While most students will be off relaxing, the squad will be heading to Florida for spring training before their season opener against Saint Joseph’s in mid-March.
Melendez and Erosa wrapped up a stint on the Puerto Rican national softball team over the weekend at the International Softball Federation’s World Championship, which was played in Whitehorse, Yukon.
The Quakers are sending one assistant coach, Lisa Sweeney of the softball team, to take a head coaching position at Princeton while taking one former head basketball coach on as an assistant, Jason Polykoff of the Friends’ Central School.
The Quakers posted a program-best record of 33 wins but could not overcome the repeat-champion Crimson, who won 1-0 and 5-2 in the championship series.
As Penn softball ace Alexis Borden churned out inning after inning of flawless pitching, nearly everyone in attendance began to realize that she was approaching a hallowed feat: the perfect game.
Currently tied with Cornell for the top spot in the Ivy League, the Red and Blue (27-15, 11-5 Ivy) will play Columbia (12-29, 6-10) for a chance to win their first division championship since 2007 and just second in program history.
The Quakers swept the Big Red in a Friday doubleheader on Friday before splitting with them on Saturday.
For the first time in five years, the Penn softball team will face Cornell without graduated star pitcher Elizabeth Dalrymple. This time, the Quakers will feature the ace.
Under the lights for the first time at Penn Park, the Quakers came back from a deficit on two occasions and piled up a season-high 16 hits to beat the Dragons, 8-7.
Penn (23-14, 8-4 Ivy) showed it could back up stellar pitching with dominant offense, as the Quakers took three of four on the road, outscoring Princeton, 20-6.
Last year, the Red and Blue swept Princeton in a four-game series, catapulting the team into the race for a playoff spot after a tumultuous start to league play. If the Quakers (20-13, 5-3 Ivy) can repeat the feat this weekend in back-to-back doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday, they can again assert themselves as a serious contender for an Ancient Eight title.
But much like the perennial NL East champs, the 2012 Quakers struggle mightily at the plate. In this weekend’s 1-0 loss to Dartmouth, Alexis Borden was stellar again, allowing just one run on three hits while completing the game. But it was all for naught.
The Red and Blue’s road woes continued this weekend as Penn lost three of four games during its trip to North Division opponents Dartmouth and Harvard.
After making serious dents in Brown and Yale’s conference records last weekend, the Penn softball team will look to keep its momentum going against Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend.
The Quakers swept all four of their games this weekend and are now 4-0 in the Ivy League and 10-2 at their new stadium at Penn Park.
This year the tables are turned on Yale and Brown, as the struggling teams will meet Penn’s new arsenal of freshman talent on Friday and Saturday, respectively, at Penn Park in the Quakers’ Ivy League opener.
An offensive onslaught, coupled with strong pitching performances, led the Red and Blue to sweep La Salle, 8-0 and 5-1, in their last outing before starting Ivy play on Friday.
The Quakers swept their opening three games of the Penn Spring Invitational, but ultimately lost in the final to Villanova.
Penn women’s softball suffered two narrow defeats Wednesday afternoon in a doubleheader at Lehigh, as the Mountain Hawks scored in just two innings in the two games. Meanwhile, Lehigh’s pitching held Penn scoreless, leading the team to 3-0 and 2-0 victories over the Quakers.
It will be pitching that the Quakers will turn to as they take on Lehigh in a midweek doubleheader Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.