PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania’s head softball coach, Leslie King, has announced seniors Kanani Datan and Lauren Li as captains for the 2016 season. The duo will lead a Penn team that returns seven starters from a year ago, when the Quakers claimed their fourth consecutive Ivy League South Division title.
“We are excited to announce Kanani and Lauren as our captains this season,” said King. “Lauren will be a second-year captain, while Kanani takes on this leadership role for the first time. Both are very experienced seniors with a lot to offer the team on and off the field. We are excited to work with Kanani, Lauren and the rest of the team to develop a winning culture for 2016!”
Li, a captain for a second consecutive campaign, has proved to be one of the most versatile players in the Ivy League. The three-time all-conference performer spent time at four different positions last season. Li started 30 games in the infield -- 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 to 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. Li also showed off the power, hammering four home runs and posting a .609 slugging percentage.
Li has appeared in 89 career games, improving offensively during each of her first three seasons. She has 69 career hits, 43 runs scored, and 40 RBI.
Datan started 32 games for the Quakers last season, providing a reliable defensive presence in center field. The sure-handed outfielder did not record a single error in 2015 and has only five to her name in 98 career games. Offensively, Datan logged a career-high 105 at-bats -- producing 23 hits, 13 runs scored and 11 RBI. She also stole four bases without being caught.
Datan burst onto the scene as a sophomore, hitting .354 with 18 runs scored and 39 total bases. She was named first-team All-Ivy after starting 34 games and registering a .410 on-base percentage. Datan was especially impressive in the Ivy League Championship Series against Dartmouth, going 4-for-8 at the plate with two runs scored. Over her three seasons in the Red and Blue, Datan has a .285 career batting average and 73 career starts.