PHILADELPHIA – The countdown to spring is officially underway, as the University of Pennsylvania softball team placed four on the CollegeSportsMadness.com Preseason All-Ivy teams. Sophomore Jurie Joyner and senior Lauren Li each nabbed first-team honors, while senior Korinne Raby and junior Leah Allen made the second team.
The Quakers, led by head coach Leslie King, are coming off their fourth-consecutive Ivy League South Division crown in 2015. Penn went 13-7 in the Ivy League a year ago, their fourth-straight campaign with at least 13 conference wins.
Joyner, the 2015 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, put together one of the best freshman campaigns in program history last season. Appearing as mostly a designated player, Joyner led the conference with 33 runs batted in and hit a team-best .387. In addition to batting for average, Joyner also hammered six home runs and recorded a .655 slugging percentage (2nd in the Ivies). To go along with the Rookie of the Year honors, Joyner was also named first-team All-Ivy and an ECAC All-Star.
Li enters her senior season looking to put a bow on a stellar career in a Penn uniform. A captain for a second-consecutive season, Li is one of the most versatile players in the Ancient Eight. She started 30 games in the infield last season, logging innings at third base, shortstop and second. Additionally, Li recorded nine starts in the circle and compiled a 6-2 record. On the way to being selected first-team All-Ivy, Li did most of her damage at the plate. She batted .375 with 29 runs batted in and 40 runs scored.
Raby, a second-team All-Ivy selection a year ago, is also looking to end her Red and Blue career in style. The sure-handed catcher appeared in 35 games as a junior, 32 of which she started behind the dish. Offensively, Raby batted .276 with six doubles and 15 RBI. In addition, Raby provided one of the most exciting moments of last season when she smashed consecutive home runs in a win over Columbia on April 26.
Allen is also coming off a season in which she was named second-team All-Ivy. The 2014 Ivy League Rookie of the Year was the only Quaker to start all 42 games a year ago – 41 of them in right field. Allen was especially impressive in league play, batting .324 against Ivy foes. She also showed off the power, launching five home runs and slugging .460. Allen now has 18 career home runs, which puts her third in program history – just six shy of Penn’s all-time mark. Allen was also superb on the base paths, racking up 12 stolen bases.
The Quakers open up the 2016 season on March 4, traveling to South Florida to participate in the Under Armour Invitational.