Softball to Visit Columbia for Four Friday, Saturday
In what will be a pivotal weekend in the Ivy League South divisional race, the Princeton softball team will head to the northern tip of Manhattan for four games Friday at 2:30 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 against Columbia.
The Tigers are still very much alive in the Ivy South race, but margin for error is slim. Cornell leads the division at 10-2, two games ahead of Penn at 8-4. Princeton is two games behind the Quakers at 6-6. Penn and Cornell go head-to-head this weekend for four games in Philadelphia, also on Friday and Saturday.
Before ending its regular season with nine straight games against New York-based teams, the Tigers went heavy on Pennsylvania-based opponents and will look to rebound. Princeton enters the weekend having dropped its last four, two at Lehigh and two to Penn. The Lions have dropped three straight since taking a win in their four-game series against Cornell last weekend.
Princeton (12-25) enters the weekend with freshman Alyssa Schmidt as its top hitter at .319, with junior Alex Peyton's seven home runs tied with three others for the Ivy League lead through Wednesday. In the circle, Peyton and classmate Liza Kuhn are both 5-10, Peyton with a 3.67 ERA and Kuhn at 3.68. Meredith Brown, who has started games in Princeton's last three non-conference twinbills, is 2-5 with a 3.71 ERA.
The Lions (10-25, 4-8) count junior Jennifer Bergeron, one of three players to start all 35 games so far, as their top regular hitter at .302 while sophomore Tristin Moone, who has made 16 starts, is hitting .333 with a team-best four home runs. A pair of freshmen, Kalli Schultea (3-12, 4.00) and Brooke Darling (7-12, 4.04), have thrown all but 21 of the team's 216 innings. The Lions also boast two players high up in the NCAA statistical rankings, with freshman Alix Cook as the 14th toughest player to strike out in Division I, having fanned just three times in 100 at bats. Sophomore Emily Snodgrass is 16th in doubles per game with one every three contests.
After Columbia, Princeton will head back to the Empire State for a single game Tuesday at Hofstra before hosting Cornell next weekend at the Class of 1895 Field.