PHILADELPHIA – Penn softball is readying for its second go-around at Penn Park, a place where the Quakers finished 18-3 last season, helping them compile a program-best record of 33-17 overall. Head coach Leslie King announced a schedule Monday that will feature 21 home games.
The Quakers will start their spring in Orlando, Fla. for the UCF Spring Fling Tournament, which will take place March 1-3. Continuing with their annual Florida road trip, Penn will head to Kissimmee for the Rebel Spring Games, March 4-8. The Red and Blue will look to follow up their dominant performance from 2012 when they finished 7-1.
Penn will return from Florida and travel down City Avenue to Saint Joseph’s for a Big 5 double-header on March 13. Last season, the Hawks came to Penn Park and the two teams split a twin bill. The Quakers then will return to Penn Park for the first time for a trio of doubleheaders against visiting Patriot League opponents in Lafayette (March 16), Lehigh (March 20) and Holy Cross (March 23). Last season the Red and Blue faced only Lehigh, with the Mountain Hawks taking both games of a doubleheader.
Another Big 5 opponent follows the Patriot League competition on March 26 when the Quakers travel 20 minutes northeast to face La Salle. Last season Penn swept the Explorers in two games at home.
Next, Penn will return to its home field as Ivy League competition gets underway. Penn welcomes Harvard to Philadelphia on March 29 for a double-header. Last season the Crimson and Quakers squared off four times, Harvard taking all four – including a two-game sweep in the Ivy League Championship Series. Dartmouth then comes to Philadelphia on March 30 for a double-header. Last season, the two teams split a double-header in Hanover, N.H.
Following those two Ivy League matchups, Penn will finish off its second home stand of the season when it welcomes Monmouth for a doubleheader April 3. The last time these two teams met was in March 2010 in West Long Branch, N.J.
The Red and Blue will hit the road for their first Ivy League trip of the season for back-to-back doubleheaders at Yale and Brown April 5-6. Penn went 4-0 against these two teams last season, all four games at Penn Park.
Penn returns home April 11 for another Big 5 matchup against Villanova. That meeting will be followed up by back-to-back double-headers, April 13-14, against Princeton. Last season Penn travelled to Princeton, N.J. for the four-game series, getting the best of the Tigers three times.
The Quakers stay in University City April 17 for a City 6 matchup with Drexel before travelling to Ithaca, N.Y. for back-to-back doubleheaders, April 20-21, against Cornell. The last time Penn and Cornell met was a memorable one-game playoff to decide the South Division champion, which the Quakers won 4-0.
Penn returns home April 24 for their final Big 5 game of the season when Temple visits Penn Park. The Quakers and Owls split two close games at Temple last season.
Penn then finishes off its regular season with the annual home-and-home series against Ivy League rival Columbia, April 27-28. Last season the Quakers swept all four games.
The Ivy League Championship Series is scheduled for May 4-5 at the home of the division champion with the higher record. A Penn win in the best-of-three series would earn them an automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals, May 17-19.
Penn will return all of its starting position players as well as three pitchers, including First Team All-Ivy players Brooke Coloma, Elysse Gorney and Rookie of the Year Alexis Borden. They will also welcome four freshmen and two assistant coaches to the team, as they try and repeat last year’s record-breaking season under the tutelage of 10th-year head coach Leslie King.