitcher Lauren Li said of the Crusaders.
The Quakers pummeled Holy Cross, 12-4, in five innings earlier this season in the first of the Rebel Spring Games in Florida. Li, the starting pitcher that day, won her first game of her collegiate career. She may start again this Saturday.
Li and King both explained that the squad’s more recent success is due to improved situational hitting.
King said that hitters — and, in particular, senior second baseman Sam Erosa — have stepped up recently. Erosa is now one of four players with a batting average over .300. Before last Friday, that number was at just one.
However, the Quakers are still consistently leaving six or seven runners on base per game, a number on par with the squad’s offensive figures during its worst losses. A better explanation of the team’s recent success may simply be better defense. The team has had two shutouts in the past four games.
“Defense has been good all year,” King said. “It’s been our strength.”
Against Holy Cross, both Li and King have faith in the talent of the squad moving forward.
“We have such a strong team,” Li said. “We really took that opportunity to bounce back, and have that strength in us as a team so we’ve come back, and now we have a little win streak going on and hopefully we can continue that going into Ivy League play.”
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