Softball Heads to Ithaca Friday for Showdown with Cornell

PHILADELPHIA - With the bad weather continuing to alter the Ivy League schedule, Penn and Cornell will now play Friday and Saturday. On Friday, the first doubleheader is scheduled to get underway at 2 p.m. Friday's games are now going to be played at Ithaca College. The two schools will then play at the regularly scheduled time of 12:30 p.m. on Saturday if the weather allows. If Cornell's field is playable on Saturday, the teams will play there for the second doubleheader of the weekend.

Riding a five-game win streak, Penn (15-16-1, 6-6 Ivy) will look to continue its winning ways this weekend in a battle of the top two teams in the Ivy League South Division. Cornell (20-18-1, 7-5 Ivy) brings a two-game winning streak into this weekend as the Big Red swept Colgate in non-conference action following a split in Ivy League play with Columbia this past weekend.

Cornell enters this weekend with its pitchers allowing just over three earned runs a game as a staff. The Big Red are led by two seniors in the circle, Elizabeth Dalrymple and Ali Tomlinson. Dalrymple has twice been named Ivy League Pitcher of the year and has a 1.47 ERA on the year, but the Quakers have had some success against Dalrymple in the past. Meg Krasne has the highest career average against the Big Red pitcher of anybody on the team, going 2-4 in the past against Dalrymple. Alisha Prystowsky is 5-15 with a home run and Kelsey Wolfe is also batting .273 in 11 AB's against her. Brooke Coloma also had a home run against the Big Red right-hander last season.

Penn has also experienced success in the past against Tomlinson. She comes into this weekend with a 6-6 record and ERA of 3.48. Throughout her previous three seasons at Cornell, Tomlinson has a 4.50 ERA against the Quakers and Penn has scored five runs in two separate games against her.

Keeping Marissa Armiraian off base will be a difficult test for Penn as she comes into the weekend with a .405 batting average and .469 on base percentage, while Sam Creamer is also batting .310 for the Big Red. The power in the Big Red lineup comes primarily from Kristen Towne and Erin Belles. Towne currently owns a .307 average with six home runs and a team-high 25 RBI's, while Belles is hitting .303 with five long balls on the season.

The Penn offense will certainly have to rise to the occasion this weekend, just as it has done so many times this season. Penn currently owns the highest team on base percentage in the Ivies along with the second-highest slugging percentage and third-highest batting average. The Quakers are averaging the second highest total of runs per game among the Ivy League teams.

Prystowsky comes into this weekend leading the team in batting average (.385), slugging (.659), and on base percentage (.508). She also owns the team-highs in runs (29) and RBI's (27). Samantha Erosa is coming off a week in which she went 6-10 against Princeton with seven runs scored. She is batting .333 for the season. Elysse Gorney is third on the team in batting with a .326 average. She has also scored 21 runs this year.

Kayla Dahlerbruch and Coloma also bring in averages of .293 and .290 respectively. Dahlerbruch has 17 RBI's on the year, while Coloma is tied with Prystowsky for a team-high four home runs after each went deep against Drexel. Stephanie Caso is hitting a solid .281 with 20 runs scored and 10 RBI's. Justine Payne also adds a .400 slugging percentage to the Penn lineup.

In the circle, Penn could not have asked for much more out of Mikenzie Voves and Cailyn Hennessy a week ago. Both pitchers threw two complete game victories to put Penn right in the mix for the division lead. Voves has a 4.04 ERA with nine wins on the year, while Hennessy's ERA currently sits at 4.64 to go along with four wins. Taylor Tieman has also been effective during her appearances. She maintains a 3.89 ERA when she comes on in relief during a game.

Penn currently sits just one game behind Cornell in the South Division of the Ivy League. These next four games this weekend will be crucial for both squads with such a tightly contested division race. Penn has played Cornell tight throughout the last three seasons, but the Big Red have been able to pull out the wins when they had to. Penn will be looking to repeat the success of the 2007 season, which was the last time that the Quakers were able to take three of the four games against Cornell. This was also the last time that Penn captured the south division title.

Live stats and a live blog will be available throughout the weekend to follow all the action for those fans that are unable to make the trip. Be sure to check back throughout the weekend for any schedule changes that may occur due to inclement weather.

Directions to Kostrinsky Field (Ithaca College): Friday, 2 p.m.

Directions to Cornell: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.