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The Penn softball team will look to rebound from a rough introduction to the Ivy League season with a midweek doubleheader against Drexel this afternoon. The Quakers (10-19, 0-4 Ivy League) dropped twinbills last weekend to Dartmouth and Harvard, last year's top two clubs in the Ancient Eight. But at 3:30 p.m. today, Penn hopes to put forth a strong performance against the Dragons (20-14-1) at Warren Field to prepare the Red and Blue for the resumption of conference play on Saturday. The Quakers view this as an ideal situation to compete against a very talented team in an effort to build confidence for upcoming contests with Yale and Brown. "I think that we definitely have the potential to bounce back against Drexel," Penn freshman pitcher Nicki Borgstadt said. "I think it's a great opportunity to gain some momentum for the weekend." Borgstadt and Penn third baseman Jen Moore added that playing non-league games in the middle of the week is a welcome feature of the Quakers' schedule, since it allows the team to fine-tune its play for more crucial Ivy matchups. "It gives us a chance to regroup and to address what happened over the weekend," said Moore, who celebrated her 21st birthday yesterday. Today, the Penn batters will face an especially difficult test that will give them practice for when they battle tough conference opponents. Drexel's Lori Swanson, who will likely start one of the two doubleheader games, is one of the best pitchers the Quakers will see all year. The senior from Clay, N.Y., has amassed an 11-5 record thus far, to go along with a 2.22 ERA and 159 strikeouts in 116.2 innings. "She has good speed and has an excellent riseball, which fools everybody," Moore said. The Red and Blue can probably anticipate fairly low scoring games today. Despite the Dragons' sensational pitching -- not one member of their five-player staff has an ERA over four -- Drexel has only broken double digits on the scoreboard once this season. Penn, therefore, may not need an offensive explosion, but will have to sustain a couple of rallies if it expects to be successful. "It will be a good offensive test for us," Borgstadt said. "I definitely think that our offense did really well versus Dartmouth [on Saturday]. We came out and scored early." In light of the quality competition on the mound, the Quakers' starting pitchers this afternoon -- sophomore Becky Ranta in the opener and Borgstadt in the nightcap -- must be in control. But they will not alter their styles at all simply because Drexel will be throwing a couple of aces at Penn. "I don't feel any additional pressure based on the caliber of the pitcher going against me," Borgstadt said. "I just want to do my part to contribute to a win." Though Drexel represents a tough challenge, the Red and Blue are familiar with the Dragons. The two squads met last fall, as well as in prior spring seasons. Penn split with the Dragons in the autumn of 2000, defeating them in the City Six tournament and dropping a home game at Warren Field. "It is an advantage, of course, to have played them before and to know we can beat them," Moore said. Penn hopes to atone for a disappointing weekend with a win today. And Moore indicated that a way to do that might be for the Quakers to have a little bit more of a swagger. "I always have confidence in the team," she said. "It's just a matter of the team having confidence in itself."

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