PHILADELPHIA - Twenty Ivy League games could not decide a winner, so Penn (32-15, 15-5 Ivy) and Cornell (25-22, 15-5 Ivy) will now square off for the South Division title this Saturday in a one-game playoff at 12:30 p.m. The Quakers earned the right to host this game by taking three from Cornell during the regular season series. Penn has won nine of its last 10 Ivy games to get back in the race and is 17-3 at home this season. This weekend marks the first time the Ivy League has needed a playoff game to determine a divisional champion since going to this format in 2007.
The Big Red are the three-time defending South Division champions, taking home the Ivy League Championship during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. They just recently took all four games on the road against Princeton to force the playoff, which included 14-inning and 10-inning victories. The winner of this weekend's one-game playoff will represent the South Division in the Ivy League Championship next weekend at Harvard.
Freshman Alexis Borden (23-4, 1.39 ERA) was recently named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the fourth time this season, giving her five total honors after earning Ivy Pitcher of the Week once. She leads the league in wins, ERA, innings pitched (176.2), complete games (22), and starts (24). She is also second in strikeouts (180) and shutouts (6). She pitched every inning of the Columbia series, winning all four games. She also had two complete game victories in the series against Cornell. Borden has already set the single season record for wins and strikeouts at Penn.
Mikenzie Voves (7-7, 2.90 ERA) picked up the third victory in relief during the series with Cornell. She ranks sixth in the league in ERA and seventh in victories and strikeouts (81). She received the win in three of Penn's Ivy League victories. In her last outing, she threw three innings and did not allow an earned run in her start against Delaware. Lindsay Mann (1-0, 2.78 ERA) has pitched 22.2 innings over eight games this season, allowing just two extra-base hits. In four of her outings, she has not allowed an earned run, including a scoreless inning against Cornell when she inherited two runners on and nobody out. Jen Retzer has pitched 13.1 innings over five games, including three starts. She has one victory in the circle during her freshman campaign.
Brooke Coloma was recently named Ivy League Player of the Week following the series with Columbia. She finished the weekend with eight of Penn's 50 hits, raising her personal average nearly 40 points in four games. In the cleanup spot, she is second in the Ivies with 34 RBI and has six home runs, including two this past weekend. At the top of the batting order, Sydney Turchin is leading the league with 34 runs scored. She is also second in walks (22) and stolen bases (12) to go along with a .338 batting average and the fifth-best on-base percentage in the league, .427. Karina Rios is batting a team-high .350 in Ivy League play. She has a hit in her last four games.
Georgia Guttadauro and Samantha Erosa each hit .545 in the series against Cornell with six hits each in their 11 at-bats. Guttadauro also hit two home runs in that series, driving in five runs. She is batting .370 in Ivy League games and has four multi-hit games in her last 10 games. Erosa is batting .345 during the Ivy season. Since the Princeton series, she has a hit in 12 of her last 14 games. Stephanie Caso batted .333 in the last series with Cornell. She has a hit in seven straight games with two multi-hit games during that time. She has also scored a run in four straight games.
Kayla Dahlerbruch and Jessica Melendez both had home runs in the series against Cornell. Melendez currently leads the team with eight home runs, the second-best mark in the Ivies. Six of her home runs have come in Ivy League games. She is slugging .576 against Ivy League teams. Melendez has scored 27 runs, the third-most in the league, 18 of which have come in Ivy competition. Like Melendez, Dahlerbruch has 27 RBI this season. She has a hit in seven of her last eight games. Elysse Gorney is another one of five players that are now batting over .300 this season. She is third in the league in steals (11) and fourth in runs scored (29). She has eight hits during her current five-game hitting streak.
Jessica Arneson has started at least three of the four Ivy games each weekend since South Division play began, including all four games against Cornell. She is batting .286 in Ivy League play, including a three-hit weekend in eight at-bats against Columbia. Laura Placentra and Kristen Johnson each have five hits this season. Placentra has also scored 11 runs this season. Justine Payne and Bridget Ellsworth each have three hits and six runs to their credit, while Vanessa Weaver has a pair of hits this season. Meg Krasne has not played any games this season, but was still selected as the player's player at the team's annual banquet.
Cornell had a final non-conference doubleheader this past Wednesday, splitting with Binghamton. Alyson Onyon (14-4, 2.80 ERA) started each day during game two against Penn in the first series, but has really come on strong in the past week and was recently named Ivy League Pitcher of the Week. She has thrown three shutouts, including Cornell's only win over the Quakers in the previous series. In the first game against Onyon, the Quakers made some key Cornell defensive mistakes hurt as they tallied seven runs in five innings (two earned) the first time they faced her. Jenna Stoller started both game ones against Penn in the previous series and the Quakers scored nine times in the six innings that she pitched.
Offensively, 12 different players have homered for Cornell. Jenny Edwards (9 HR's) and Erin Keene (8 HR's) lead the Big Red in that category. Edwards and Keene each homered in the previous series, but Penn did a good job of keeping the bases clear, limiting them both to solo home runs. Kristen Towne, Clare Feely and Lauren Bucolo all have .300-plus batting averages for the Big Red. However, in the previous series, it was Morgan Cawley that had the most success against Penn, going 4-for-10 with two more walks.