PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania's head softball coach Leslie King and her staff are proud to announce the addition of five incoming freshman to the Class of 2015. The five incoming freshman - Alexis "AC" Borden, Jen Retzer, Karina Rios, Sydney "TC" Turchin and Vanessa Weaver - hail from three different states and will join a Quaker team that returns 12 letterwinners, including three honorable mention All-Ivy performers in Brooke Coloma, Stephanie Caso, and Elysse Gorney from last year's squad.
"This group adds a lot to our team's athleticism. We are bringing in athletes with speed and versatility, as well as strengthening our pitching depth," said King, who is entering her ninth season as Penn's head coach. "I think they will fit in well with our squad and I know they are excited about playing in the new stadium."
Despite bringing in a recruiting class from all over the United States, the Class of 2015 will have some familiarity with one another before they arrive on campus in the fall. Borden and Weaver both attended Esperanza High School and will continue to play together over the next four years at Penn. Rios and Turchin have also had the opportunity to play together as they were both members of the nationally-renowned Gold Coast Hurricanes club team.
Included in the class are two pitchers - Borden and Retzer - who will look to provide some depth in the circle for Penn. The Quakers return Mikenzie Voves and Lindsay Mann in 2012, but the incoming class will strengthen a Penn staff that featured five pitchers this past season. The class also features an infielder in Weaver, a versatile middle infielder and outfielder in Turchin and a utility player in Rios.
All five of these players will join the Penn team at a very exciting time on campus, not only for the Penn softball program, but the entire Penn community as Penn Park will open in the fall of 2011. Included in Penn Park, is a brand-new state-of-the-art softball facility. However, the incoming freshman will not have to wait very long before breaking in the new field as Penn will host the local Philadelphia colleges in the Rocci Pignoli Memorial City Six Championship on Sept. 30 - October 1.
ALEXIS "AC" BORDEN - Pitcher
Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza
Bats: Right/Throws: Right
High School: Lettered four times in softball ... Esperanza High School Female Athlete of the Year ... Team MVP during her senior season ... Team Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 ... Set school single-season record for wins (21) and strikeouts (150) during her senior year ... First-team all-state in 2011 ... Century League Most Valuable Pitcher in 2011 ... First-team all-league and second-team all-county in both 2010 and 2011 ... Helped guide her team to a pair of Sunset League titles (2008, 10) and a Century League title in 2011 ... Team advanced to California state quarterfinals three times (2008-10) ... Earned Distinguished Aztec Award for maintaining a non-weighted GPA of 4.0 or higher throughout high school ... 2011 Esperanza Softball Scholar Athlete of the Year ... National Honor Society member and Scholar Athlete.
Personal: Daughter of Robin and Rick Borden ... Attended the same high school as Penn classmate Vanessa Weaver ... Aunts, Karen Hoshizaki and Julie Hoshizaki, both played softball at UCLA ... Karen (1997-99) was a member of 1999 national championship team and Julie (2001-04) was a member of 2003-04 national championship teams ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach King on Alexis: "AC had a great senior year in the circle and followed it up with a strong showing in ASA ball, pitching her team to a top-five national finish. She is an All-CIF player from a hotbed of softball in Orange County. That alone speaks volumes about her potential to contribute."
JEN RETZER - Pitcher
Manalapan, N.J./St. John Vianney
Bats: Right/Throws: Right
High School: Lettered four times in softball, captain of the team as a junior and senior ... 2011 Asbury Park Press and Star Ledger Monmouth Player of the Year ... Two-time first-team all-state (2010-11) ... Named first-team All-Shore Conference, first-team all-county , and first-team all-division in 2010-11 ... 2011 recipient of the Monmouth County Athletic Directors Sportsmanship Award ... Helped lead team to a pair of New Jersey Public A state championships (2010-11) ... Team captured two Monmouth County championships and two division championships (2010-11) and Shore Conference championship in 2011, compiling a 58-4-1 record during that time ... National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society member.
Personal: Daughter of Karen and Michael Retzer ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach King on Jen: "Jen also had a tremendous senior year as a standout at St. John Vianney pitching her team to the State title while garnering all-state honors. She will bring us a very steadying influence in the circle and will add some needed depth to our rotation."
KARINA RIOS - Utility
Cooper City, Fla./Pine Crest School
Bats: Right/Throws: Right
High School: Lettered four times in softball and once in weightlifting and track & field ... Captain of the softball team ... Helped lead softball team to a regional and state championship in 2009 ... Team also claimed three district championships (2007-2009) and made the regional finals in 2007 and 2008 ... 2011 district finalist in track & field on 4x100m relay team ... 2011 sectional finalist in weightlifting ... Played on Gold Coast Hurricanes club team that placed fourth at the Amateur Softball Association 18-and-under Gold Nationals in 2011 and ninth in 2010 ... Spanish Honor Society member ... Black Student Association officer ... Scholar athlete.
Personal: Daughter of Rosa and Gelber Rios ... Teammate of Penn classmate Sydney Turchin on Gold Coast Hurricanes ... 2007 Miss Junior Teen Miami ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach King on Karina: "Karina is a tremendous athlete. She can play almost every position on the field, including pitcher. She has a good presence in the batter's box and also runs well. Like I said, an athlete!"
SYDNEY "TC" TURCHIN - Second Base/Outfield
Princeton Junction, N.J./West Windsor-Plainsboro
Bats: Left/Throws: Right
High School: Lettered four times in softball, captain of the team during her junior and senior seasons ... 2011 West Windsor-Plainsboro North Athlete of the Year ... Helped lead team to three Colonial Valley Conference (CVC) championships (2008, 2009, 2011) ... 2011 Princeton Packet Player of the Year ... Two-time Princeton Packet first-team selection (2010-11) and honorable mention in 2009 ... Twice selected to Trentonian first-team All-CVC (2010-11) ... Played on Gold Coast Hurricanes club team that placed fourth at the Amateur Softball Association 18-and-under Gold Nationals in 2011 and ninth in 2010.
Personal: Daughter of Hillary and Jay Turchin ... Teammate of Penn classmate Karina Rios on Gold Coast Hurricanes ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach King on Sydney: "TC has what no one can coach - speed! She will give us another lefty slapper who can handle the bat well and cause some chaos for the defense. She also has the versatility to play outfield and middle infield."
VANESSA WEAVER - Second Base
Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza
Bats: Right/Throws Left
High School: Lettered four times in softball ... Second-team all-league selection in 2010 ... Foothill Invitational (2009) and Brea Olinda (2010) all-tournament selection ... Helped guide team to a pair of Sunset League titles (2008, 10) and a Century League title in 2011 ... Team advanced to California state quarterfinals three times (2008-10) ... Earned Distinguished Aztec Award for maintaining a non-weighted GPA of 4.0 or higher throughout high school ... Scholar Athlete.
High School: Daughter of Ann Marie and Craig Weaver ... Attended the same high school as Penn classmate Alexis Borden ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach King on Vanessa: "Vanessa played on the same high school team as AC and they both had great senior years. She will bring depth to our infield and is a prototypical No. 2 hitter. She is a very tough out and always seems to find a way to make things happen."