Split Has @PUSoftball Tied Atop Ivy South Division
Their first Ivy League weekend behind them, the Princeton softball team finds itself in first place in the Ivy South division. But following Sunday's split with Yale, the top of the division is more crowded than the Tigers would prefer.
Princeton defeated Yale 6-1 in Sunday's opener but fell to the Bulldogs 3-2 in the nightcap, ending their opening Ivy weekend at 3-1 in the league and 17-9 overall. Eight of Princeton's nine losses this season have been by one or two runs.
Both Princeton and Penn are 3-1, with Cornell 1 1/2 games back at 1-2 heading into tomorrow's home game with Brown and Columbia two games back at 1-3.
Yale's win propelled it to the top of the Ivy North division at 3-1 and 7-15 overall, one game in front of Dartmouth and Harvard (2-2) and 2 1/2 in front of Brown (0-3). Still eighty percent of the Ivy season remains to be played before the participants in the Ivy League Championship Series are decided.
Alex Peyton (5-3) was strong in the opener, giving up only two singles and a walk over the first six innings. She lost the shutout in the seventh on an unearned run, but she finished with only five hits and a walk allowed, striking out six.
Princeton's bats tagged the Yale duo of Chelsey Dunham (3-8) and Kristen Leung for 11 hits and six walks, striking out only once. Seven Tigers shared in the bounty, with Rachel Rendina, Lizzy Pierce, Alyssa Schmidt and Nikki Chu each getting two hits. Princeton threatened to end it early and take an eight-run lead, but the Tigers left the bases loaded in each of their last two at-bats.
The hits weren't as plentiful in game two against Rhydian Glass (2-5), who gave up eight hits and a walk without a strikeout, but she left eight Tigers on base while going all eight innings.
Six of those eight Tigers left on base were in scoring position. The Tigers had runners on second and third with two outs in the first inning, but two groundouts spoiled the threat. After tying the game at 2-2 in the fifth, the Tigers had the go-ahead run at second base with one out, but a pop-up and a nice catch by Yale's Tori Balta in centerfield kept it tied.
In the eighth, after Yale had retaken the lead at 3-2 after reaching its first two runners, Princeton did the same but stranded both. A tough break on an attempted bunt by Candy Button saw the ball hit Button after she bunted, resulting in the first out. A groundout moved the tying and winning runs to second and third, but a flyout ended the game and gave Yale the win.
Liza Kuhn (5-3) took the loss in relief of Meredith Brown in game two, as the two Tigers combined to give up 10 hits and walk two, striking out six.
Princeton will host Villanova Tuesday in a single game at the Class of 1895 Field at 4 p.m. before resuming Ivy play at Harvard and Dartmouth next weekend.