Questions about the Penn softball program are mounting after sophomore captain Corey Burrough quit the team in March.
Burrough, who started in 24 games last year as a freshman, appeared in box scores for each of the Quakers’ first 13 games this season. She then did not play for three straight games before appearing in a game against Dartmouth on March 24.
She has not played again since and confirmed to The Daily Pennsylvanian that she had left the team in an email sent on April 8. She also no longer appears on Penn softball's online roster on PennAthletics.com.
In the email, Burrough added that she had communicated her reasons for quitting with the team, but declined to share any further information.
Burrough’s decision to leave the team comes two months after the DP published an article detailing poor player retention on Penn softball and allegations of mistreatment from softball coach Leslie King, who is in her 15th year at Penn.
Archived stat sheets suggest that since 2010, Burrough is the 27th player to quit Penn softball before her senior season.
By comparison, only five players have left Princeton softball before their senior seasons between 2010 and the start of this season, according to an online list of letterwinners organized by year. And since current Princeton head coach Lisa (Sweeney) Van Ackeren was hired in the summer of 2012, every player between the graduating classes of 2016 and 2018 has stayed on the team for all four years. Van Ackeren was an assistant at Penn under King for two seasons prior to being hired to coach the Tigers.
Just a week after the initial article was published, the DP was anonymously forwarded an email that Penn Athletic Director M. Grace Calhoun had sent to Penn softball alumni. In the email, Calhoun wrote that Penn Athletics had “already received a wide range of feedback” in response to the DP’s article and that additional information could be shared with Associate Athletic Director Matt Valenti.
It remains unclear if Burrough’s reasons for leaving the team are related to issues with King, as both Burrough and the team have stayed quiet.
Penn Athletics did not respond to a request to make King available for comment, in addition to not responding to multiple requests for comment concerning any internal investigation being conducted on the allegations against King.
On the diamond, Penn softball (11-15, 7-5 Ivy) has had an up and down year. After being picked to finish third in the Ivy League Preseason Media Poll, the Quakers lost their first seven games of the season.
But since the slow start, the Red and Blue have had much more success — especially in the last two weeks. Penn swept Yale last weekend and has won seven of its last eight games overall.
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