Both at 5-3 in the Ivy League and two games back of division-leading Cornell with 12 to play, Princeton and Penn will meet this weekend at the Class of 1895 Field for four games to help decide the Ivy South race.
Saturday's and Sunday's doubleheaders will each start at 12:30 p.m. Meanwhile, Cornell will host Columbia (3-5 Ivy) for four over the weekend as the Big Red look to retain divisional control. Princeton will go to Columbia next weekend, while Penn will host Cornell. The Tigers will host Cornell in two weekends, while Penn and Columbia will split hosting four games.
Penn has had control of the series with Princeton in recent years, pulling off a four-game sweep in Philadelphia last year after going 3-1 against the Tigers in 2009 in Philadelphia and again in 2010 at Princeton. The teams began playing four games a season against each other in 2007, and Princeton went 2-2 against Penn that season and 3-1 in the Ivy League championship season of 2008.
While Penn enters with a 20-13 overall record compared to Princeton's 11-20, the Tigers have been the hotter team of late. Princeton won three of four against Yale and Brown last weekend, adding a twinbill sweep of La Salle Thursday, while Dartmouth and Harvard combined to take three of four from Penn last weekend.
Penn freshman Sydney Turchin leads the team at the plate, hitting .327, while sophomore Kayla Dahlerbruch and junior Jessica Melendez each have five of the team's 15 home runs. The Tigers figure to see sophomore Mikenzie Voves and freshman Alexis Borden in the circle this weekend, with the pair having thrown 183 2/3 of the team's 218 2/3 innings. Borden has the top numbers in the Ivy with a 12-4 record and 1.43 ERA, striking out an average of just better than a batter per inning with 114 Ks. Voves enters the weekend at 6-5 with a 2.59 ERA.
After hitting two home runs against La Salle, Princeton junior Alex Peyton enters the weekend leading the Ivy League in that category, with seven. Senior Nicole Ontiveros continues to lead Princeton in batting average at .327, one of four Tigers hitting .315 or better along with Peyton, Alyssa Schmidt and Kelsey VandeBergh. In the circle, junior Liza Kuhn is 5-8 with a 3.25 ERA, while Peyton is 4-8 with a 3.90 ERA and freshman Meredith Brown is 2-4 with a 4.03 ERA. Kuhn (88 1/3) and Peyton (79) have combined to throw 167 1/3 of the team's 207 1/3 innings.