PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania had two women participating in the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championship, which was completed on Sunday, July 22 in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). Rising seniors Samantha Erosa and Jessica Melendez were members of the Puerto Rico team that went 3-4 in pool play, which saw them advance to the championship playoffs where they fell to Australia in the quarterfinal round.
Erosa saw action in six of Puerto Rico's seven pool-play games, getting a hit in seven at-bats along with walking twice and scoring two runs. Melendez also played in six of the games, getting a hit in one of her five at-bats, walking once and getting hit by a pitch once. Melendez also started in Puerto Rico's quarterfinal loss, playing center field and going 0-for-1.
It was the final step in a whirlwind summer for the Penn duo, which played with Puerto Rico at the World Cup of Softball tournament in Oklahoma City in June and at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship in Surrey, British Columbia from July 4-9. The ISF World Championship is the sport's most prestigious tournament and is held every four years.
Erosa was a team captain for Penn this past season and earned second-team All-Ivy, while Melendez led the Quakers in home runs (8) and RBI (27) and received honorable mention All-Ivy recognition. They helped Penn win the Ivy League's South Division title, before the Quakers fell to Harvard in the Ivy League Championship Series. Along the way, Penn set program records for overall wins (33) and Ivy victories (15) and led the Ivy League in runs.
Japan took the World Championship title, defeating the United States 2-1 in 10 innings in the final. It was the first time the U.S. had lost the crown in 21 years.