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Game-Winning Home Run, Nightcap Rout Highlight Friday for @PUSoftball

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 03/15/2013
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Nikki Chu had the game-winning home run for Princeton against Hampton.
Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications

A game-winning home run from Nikki Chu to beat Hampton 6-5 and a five-inning, 21-3 rout of Coppin State highlighted a Friday sweep for the Princeton softball team in Baltimore.

With the two wins, the Tigers are now 8-3 on the season for their best record through 11 games since 2005, when the team was also 8-3 11 games in.

In the opener, Princeton trailed only early against Hampton (11-17) but saw a one-run lead slip away in the seventh. Shanna Christian, who came in to get the final out of the top of the sixth inning, had two errors behind her and hit a batter, the second error leading to the game-tying run.

Chu then led off the bottom of the seventh with her first home run of the season, giving the Tigers the 6-5 win.

Lizzy Pierce and Alyssa Schmidt each drove in a pair of runs in the opener, and Candy Button led Princeton by going 2 for 3. In the circle, Liza Kuhn went the first 5 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits and five walks while striking out five and earning two of the four runs during her tenure. Christian didn't give up a hit or a walk in her 1 1/3 innings in the circle, striking out three for her third win of the season.

In the nightcap, Christian (4-1) took the ball from the start and settled in after a three-run first inning that included an error behind her, a walk and a double that was Coppin State's only hit of the game.

Seven Tigers co-led the team with three hits against Coppin State (5-6), and Alex Peyton had seven RBI with two of the team's four home runs. Emily Viggers homered as well, and Button followed up her home run in the first game with another in the second. Pierce and Schmidt joined Button and Chu with home runs in Friday's opener against Hampton.

Christian threw the first four innings against Coppin State and Peyton got the Eagles in order in the fifth to seal the win.

Princeton will head to UMBC Saturday for games against Hampton and host UMBC with the first game at 2:25 p.m. and the second game to follow.

Postgame notes

• The Tigers have won five in a row for the first time since 2009. If Princeton continues the winning streak, it would be the program's longest since winning eight in a row twice during the 2008 season.

• The 21 runs Princeton scored against Coppin State represented Princeton's highest run total in a single game since throttling Drexel 21-2 in a five-inning game in 1995.

• The Tigers have out-homered their foes 14-3 this season. No one Tiger has more than three home runs (Alex Peyton), as 10 Princeton players have already left the yard this season.

• Princeton is hitting .346 as a team. Nine players are batting better than .300 for the team, and Alyssa Schmidt (.513) leads the team with 20 hits. Kayla Bose is hitting .571 with 12 hits in 21 at-bats.

• Princeton's team ERA is 2.32, considerably stronger than its opponents' ERA of 5.92.

• Shanna Christian is holding opposing hitters to a .135 average. Alex Peyton is almost as stingy, holding batters to a .198 average.

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