Softball Hosts Cornell, with Ivy Implications

PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers are hosting Ivy League and South Division rival Cornell this weekend, in two double headers Saturday and Sunday. First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 1 p.m., while Sunday’s match-up is slated to start at noon.

Race for the Title
The Big Red and the Quakers are currently sharing first place in the South Division of the Ivy League. Cornell is 7-1, while Penn is 9-3. Princeton is just one game back, at 6-2. Princeton and Cornell won’t face off until the last weekend in April, leaving the South Division wide open. In the North Division, Harvard holds a tenuous lead on first, as they’re 4-4, two games ahead of Yale and Dartmouth. The Crimson and the Bulldogs will face off in four games of their own this weekend in New Haven.

Last Time Out
The Quakers are coming off of a midweek split with city rival Villanova. Penn won the first game in the bottom of the seventh inning on a walk-off single by senior Melissa Haffner, 6-5. In the second game, the Quakers mounted a late-game comeback, but the game was called due to darkening skies at the end of the sixth, and Penn lost, 7-4. Scouting the Big Red Cornell will be led by senior captain Lauren Battaglia, who was named Ivy League Player of the Week this week. Battaglia hit .556 last weekend, helping the Big Red sweep Harvard and Dartmouth. She led the team with a 1.556 slugging percentage. For the season, Battaglia is hitting .500 against Ivy opponents with a 1.250 slugging percentage. Junior Jenna Campagnolo is leading the team offensively on the season, with a .418 batting average, and 24 RBI.On the mound, Cornell will look to two strong pitchers: sophomore Haley Mirrer, and junior Jenn Meunier. Mirrer leads the team with a 1.66 ERA, and an 11-3 record, while Meunier is 14-3, with a 2.22 ERA.

Last Season
Cornell gave the Quakers trouble last year, taking two in their doubleheader at Warren Field. In the first game, Penn lost, 6-2, and 10-2 in the second game of the day.

Leading the League
As of April 9, the Quakers are leading the Ivy League in offense, with a team batting average of .320, just ahead of Cornell’s .310. Junior Annie Kinsey leads the league in batting average (.485), hits (48), runs scored (34), total bases (77) and doubles (12), while senior Stephanie Reichert leads the league in RBI (33).

Special Guest
Maddie Huntington is Penn softball’s number one fan. A patient at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Maddie was supposed to celebrate her eighth birthday with the Penn softball team at their game against Temple on April 4. Mother Nature didn’t cooperate though, and rain forced the game to be cancelled. So tomorrow’s game against Cornell is going to be Maddie’s special day. Maddie will be throwing out the first pitch of Saturday’s doubleheader. She will be joined by her family from Somerset County, N.J.: her dad, Gene, mom, Diane, and brother and sisters, Gabrielle, Christopher, Abigail, Joshua and Sydney. Maddie will take the mound at 12:30 p.m.

Class of 2007
This Saturday, the Quakers will also honor their ten seniors with a ceremony at the conclusion of the second game of the doubleheader. Members of the class of 2007 are: Kaelin Ainley, Erin Boyle, Julia Cheney, Melissa Haffner, Casey Hare, Brandi King, Teresa Leyden, Olivia Mauro, Susan McIlvaine, and Stephanie Reichert.

Up Next
The Quakers will look to continue their winning ways, as they take on city rival Drexel, Wednesday at 3 p.m. on Warren Field.