PHILADELPHIA - The Penn softball team will host a four-game series with Ivy League South Division rival Cornell on Warren Field Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
The Quakers come into the meeting with a 12-15 overall record and 6-2 mark in Ivy play, while the Big Red are 21-10 overall and 7-1 in the conference. With Penn just one game behind Cornell at the top of the Division standings, this weekend will give a strong indication of who will finish number one.
Milestones Galore: The first game on Saturday will mark the Quakers' 1,000th game since the program's start in 1974. While Penn hopes to mark the ball with a "W," Cornell looks to do the same for Coach Dick Blood, who is one victory away from his 500th career win.
Following the Action: Fans can follow every pitch through live stats (click here).
Last Outing: Penn used a nine-run fifth inning, including a grand slam by freshman Brooke Coloma to top Lafayette 13-11 in the first game of a non-conference doubleheader Wednesday afternoon. The Quakers fell 8-5 in game two, getting their last at-bats in just before dark.
Offensive Explosion: The 13 runs in game one was a season high and the most Penn as scored since April 26, 2008 when the Quakers defeated Columbia 13-5 on the road. Freshman Stephanie Caso had a breakout day, going 4-for-5 in game one, including three runs batted-in and two runs scored. In the 11 hit team effort, Senior Keiko Uraguchi added three hits of her own, while junior Kelsey Wolfe went 2-for-2 with an RBI.
League Leaders: With the pressures of League play, junior Alisha Prystowsky and sophomore Justine Payne have risen to the occasion, each sporting a .429 batting average against Ivy opponents. Caso has also been solid with a .348 average against the Ancient Eight.
Spark Plug: Prystowksy's bat has been hot lately, earning a hit in each of the past six contests. She also leads the Ivy League with a .727 average (8-for-11) leading off an inning. The co-captain anchors the team with 16 RBI, eight doubles, two home runs, and is second with a .325 average on the season - behind fellow co-captain Uraguchi's .349.
In the Circle: Sophomore Chelsea Ott (3-5) leads the Quaker pitching staff with a 2.75 ERA on the season, hurling 61.0 innings. Junior Taylor Tieman (6-2) has earned six wins on the mound in 11 appearances, including a 2.88 ERA and 4-1 record and a save against Ivy opponents. Southpaw Cailyn Hennessy (3-5) has also been a regular starter, throwing 50.1 innings with a 3.79 ERA versus Ivy foes.
Scouting Cornell: The Big Red enter the weekend recovering from two midweek losses to Syracuse. The Orange outscored Cornell 14-1 in the doubleheader (4-1 and 10-0)
At the Plate: As of last weekend, the Big Red has eight of their players hitting above .300. Alyson Intihar heads them with a league-best .402 average, followed by Elise Menaker's .370, including 12 doubles, Ivy-best 25 RBI and 27 runs scored. Power hitter Kristen Towne leads the team with a .671 slugging percentage and six home runs.
In the Circle: Reigning Ivy League Pitcher of the Year Elizabeth Dalrymple (11-2) sports a 2.04 ERA in 89.1 innings of work. She is 4-0 in Ivy play with 124 strikeouts.
Last Meeting: Cornell swept last season's four-game series in Ithaca by a combined score of 38-15, including a pair of five-inning victories.