Crucial Division Series at Home Ahead for Softball

PHILADELPHIA – It’s a fight to the finish as hopes of coming out on top in the Ivy League South Division come to a head this weekend. The University of Pennsylvania softball team enters the most important weekend of the season so far, as the Quakers host Princeton in a four-game series on Saturday and Sunday. Having played two fewer League games, the Tigers currently sit on top in the standings at 6-4 with the Red and Blue right behind at 7-5. The two Ancient Eight rivals are set to square off on Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday’s contests will begin at 2 p.m.

Follow Along
A live video stream of Saturday’s doubleheader will be provided by the Penn Sports Network on the Ivy League Digital Network and can be found by clicking here. An audio broadcast of Sunday’s doubleheader will also be provided by the Penn Sports Network on the ILDN.

You can also follow pitch-by-pitch action through live stats for each of the four contests by clicking here.

Links for the streams and stats can also be found on the Penn softball schedule.

Last Time Out
Penn struggled to find momentum and dropped a single contest to neighbor Drexel, 8-0, in the late afternoon on Wednesday. The Dragons scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to end the game early.

WP: Taylor Lee (11-9), 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
LP: Alexis Borden (7-10), 3.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Scouting Princeton (14-19, 6-4 Ivy)
After opening South Division play with a four-game sweep over Columbia, the Tigers played Lehigh in a midweek game at home on the Class of 1895 Field. In what was supposed to be a doubleheader, the first game finally ended after 11 innings forcing a cancellation of game two because of daylight running short. The Mountain Hawks came out on top in the marathon game of three hours and 26 minutes, defeating Princeton 7-6 with three runs in the top of the 11th. Four pitchers combined threw 405 pitches and faced 99 batters and each team left 10 stranded on base.

Tied 2-2 going into the seventh, Lehigh’s Jessica Calvini provided the Mountain Hawks with an edge with a two-run homer but with two outs in the home half and runners at the corners, a two-RBI double from Cara Worden moved the game into extra innings.

After three quiet innings, Lehigh brought one home on a double from Morgan Decker and added two more when Victoria Lattanzio hit a two-run homer for a 7-4 lead. Rallying, the Tigers brought the game within one in the home half. After back-to-back hits and no outs, Emily Viggers’ double brought the first one across and after a fielder’s choice advance her to third, she crossed home on a Kelsey Smith single up the middle. However, it ended there as a fly out and a strikeout ended Princeton’s chances and the game.

A Look at the Numbers

Current Hitting Stats

Team

gp

ab

r

h

2b

3b

hr

rbi

bb

k

sb

cs

avg

obp

slg

Princeton

33

858

117

210

37

5

12

104

69

156

14

7

.245

.310

.341

Penn

32

875

157

251

48

8

14

148

83

166

42

8

.287

.359

.408

Current Pitching Stats

Team

gp

ip

h

r

er

bb

k

k/g

hr

era

Princeton

33

214.2

228

121

101

90

159

4.818

21

3.29

Penn

32

211.2

256

155

110

84

188

5.875

17

3.64

Tigers to Watch
Senior outfielder Rachel Rendina – Has started all 33 games played … Leads team with 32 hits, 39 total bases, and five stolen bases … Has two of team’s five triples this season … Batting .278, second on team.

Freshman pitcher Ashley LaGuardia – Has most wins for team with five … Made 25 appearances and 15 starts … Pitched six complete games across 83 innings … Leads team with 57 strikeouts.

Junior Pitcher Shanna Christian – Fourth in the Ivy League with a 2.63 ERA … Made 13 appearances and 10 starts … Pitched three complete games across 56 innings and threw three shutouts … Has tossed 47 strikeouts.

The Series with Princeton
Overall:
Princeton leads the series, 55-26.

First Meeting: The Quakers defeated the Tigers in 1980, 18-6.
Last Meeting:
April 19-20, 2014 – Penn swept Princeton on the first day, winning game one 11-1 in 6 innings and game two 4-3. The teams split day two with the Quakers winning the first of the day 6-2 and the Tigers taking the final one, 9-6.
Notables:
In the last 24 games (last six years’ four-games series), the Quakers won the series each year, 3-1, with the exception of 2011 when they swept the Tigers, winning all four games, for a 19-5 record.

Ivy League Weekly Honors
After opening Ivy League South Division play with a 3-1 series win over Cornell this past weekend, the University of Pennsylvania softball team saw junior captain Lauren Li and freshman Jurie Joyner add weekly honors to their resumes. Announced by the Ivy League on Tuesday afternoon, Li collected her second Player of the Week honor this season while Joyner earned her third consecutive Rookie of the Week accolade. Princeton’s Shanna Christian joined Li and Joyner this week, as she was named the Pitcher of the Week.

This week’s awards came as no surprise as Li and Joyner continue their banner seasons, staying hot and leading the Quakers at the plate. Both are hitting over .400 and slugging over .650. Having a nine-game hit streak already this year, Li is currently at four. Joyner’s longest hit streak was 10 and she is currently at six.

Li’s Statistics for the Week
5 GP, .500 Avg., 7 H, 6 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR 7 RBI, 5 BB, 1K, .929 Slg., .650 OBP

2 GP, 1-1, 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 K, 0 BB, 3.23 ERA

Joyner’s Statistics for the Week
5 GP, .389 Avg., 7 H, 4 R, 1 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 BB, .889 Slg., .450 OBP

Two complete-game shutouts from Christian over Columbia, last week’s South Division leader, helped the Tigers sweep the Lions to open division play. Christian threw 14 innings against Columbia, allowing just two hits in Saturday's opener and six in Sunday's second game. In her outings, Christian struck out 15 and didn’t allow a walk.

Christian’s Statistics for the Week
3 GP, 3 GS, 2 CG shutouts, 2-1, 18.0 IP, 20 K, 1.94 ERA (0.00 ERA in Ivy play)

In addition to Li and Joyner earning the major weekly awards, freshman Mason Spichiger and senior captain Vanessa Weaver were named to the Ivy Honor Roll.

Spichiger’s Statistics for the Week
3 GP, 1-0, 7.1 IP, 2 K, 0.95 ERA, 0 BB

Weaver’s Statistics for the Week
5 GP, .429 Avg., 6 H, 5 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB, .529 OBP

2015 Penn Ivy League Weekly Honors
4/14/2015: Lauren Li – Player of the Week, Jurie Joyner – Rookie of the Week, Mason Spichiger – Honor Roll, Vanessa Weaver – Honor Roll
4/7/2015: Jurie Joyner – Rookie of the Week, Alexis Borden – Honor Roll, Alexis Sargent – Honor Roll
3/31/2015: Jurie Joyner – Rookie of the Week^, Lauren Li – Honor Roll
3/24/2015: Alexis Sargent – Honor Roll, Sydney Turchin – Honor Roll
3/17/2015: Lauren Li – Player of the Week; Alexis Borden – Pitcher of the Week^, Jurie Joyner – Honor Roll, Alexis Sargent – Honor Roll
3/10/2015: Alexis Borden – Pitcher of the Week, Lauren Li – Honor Roll
^co-player, rookie, pitcher of the week