Softball Opens 2012 Campaign in Florida

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UCF Invitational Schedule

Rebel Spring Games Schedule

PHILADELPHIA - College softball is underway around the country and this weekend Penn will get into its schedule with its annual Spring Break trip to Florida. In addition to the traditional Rebel Spring Games, the Quakers will also take part in the UCF Invitational. In all, the Quakers are scheduled to take part in 13 games in an eight day span.

Penn returns 12 letterwinners, including eight regular starters from the 2011 squad. A season ago, the Quakers won 18 games; nine of them inside the Ivy League, with the regular season going right down to the final weekend before Cornell claimed the division title. During its trip to Florida last season, Penn got off to a 5-3 start at the Rebel Spring Games.

The Quakers boast of very experienced outfield that features two All-Ivy performers from a season ago. Junior Brooke Coloma earned honorable mention All-Ivy in each of her first two seasons at Penn. She already ranks seventh all-time in program history with 10 home runs and 13th all-time with 54 runs batted in. She has started all but two games during her Penn career. Sophomore Elysse Gorney also was named honorable mention All-Ivy as a freshman. She batted .308 as a freshman, stole seven bases and scored 25 runs in her 38 starts.

Jessica Melendez started 25 games last season in the outfield. She batted .294 for the season, hitting .400 in the last nine games, including a .760 slugging percentage during that span which included her only three home runs of the season. Kristen Johnson played 20 games, starting 10, as a freshman last season. She batted .333 in her 36 at-bats to go along with a .611 slugging percentage and .429 on-base percentage.

Bridget Ellsworth and Laura Placentra will also look for a bigger role in the offense this season. A junior, Ellsworth made 17 appearances last season, starting 13 games. She had a .305 on-base percentage last season in 36 plate appearances. Placentra played in 27 games, primarily as pinch-runner. She scored nine runs as a freshman. Incoming freshman Sydney Turchin will also look to compete for playing time in the outfield this season.

In the infield, sophomore Kayla Dahlerbruch started all but two games at third base last season. She batted .301 in her rookie campaign, knocking in 23 runs, while tying for the team lead in doubles (9). She was also named Ivy League Rookie of the Week while the team was in Florida last season. Johnson also saw time at third base last season for Penn.

Stephanie Caso played in every game last season, starting all but one. A two-time honorable mention All-Ivy shortstop, the junior has started all but two games in her Penn career and has a fielding percentage of .967 during that time. She has a career batting average of .316 and has scored 44 runs in her first two seasons at Penn. Her seven stolen bases last year was the seventh-best single season mark in program history.

At second base, the Quakers have multiple options. Junior Samantha Erosa started 33 games last season and batted .300 with an on-base percentage of .404. She scored 24 runs and was named Penn's defensive MVP after posting a fielding percentage of .950. Justine Payne earned honorable mention All-Ivy honors two seasons ago and started 30 games last season, also seeing time as the designated player. She ranks 10th all-time in career home runs (8) at Penn. Freshman Vanessa Weaver will also vie for playing time at that position.

The graduation of starter Kelsey Wolfe and Elizabeth Madara opens the competition for first base. Georgia Guttadauro played in 10 games, starting five, last season at that position. She finished with the second-highest slugging percentage (.467) among non-starters last season in 15 at-bats. She also had one home run in that time. Senior Meg Krasne started 18 games last year as a designated player. She has started 32 games at Penn and has a career batting average of .265. A versatile utility player, Karina Rios will fill multiple positions, but will look for playing time at first.

Behind the plate, the Quakers will have to replace four-year starter Alisha Prystowsky. Prystowsky was a four-time All-Ivy performer, earning a first-team nod three times. Junior Jessica Arneson served as the primary backup during the last two years and will look to have a breakout season in 2012. She has played in 43 games, starting 37 at Penn. Gorney may also see playing time behind the plate.

In the circle, Mikenzie Voves won 10 games a freshman in 2011, which was the sixth-most all-time in a single season at Penn. Her 75 strikeouts tied for the seventh-best single season mark in program history. She pitched 119 of Penn's 262 innings.

Lindsay Mann also pitched in six games last season, starting two. She has made 16 career appearances, pitching 30.1 innings in her first two seasons, but will likely see an increased role with the graduation of seniors Taylor Tieman and Tory Satagaj. With just two returning pitchers in the fold, freshmen Alexis Borden and Jen Retzer will also have a chance to compete in the circle as Penn used five different pitchers last season.

Penn did not face any of the teams that it will see at the UCF Invitational during the 2011 season. At the Rebel Spring Games, the only two familiar opponents on the 2012 schedule are Sacred Heart and the University of Detroit. Penn won both of those games a year ago.

Live stats and a live blog will be available to follow the team as they complete the 13 games in eight days.

Download: UCF Tourn March 2-4 2012 revised 2-6-2012 (3).pdf