PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania softball team hits the road for the first time in Ivy play this weekend, traveling North for doubleheaders against Dartmouth and Harvard. The Quakers will take on the Big Green on Friday at 2 p.m., before making their way to Cambridge for a double dip on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
How did we get here?
The Quakers enter the weekend with an overall record of 13-12, and a mark of 2-2 in the Ivy League. Penn split a pair of home doubleheaders against Yale and Brown last weekend, and will now complete their swing against the Ivy North Division. The Quakers split with Dartmouth during the Regular Season a year ago, and swept the Crimson.
How to catch the Games
As always in Ivy action, both doubleheaders will be broadcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network. Fans can also follow @Penn_Softball on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for all updates from the road.
Although in they are in in the Ivy’s North Division, Dartmouth and Harvard are extremely familiar foes for Penn. The Quakers have met Dartmouth in the last three Ivy League Championship Series, while Penn and Harvard met in the championship in 2012. The Quakers and the Crimson also met in the 2007 Ivy League Championship Series.
The Ivy Class
Penn, Harvard and Dartmouth have combined to win the last five Ivy League Championships—the last two landing in Hanover. The Quakers edged the Big Green in 2013, while the Crimson went back-to-back in 2011 and 2012.
Scouting the Big Green
Dartmouth enters the weekend as the only team in the Ivy League with an unblemished conference mark. The Big Green are 4-0, thanks to road sweeps over Princeton and Cornell last weekend. After a relatively slow start (2-7 over their first nine games), the Big Green is 13-2 since March 18th.
Katie McEachern and Morgan Martinelli have been almost unstoppable for a Dartmouth offense that leads the league in both RBI and runs scored. McEachern is batting a team-best .419 with six home runs and 18 RBI, while Martinelli is second on the team with a batting average of .409.
Dartmouth has controlled the recent series history with the Quakers, taking seven of the last nine matchups—including a 4-1 mark in Ivy championship games.
Scouting the Crimson
Harvard joins the Quakers at 2-2 in the Ancient Eight thus far, with an overall mark of 12-13. The Crimson split doubleheaders versus Princeton and Cornell in their first Ivy action. They lead the conference in both RBI (102) and stolen bases (30) this season.
It has been a balanced attack on offense for Harvard this season, led by four players who are hitting over .330 and have more than 20 hits. Maddy Kaplan is batting a team-high .362, while ranking fourth in the Ivy League with a .448 on-base percentage.
The Quakers have had success against Harvard over the last few years, going 4-1-1 in their last six matchups—including a sweep last season.
Quaker Quick Hits
*Alexis Sargent continues to pave the way in the circle, leading the Quakers in every pitching category. The junior right-hander is 8-3 this season, with a league-best 1.68 ERA—in a league-high 71 innings of work.
*Sargent, who has been named the Ivy League Pitcher of the Week three times, also leads the Ancient Eight with 74 punch-outs—and has allowed the least amount of hits out of anyone who has tossed at least 55 frames.
*Leah Allen leads the Ivy League in several offensive categories, including RBI (27) and triples (4). She is also slotted in the top five in slugging percentage (.653 – 3rd), and home runs (5 – 3rd).
*Allen’s four triples is one shy of tying a program-best for a single season, which was set by Laurie Nestler in 1996. Allen already holds the record for most RBI in a season with 43 in 2014, and is just three home runs shy of the all-time Penn record of 24.
*Sam Pederson has been tremendous in her first season donning the Red and Blue. Penn’s leadoff hitter leads the team and ranks fourth in the Ivy League in batting average (.400).
*Pederson is also tied with Lauren Li with a squad-best 26 hits—a mark that slots the duo ninth in the conference.
*Speaking of Li, the senior captain is second on the team in both hitting (.356) and RBI (11)—while being tied with Leah Allen for the team-lead in extra-base hits (11).
*The Quakers have had many close calls this season. In fact, they are 4-2 in games decided by two runs or fewer, but 0-3 in extra-inning affairs.
Last Time Out
Fueled by nine runs in the first inning, the Villanova Wildcats defeated the Quakers by a score of 10-0 on Tuesday. Senior Lauren Li earned the loss for Penn in the circle, while the Red and Blue’s offense mustered just four hits.
The Quakers will return home for a mid-week game against City-rival Drexel on Wednesday at 4 p.m. They will then head to Princeton for a pair of doubleheaders on April 16-17.