For the second time in three years the William Penn softball team will head to Decatur, Alabama to play in the NAIA National Championship. The Lady Statesmen advanced over the weekend by winning a regional in Illinois.

Penn coach Mike Christner led the school to the 2005 national tournament, a team that was led by his daughter and current assistant coach Steph Christner. He feels this is a better team than they had two years ago, as he says the earlier team lived on Steph’s pitching.

There are a few players left from the 2005 club and they have some experience to know what to expect. The tournament opens on Friday with the first of two days of pool play.

Three years ago they decided that every team would get a chance to play four games, so top two teams in each five team pool go into a final eight double elimination. Among the teams in the pool with the Lady Statesmen is third ranked Point Loma Nazarene of California.