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Penn softball hosts Columbia for the final game of the season. #16 Taylor Tieman Credit: Andrew Townley

After a weekend of two brutal losses and two close victories, the Penn softball team will try and break its up-and-down streak with a pair of wins against Lafayette today.

The Quakers will play a doubleheader against the Leopards at Warren Field to try and improve their 11-14 record. The first game begins at 3 p.m.

Despite last weekend’s 2-2 road stand, Penn still holds an Ivy League record of 6-2 and sits just one game behind Ivy South Division leader Cornell.

But with the Quakers playing four home games against the Big Red this weekend, Penn has a chance to take the top spot.

With that ambition in mind, coach Leslie King hopes to use the games against Lafayette (11-22) as a rehearsal.

“[Lafayette] is a competitive team, and it will be a good match-up … in preparation for our big series against Cornell,” she said.

Though Lafayette will come to Penn after splitting a doubleheader with St. Peter’s, the Leopards have lost 3 of their last 16 games, including 8-0 and 13-7 losses to Drexel last week.

The Leopards’ ace, senior Kasey Karr, is currently 8-10 with an earned run average of 4.53. She will face off against the Quakers’ own star, junior Taylor Tieman.

Tieman struggled in her last outing against Dartmouth, giving up six runs over only 1.1 innings.

However, despite this blip, she still has a solid ERA of 2.81 and leads the team with five wins and one save.

But Tieman’s strong pitching could be for naught if the Quakers don’t perform in the batters box.

After a six-game winning streak, the offensive struggles that plagued Penn at the beginning of the season seemed to have been remedied. However, last weekend, the Penn softball team showed signs of its early season inconsistency.

The Red and Blue were outscored by their opponents 26-9. Though the Quakers picked up one win apiece against Harvard and Dartmouth, they also suffered crushing losses to both foes.

In their first game against the Crimson, the Quakers suffered a 10-0 loss. However, they came back to win the second game, 5-4.

“The first game against Harvard we were a little shell-shocked,” King said.

The games against Dartmouth had a similar theme. Penn won the first game 3-2 but allowed ten runs yet again in the nightcap for a 10-1 defeat.

“The second game against Dartmouth we didn’t hit very well, and we had some issues with the pitchers and the umpires,” King said.

If Penn can regain some of its lost momentum heading into the crucial weekend series, the Quakers will be in excellent shape down the stretch.

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