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PHILADELPHIA - Playing at Penn Park for just the second time this spring, softball will host the Penn Spring Invitational this weekend. What was originally scheduled to be a two-day tournament will now start on Friday and continue through the finals on Sunday. Army (12-9), Rider (6-15) and Villanova (17-4) will make up the rest of the field. Each team will play each other once throughout the weekend with a first place and third place game to follow the completion of pool play.
Despite dropping both ends of the doubleheader against Lehigh, Penn (10-9) received two more strong pitching performances in the circle. Mikenzie Voves (2-3, 1.92 ERA) started game two against Lehigh. She has now thrown a complete game in each of her last three starts and took the hard-luck decision on Wednesday. She has held the opposition scoreless in 17 of her last 22 innings pitched. Alexis Borden (6-2, 1.47 ERA) started game one against Lehigh and has now thrown a complete game in each of her last six starts. She has allowed just 45 hits in 57.1 innings and has recorded three shutouts this season.
With a pair of complete games from Voves and Borden, Lindsay Mann and Jen Retzer did not see any time in the circle Wednesday. Mann (1-0, 2.33 ERA) has appeared in five games this season, making two starts. She has allowed just 20 hits in 18 innings of work. Only one of those hits has been for extra bases. Retzer also has one win on the season. She has also pitched in five games, starting three.
Freshman Sydney Turchin brings a .456 on-base percentage into this weekend's tournament. She is batting .351 and has scored 10 runs. Kayla Dahlerbruch is second on the team in batting with a .310 average. She is slugging .500 with five extra base hits, including three home runs and a team-high 11 RBI's.
Elysse Gorney and Samantha Erosa have combined to score 15 runs this season. Gorney has scored eight runs and has 13 hits, including two doubles. Erosa has scored seven times and is getting on base at a .349 clip. Brooke Coloma and Stephanie Caso are second and third on the team in RBI's. Coloma has knocked in six runs. She has 11 hits, including one double. Caso has nine hits, while working six walks, and brings a .966 fielding percentage into the weekend.
Jessica Melendez has an on-base percentage of .378. She has drawn seven walks, while scoring two runs and driving in two more. Karina Rios and Georgia Guttadauro have been seeing playing time at first base in the early part of the season. Rios has played in 16 games, starting nine at multiple positions. She has a team-high three doubles, while Guttadauro was the only Quaker with two hits against Lehigh.
Off the bench, Vanessa Weaver, Bridget Ellsworth, Jessica Arneson, and Justine Payne have each driven in two runs this season. Ellsworth has also scored five runs, while Weaver brings a .500 on-base percentage into play. Arneson has played in 10 games, starting nine. Payne doubled for her only hit this season, but has an on-base percentage of .308. Kristen Johnson has started in 10 of her 12 appearances, while Laura Placentra has played in 13 games, starting four, and has scored three runs. Senior captain Meg Krasne has yet to see game action as she continues to work back from an injury.
On Friday, Penn will open the tournament with Villanova at 4 p.m. Villanova is currently hitting .347 as a team and has five regulars that are batting over .400. Jaime O'Hara leads the team with a .463 average, including two triples. In the circle, Caitlyn Delahaba (9-3, 2.66 ERA) and Molly Manning (7-1, 2.92 ERA) have pitched nearly 85 percent of the team's innings. Villanova beat Penn, 7-5, last year before the second game was suspended in a tie due to darkness.
Penn's first game on Saturday will be against Rider at 11:15 a.m. The Broncs come into this weekend fresh off a split against Saint Joseph's. Allysen Breeden (.306 avg.) has the highest batting average amongst Broncs' starters. She also leads the team with six runs, five doubles, and one home run. Rachael Matreale (5-5, 2.52 ERA) has started 11 games for Rider in the circle. She has pitched just over half of her team's total innings. These two schools split a doubleheader last season.
At 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, the Quakers finish up pool play with Army. The Black Knights have three regulars hitting over .300. Rae Anne Payleitner has a team-high .400 average, while Alex Reynolds gives the team some power with three home runs this season. In the circle, Morgan Lashley (9-7, 2.97 ERA) has pitched 108 of a possible 140 innings. Penn has not played Army since the 2000 and 2001 seasons. The Quakers are just 1-3 all-time vs. Army.
Penn will be the designated home team in each of its first three games. After pool play is completed, the first and second place teams will play a championship game, while third and fourth place will play a consolation game. A complete schedule is available below.
Friday March 23:
Penn vs. Villanova (4 p.m.)
Army vs. Rider (6:15 p.m.)
Saturday March 24:
Villanova vs. Army (9 a.m.)
Penn vs. Rider (11:15 a.m.)
Penn vs. Army (1:30 p.m.)
Rider vs. Villanova (3:45 p.m.)
Sunday March 25:
3 vs. 4 (Noon)
1 vs. 2 (2:15 p.m.)