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March is a chance to learn.

After dropping its first three games, the Penn softball team fixed some early missteps and finished up its annual spring break trip to Florida with seven wins in its final eight games.

The Quakers (8-5) got off to a rocky start at the University of Central Florida Spring Fling Tournament, winning only one of their first five games.

“Defensively we had some miscues that was more from maybe not being as focused as we needed to be right from the start of the game,” coach Leslie King said.

The squad went down early and often, giving up at least four runs by the end of the second inning in three of their five first games.

Illegal pitches also were an issue for the Red and Blue. Two illegal throws from freshman Jen Retzer in the final frame of their first game of the season against University of Illinois at Chicago cost the Quakers the game.

Things quickly improved as the Quakers went on a six-game winning streak, which included a win over Sacred Heart, a team that had qualified for last year’s NCAA tournament.

“We bounced back really quickly,” freshman pitcher Alexis Borden said. “We worked really well together and I think we ended the week on a really good note.”

Even the freshman class proved they are ready to contribute right away.

Rookie Sydney Turchin played in all 13 games while leading the team in hitting with a .385 batting average. Borden anchored the rotation, posting 1.35 ERA in seven appearances.

“To be honest, I feel like we’re much deeper than I realized,” King said.

“[The freshman] all got equal playing time,” Borden said. “We can really be put anywhere they need and I think we proved ourselves this week that we can keep up with the best.”

The Quakers return to the northeast this week where they will play a doubleheader against St. Joseph’s on Wednesday in their first game at Penn Park.

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