It's been a good April so far for the Princeton softball team, which is 6-1 in the month with the one loss by a single run at Yale. But for it to be a truly memorable April, the Tigers will have to keep it going this weekend at Columbia as Ivy South divisional play opens.
All four teams in the division are within a game of each other, with Cornell in first place at 4-2, Penn a game back at 4-3 and Princeton (3-3) and Columbia (4-4) each a game back. Dartmouth (8-0) leads Harvard (3-0) by two and a half games in the Ivy North with Yale seven back and Brown eight back.
Cornell will be at Penn this weekend while Brown will go to Harvard and Yale will be at Dartmouth for the first of three weekends of four-game divisional series.
Saturday at Columbia, 12:30 p.m.: Game 1 Live Stats | Game 2 Live Stats
Sunday at Columbia, 12:30 p.m.: Game 1 Live Stats | Game 2 Live Stats
Here's a look at Princeton and Columbia heading into the weekend:
||Princeton | Stats
Record: 11-18, 3-3 Ivy
Top Two Pitchers: Erica Nori, Fr., 5-5, 1.99 ERA, 63 1/3 IP; Shanna Christian, Jr., 4-7, 4.24 ERA, 62 2/3 IP
.300 Hitters (Starters): Maddie Cousens, Sr., .323 BA
||Columbia | Stats
Record: 15-15, 4-4 Ivy
Top Two Pitchers: Emily Kenyon, So., 5-4, 2.66 ERA, 52 2/3 IP; Brooke Darling, Jr., 7-7, 4.24 ERA, 77 2/3 IP
.300 Hitters (Starters): Alix Cook, Jr., .343 BA; Shelby Unger, Fr., .321 BA; Emily Snodgrass, Sr., .314 BA; Kayla Shimoda, Jr., .313 BA; Liz Caggiano, Jr., .300 BA
The Tigers are 28-12 all-time against Columbia. The teams began playing in 2001, and since the current divisional format began in 2007, Princeton has either won or split six of the seven four-game series. Princeton swept in 2008 and 2009, took three of four in 2010 and 2013, split in 2007 and 2012, and Columbia won three of four in 2011.
Princeton had four senior starters in last year's series against Columbia and graduated the starting pitchers of three of the four games. Shanna Christian started the second game of the series, outdueling Columbia's Brooke Darling in a nine-inning game. Darling is a junior this year on a team that has just one senior.
All 19 Tigers, including all five freshmen, have had a start this season, and all four pitchers on the staff have recorded a win.
The Columbia weekend comes in the midst of a busy stretch for the Tigers, who'll have only a single day away from competition before hosting Harvard for a make-up doubleheader Tuesday and heading to Lehigh for a pair Wednesday. Next weekend, Princeton will be home to Penn for four games.