Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications The Tigers will host Cornell for four games this weekend.
Cornell will come to the Class of 1895 Field Saturday and Sunday for four games against the Princeton softball team that will help decide the Ivy South title. The games will also be the final contests at '95 Field for Princeton's two seniors, Kelsey VandeBergh and Nicole Ontiveros.
Cornell and Penn enter the weekend tied atop the Ivy South at 11-5 in Ivy League play. Princeton remains alive at 8-8, but will need a weekend sweep and either three or four wins from Columbia in its series against Penn to come away with the Ivy South crown.
Here is how Princeton's season would be extended:
• Sweep Cornell and see Columbia sweep four from Penn. That would put Princeton at 12-8 in the Ivy, Cornell at 11-9, and Penn at 11-9.
• Sweep Cornell and see Columbia take 3 of 4 from Penn. That would put Princeton and Penn at 12-8 in the Ivy, setting up a one-game playoff at Penn next weekend for the Ivy South title.
Should Penn and Cornell each win the same number of games this weekend (other than zero), those two teams would play a one-game playoff at Penn next weekend for the Ivy South title. The Quakers would have the right to host any such playoff since it took 3 of 4 each from Cornell and Princeton this season.
As the schedule is mapped out, the Tigers' chances might be ended before they throw a pitch, as Penn hosts Columbia Friday at 2:30 p.m. for a pair. If Penn sweeps the day, Princeton wouldn't be able to match Penn's win total. The Quakers and Lions will finish their series Saturday.
Whichever team comes out of the Ivy South will head to Harvard for the Ivy League Championship Series, as the Crimson already have 15 wins and have clinched the Ivy North. Even if Penn or Cornell sweep and Harvard goes winless this weekend, the Crimson have the next tiebreaker with either Ivy South team. Harvard swept Penn, and if Cornell wins, the Crimson have the better record against the next-best Ivy team in the standings, which would be Penn.
If there is an Ivy South playoff, it would bump the ILCS back one weekend to May 11-12.
The Tigers (14-28) enter the weekend with VandeBergh as the team's top hitter at .328, while juniors Alex Peyton (6-12, 3.61) and Liza Kuhn (6-11, 3.77) anchor the pitching staff.
Cornell (20-20) will face its crosstown Division III foe Ithaca College Thursday for a pair before making the trip south to Princeton. Senior Morgan Cawley (.321) and junior Kristen Towne (.318) are the team's top hitters, with Towne leading the Ivy in doubles (12) and sophomore teammate Jenny Edwards co-leading the Ivy at eight home runs. In the circle, sophomore Alyson Onyon (10-4, 3.47) and senior Jenna Stoller (2-10, 4.59) have handled most of the pitching for the Big Red. The game will be a bit of a homecoming for a few Big Red players, as Cawley is from Yardley, Pa., and prepped at the Hun School in Princeton, while senior Erica Gaeta went to nearby Hunterdon Central High and sophomore Sam Creamer shares an alma mater with Princeton freshman Sarah McGowan, Neshaminy High just across the Delaware River in Neshaminy, Pa.