Softball Takes on Villanova Wednesday

PHILADELPHIA - After the weather continues to force changes in the schedule, Penn Softball now returns to Warren Field on Wednesday after a pair of seventh inning comebacks against Dartmouth to come away with two wins in the opening weekend of Ivy League play. The Quakers (10-11, 2-2 Ivy) will now take on Villanova at 3 p.m. in a mid-week non-conference double header. Villanova (12-18, 2-4 Big East) comes into this cross-town matchup after taking one of three games against Georgetown in Big East Conference play this weekend.

Saint Joseph's is the only team that has played both Penn and Villanova to date. Villanova split with Saint Joseph's in a pair of tight games just over a week ago. Penn was unable to come away with a victory against Saint Joseph's after dropping a close 5-2 game in the first game against the Hawks.

In the circle, Villanova is paced by Molly Manning and Caitlyn Delahaba. These two have combined to pitch over 90 percent of the team's total innings. Manning will come into Tuesday with an ERA of 2.80 over 75 innings, allowing right around a hit per inning. Delahaba comes in with an ERA of 3.30 and has allowed less than a hit per inning. She also has 103 strikeouts through 108.1 innings.

For the Wildcat offense, Kristi Burlin is leading the team in batting average, runs, and home runs. She is batting .301 with three home runs, while having scored 13 times this season. Valerie Ortega is the team leader in RBI's with 16. On the base paths, Jaime O'Hara already has stolen eight bases in nine attempts and Shannon O'Brien also has five stolen bases.

The Quakers are currently leading the Ivy League in batting average, slugging, and on base percentage on their way to a league-best five runs per game. Defensively, Penn is also tied for the third-best fielding percentage in the Ivies.

Alisha Prystowsky is currently fourth in the Ivy League in on base percentage, while also being tied for second in the league in triples with teammate Elysse Gorney. Stephanie Caso also finds herself in the top-five in runs scored this season with 16.

Pitching wise, Mikenzie Voves is tied for third in the Ivies in victories with six, while Taylor Tieman and Cailyn Hennessy are both ranked in the top-five in fewest total runs and hits allowed among qualifying pitchers. In the games against La Salle and Dartmouth this weekend, Tieman allowed just one run over nine innings, while preserving the victory against La Salle and picking up the win in game two over Dartmouth. Voves held the Harvard offense to just two runs in game one of the doubleheader, while Hennessy held Harvard to just one run through the first three innings of the second game.

Five regulars are batting over .300 for Penn. Prystowsky leads the team in batting average at .362 with Gorney just a point behind her. Brooke Coloma and Kayla Dahlerbruch are both hitting .328, while Caso is hitting .317. Splitting time in the outfield with Jessica Melendez and Bridget Ellsworth, Kristen Johnson is batting .444 in the 12 games she has seen action. None of her hits were bigger than her three-run home run this past weekend against Dartmouth which sent game two into extra innings.

After the dramatic opening weekend in the Ivy League, Penn is currently tied with Princeton for second place in the Ivy League South. The Quakers are just one game out of the top spot as Cornell went 3-1 in its first four games. Penn will get back into the Ivy League schedule this weekend as the team travels to Yale on Friday and Brown on Saturday.

For fans unable to make the game on Wednesday, Live Stats and a Live Blog will both be available to follow the action from Warren Field.