Softball Takes on Columbia this Weekend

PHILADELPHIA - Needing to close the gap on Cornell to extend the season, Penn will take part in a home and home contest this weekend against Columbia. On Friday, the Quakers (15-19-1, 6-8 Ivy) will travel to Columbia (16-25, 6-10 Ivy) for a 2 p.m. doubleheader and the two teams will come back to Philadelphia on Saturday for the second doubleheader of the weekend that will also begin at 2 p.m.

Columbia has a busy final weekend to close out the regular season. The Lions will be in action Thursday against Fairleigh Dickinson before the team finishes up its regular season against Penn this weekend. Pitching has been a major catalyst in Columbia's recent victories as the team has won seven of its last eight. Maggie Johnson has an ERA of 2.04 and is coming off Ivy League Pitcher of the Week honors. Prophet Gaspard boasts an ERA of 2.49 to go along with 12 wins this season. Both pitchers are allowing less than one hit per inning. Columbia's pitching has an Ivy League low 2.34 ERA this season.

Offensively, Emily Caruthers is batting a team-high .343. Anne Marie Skylis is batting .339 with 22 runs and 20 RBI's this season. Emily Snodgrass is third in the team in batting with a .297 average. In addition to her work in the circle, Johnson has added five home runs to the Lions offense this season.

For Penn, five seniors will be playing their final contests at Warren Field. This year's senior class has won at least 10 Ivy League games each of its first three seasons and has been a part of 75 victories over its four years at Penn. This group was also freshman when Penn posted a program-high 26 victories during the 2008 season.

Elizabeth Madara has been a member of the team for just the past two seasons, but will earn her college degree early and graduate with the other four members of the senior class. She has played in 17 games during her two years, starting five. This season, she is batting .333 with five RBI's. Against Rider, Madara went 2-3 with a double, while also driving in the game winning runs in game two.

Alisha Prystowsky graduates Penn as one of the most decorated players in Penn history. Coming into the final games of her career, Prystowsky has twice been named First-Team All-Ivy and earned second-team honors in her other year. She has started every game of her Penn career and ranks in the top five in every major offensive category in Penn history. She is the programs all-time leader in RBI's, while also being tied for the all-time lead in doubles. She has also scored the second most runs in Penn history and ranks third in hits, triples, and home runs entering the weekend.

Tory Satagaj has pitched in 30 games during her Penn career, starting 13. She picked up her first collegiate victory against IPFW during her freshman season. This year, she pitched 3.2 innings against the University of Detroit and did not allow an earned run in that outing. She has also pitched against Loyola, allowing just one hit, and Brown this season.

Taylor Tieman has played in 124 games during her time at Penn, starting 109. As a freshman, Tieman earned Honorable Mention All-Ivy in the field, slamming six home runs during her rookie campaign. Used exclusively as a pitcher this season, Tieman has posted 11 career victories in the circle with two wins coming this season. The first win this year was against Detroit when she went 3.1 innings and did not allow a run. Her second win came against Dartmouth in which she threw seven innings in relief, allowing just one run during that span after Penn surrendered seven in the first inning. The Penn offense rallied from down 8-2 to comeback with a walk-off victory in that game.

Kelsey Wolfe has played in 152 games during her four years, starting 145. Currently she ranks fifth all-time in career RBI's at Penn and is just outside of the top-10 in total runs scored. She is tied for seventh in career at bats and eighth in hits coming into this weekend. This year, Wolfe doubled her career home run total when she went deep twice against Robert Morris during the Rebel Spring Games. She has played in all but seven games this season, starting 29 with the majority of her action at first base.

If Penn is able to finish the weekend within two games of Cornell, the Quakers and Big Red will make up the second doubleheader that was postponed last weekend at some point next week. Currently, Penn is three games out of the South Division lead. Cornell will take on Princeton in the other four game series in the South Division.

Live Stats will be available for all four games this weekend. A Live Blog will also be available for the games at Penn.