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PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania softball team (17-13, 7-1 Ivy) will take a quick break from Ivy League play on Thursday evening when it welcomes Big 5 rival Villanova (13-19, 1-8 Big East). The Quakers are coming off a big weekend in which they swept Yale and Brown in four games, earning a two-game lead over Princeton for first place in the Ivy League South Division.
The Red and Blue met the Wildcats once before in 2013 when the two teams participated in the UCF Spring Fling tournament in Orlando, Fla. It was on March 2 for Penn’s third game of the season and Villanova walked away with the 7-1 victory. In that game the Quakers faced Kate Poppe, a freshman pitcher, and to this point in the season she has appeared in 28 of Villanova’s 32 games while starting 21 of them. The Wildcats lead the all-time series 38-21 over Penn, and the two teams have tied twice. The Quakers are currently riding a four-game win streak while Villanova has dropped four of its last five.
Penn will be led by four players who’ve been dominant at the plate to this point in the season. Stephanie Caso is fresh off a week in which she hit .667 an earned Ivy League Player of the Week honors. The senior leads the Quakers with a .356 batting average on the season. Right behind her is fellow middle infielder Samantha Erosa. The second baseman is second on the squad with a .338 average and is currently riding a team-high eight-game hitting streak.
Brooke Coloma is batting .333, good for third on the team, but most importantly the senior leads Penn with 21 RBI. Her most recent RBI came in Game 2 against Brown as she now has 109 for her career to become the program’s all-time leader. Lastly, Elysse Gorney has reached safely in her last six contests and is fourth on the team with a .324 average. Additionally, the junior leads the Quakers with 21 runs scored and an on-base percentage of .444.
Thursday’s game against the Wildcats will get underway at 6 p.m. at Penn Park. Live stats and live streaming will be available for the contest and make sure to follow @UPennSoftball for live in-game updates and conversation throughout.