@PUSoftball Sweeps First Twinbill at Cornell Since '05
The race for the Ivy South division title may be over, but the superlatives continue to grow for the Princeton softball team as it plays its final weekend of the 2013 season.
The Tigers swept a doubleheader from Cornell in Ithaca for the first time since 2005 Saturday, winning game one 3-1 and game two 7-5 in 10 innings.
With the sweep, Princeton is 26-18 overall and 11-7 in the Ivy League. The 26 wins are Princeton's most since 2006, when the Tigers were 34-19, and the 11 Ivy wins are the Tigers' most since 2008, when they set a league record by going 18-2.
Princeton hit five home runs on the day, two of those in the opener. The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the third on a two-run home run by Lizzy Pierce and made it 3-0 with a solo shot from Candy Button the next inning.
Cornell (19-25, 7-11) got one back in the seventh to spoil the shutout. The Big Red put a runner on third with a catcher's interference call and two groundouts, and used Leanne Iannucci's pinch-hit single to get on the board. It was one of only two hits Alex Peyton (8-7) gave up, the other coming on a Jenny Edwards double to lead off the bottom of the fourth.
Princeton had to score in two of the three extra innings in the second game to get the win, pulling ahead for the final time in the 10th by reaching the two leadoff hitters, Danielle Allen and Rachel Rendina, on a double and a single before moving them around the bases as each scored on groundouts.
After that, Shanna Christian (10-5) closed out the win in relief, allowing Cornell to get runners on first and second with a single and a walk and one out, but got a pair of flyouts to end it.
Peyton hit two home runs in the nightcap, one in the fifth and one in the seventh, to turn a 3-1 game into a 3-3 tie just in time as the Tigers were able to extend it to extras. Allen had the fifth home run of the day for Princeton, her first for the Tigers as a freshman, to give the team a 5-3 lead in the eighth before Cornell clawed back.
With the wins, Princeton coach Lisa Sweeney became the winningest first-year head coach in program history as the team's fifth head coach in its 32 varsity seasons. She will finish with the second-best first-year winning percentage, now .591, behind the team's first head coach, Diane Schumacher (12-7, .706) in 1982.
Peyton's home runs, the 10th and 11th of the season, made her the seventh Tiger in program history to hit at least 10 home runs in a season. She stands fifth on the Princeton home run list with 24 with the four players ahead of her all reaching the 30 home run mark.
Sunday's season-ending doubleheader in Ithaca will begin at 12:30 p.m.