PRINCETON, N.J. -- The final weekend of regular season was action-packed with twists and turns, especially in the South Division where Penn essentially posted two sets of wins, only to see the Big Red fight off elimination time and time again versus a resilient Princeton team. When it was all said and done, Penn and Cornell posted weekend sweeps and will now clash in a one-game playoff for the right to represent the South Division in the 2012 Ivy League Championship Series. It will be the first one-game playoff in League history.
How Penn and Cornell moved from 11-5 entering the weekend to 15-5 after the weekend is where the drama lies. The Quakers played host to a pair of games on Friday and took both from South Division foe Columbia by scores of 5-1 and 9-1. The Quakers and Lions then headed to New York to finish their four-game set the following day and again Penn posted a sweep, winning 8-2 and 11-1.
Thus, part of the way through game one, Cornell was already in a position where it had to sweep four games at Princeton (beginning with two on Saturday) to force the one-game playoff. In game one versus the Tigers, Kristen Towne's two-out single in the 14th inning staked Cornell to a lead and Alyson Onyon closed Princeton out as the Big Red won the longest game in program history, 2-1. The game also tied for the second-longest game in Princeton history. Cornell then took the second game on Saturday, 6-4. On Sunday, Cornell won game one in 10 innings, also by the score of 2-1. Lauren Bucolo led the Big Red to the win when she plated the go-ahead run with a two-out double in the 10th. In the series finale, the Big Red took a 6-0 win to force the playoff.
The Quakers and Big Red will play one game on Saturday, May 5 to determine who will then play at Harvard on May 11-12 in the Ivy League Championship Series. The playoff will take place at 12:30 p.m. at Penn Park. The game will be played at Penn because the Quakers took three of four from the Big Red when they played earlier this season. The North and South Division format dates back to 2007, and this marks the first time two teams in the same division have finsihed with identical Ivy records.
Harvard finished with a 17-3 Ivy record and clinched the North Division for the third-consecutive season and the fifth time overall. The Crimson will play host to the Ivy League Championship Series for the second year in a row. Dartmouth did earn a split with the Crimson over the weekend to prevent Harvard of tying or surpassing the best record in Ivy play since switching to divisional play (two teams have finished 18-2).
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Penn junior Brooke Coloma (Martinez, Calif.) led a Quaker offense that outscored its opposition by a 36-7 margin last week while posting a 5-0 record, including a four-game sweep of Columbia that enabled Penn to tie for the South Division title. She had a hit in all four games versus Columbia, including six hits in Saturday's two games. Coloma also had an RBI in all four Ivy games, and totaled eight for the weekend. She scored four runs versus the Lions while batting .615 and slugging 1.154 with two home runs.
It marks Coloma's first career Ivy League Player of the Week honor, though she was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week three times as a freshman (April 6, April 27 and May 4, 2010).
Coloma's Weekly Stats
5GP, 16 AB, 4 R, 8 H, 1 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, .500 Avg., .529 OBP, .938 Slg.%
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Cornell's Alyson Onyon (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) was nothing short of exceptional, going 3-0 with a 0.45 ERA while pitching 31.0 innings in three complete game victories. She surrendered just 18 hits in the 31 innings, all singles, and improved to 9-1 in Ivy play this season.
Onyon opened the weekend by pitching a school-record 14 innings in a 2-1 victory over Princeton on Saturday. She gave up eight hits while striking out six. She was just as good, if not better, in Sunday's must-win doubleheaders on the road. The sophomore pitched a pair of complete games over 17 innings, allowing just 13 base runners and one earned run in two games. She posted her second-consecutive exra-inning complete game with a 10-inning five-hitter as part of another 2-1 triumph. She only needed to work seven innings in the Ivy League South Division clincher for her third shutout of the year. She scattered five hits.
Onyon enticed 17 ground ball outs back to her, including a school-record 10 assists in Saturday's 14-inning win. She only allowed the leadoff runner to reach base six times in her 31 innings and held opponents to 5-of-33 hitting with runners on base. It is the first weekly Ivy League honor of Onyon's career and she is the Big Red's first Pitcher of the Week in 2012.
Onyon's Weekly Stats
0.45 ERA, 3-0, 3 App., 3 GS, 3 CG, 31.0 IP, 18 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 9 BB, 13 K
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Penn freshman pitcher Alexis Borden (Yorba Linda, Calif.) posted five wins last week, including four complete game victories over Columbia that helped the Quakers take a share of the South Division title.
Borden pitched four innings of relief against Delaware on Wednesday to earn the win. She then pitched every inning of Penn's 4-0 weekend against Columbia. She allowed just one earned run in three of the Ivy games, and two in the other. All told, she allowed 23 hits and struck out 23 in her 28 total innings of work. She tossed a two-hitter and four-hitter versus Columbia in run-rule games. It is the fourth time she has been named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week this season (March 13, March 20, April 17). She was also named the League's Pitcher of the Week on April 3.
1.25 ERA, 5-0, 5 App., 4 GS, 4 CG, 28.0 IP, 23 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 23 K
Hillary Barker, Dartmouth (Sr., P - Duvall, Wash.)
3.63 ERA, 1-2, 3 App., 3 GS, 2 CG, 17.1 IP, 16 H, 12 R, 9 ER, 4 BB, 10 K
5GP, 10 AB, 4 H, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, .400 Avg., .417 OBP, .500 Slg.%
Rachel Brown, Harvard (Sr., P - San Diego)
1.27 ERA, 2-1, 4 App., 3 GS, 22.0 IP, 13 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 7 BB, 30 K
Clare Feely, Cornell (Fr., SS - Champaign, Ill.)
5GP, 17 AB, 4 R, 8 H, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, .471 Avg., .500 OBP, .529 Slg.%
Alison Lam, Columbia (Jr., OF - South San Francisco, Calif.)
4GP, 9 AB, 4 H, .444 Avg., .444 OBP, .444 Slg.%
Kasey Lange, Harvard (So., INF - Ladera Ranch, Calif.)
5GP, 15 AB, 4 R, 6 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, .400 Avg., .438 OBP, .733 Slg.%
Kristen Leung, Yale (So., P - Manhasset, N.Y.)
2.80 ERA, 1-2, 3 App., 3 GS, 3 CG, 20.0 IP, 21 H, 10 R, 8 ER, 8 BB, 4 K
Christy Nelson, Yale (Jr., 3B - San Diego)
6GP, 15 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 6 BB, 1 K, .467 Avg., .619 OBP, .800 Slg.%
Danielle Palms, Brown (So., OF - Smithfield, R.I.)
5GP, 19 AB, 3 R, 8 H, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K, .421 Avg., .421 OBP, .474 Slg.%
Alex Peyton, Princeton (Jr., P/1B - Fullerton, Calif.)
3.00 ERA, 0-3, 4 App., 3 GS, 2 CG, 28.0 IP, 30 H, 13 R, 12 ER, 6 BB, 11 K
Kristen Rumley, Dartmouth (Fr., P - Katy, Texas)
3.00 ERA, 1-2, 3 App., 3 GS, 3 CG, 21.0 IP, 19 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 2 BB, 30 K
Sydney Turchin, Penn (Fr., OF - Princeton Junction, N.J.)
5GP, 19 AB, 6 R, 9 H, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 0 K, .474 Avg., .474 OBP, .579 Slg.%
Brown junior infielder Stephanie Thompson is fourth in the nation in batting average through games played on April 29 with a .477 mark. Sam Fischer of Loyola Marymount is first with a .492 average. Thompson's on-base percentage of .571 ranks sixth and she is also the fourth-toughest batter in the nation to strikeout, as she has just two strikeouts in 107 at bats.
Harvard senior pitcher Rachel Brown checks in at sixth nationally with a 9.7 strikeouts per seven innings average, while she ranks third with a 3.78 hits per seven innings mark.
Dartmouth freshman pitcher Kristen Rumley ranks 12th with a 9.1 strikeouts per seven innings and her 0.97 walks per seven innings is the 10th-best mark in the country. Big Red senior Lauren Marx ranks tied for seventh in the nation with five saves on the year.
A New Home
Dartmouth Athletic Director Harry Sheehy along with head softball coach announced that the Dartmouth Softball Park, an on-campus facility, would play host to the team's home opener on Friday, April 6, which turned out to be a 1-0 win over Penn.
The $3.1 million project includes wrap around seating for 400 fans, sunken dugouts, bullpens, batting cages, press box, scoreboard and an artificial FieldTurf playing surface with superior drainage capacity. The team will use a locker room, training room and public restrooms that are already located within the Chase Field Complex. The new Dartmouth Softball Park will also have the capability to live stream all home softball games.
Ivy Title Talk
Dating back to 1980, the first season of Ivy League softball play, six Ivy teams have combined for 35 titles in the 32 seasons of play. Yale won the inaugural title in 1980, while Princeton leads the League with 17 titles. Cornell, Brown and Harvard each have five titles, followed by Yale (2) and Penn (1). In 2010, Cornell prevailed in Game 3 of the Championship Series over Harvard, 3-2, for its second title in as many seasons, before Harvard halted that streak by sweeping the Big Red in 2011.
The softball championship series, which pits the regular season champions of the North and South Divisions against each other, began in 2007. That season, Harvard defeated Penn in consecutive games to win the first Ivy League Championship Series. The Cimson have now represented the North in five of the six League Championships series (all but 2009 when Dartmouth won the North Divison).
Ivy League Championship Series History
2007 -- Harvard (North) vs. Penn (South)
Game One: Harvard def. Penn, 4-0
Game Two: Harvard def. Penn, 4-2
Harvard wins series, 2-0 (Soldier Softball Field // Cambridge, Mass.)
2008 -- Harvard (North) vs. Princeton (South)
Game One: Princeton def. Harvard, 4-2
Game Two: Princeton def. Harvard, 5-1
Princeton wins series, 2-0 (Class of 1895 Field // Princeton, N.J.)
2009 -- Dartmouth (North) vs. Cornell (South)
Game One: Cornell def. Dartmouth, 4-0
Game Two: Dartmouth def. Cornell, 5-1
Game Three: Cornell def. Dartmouth, 6-1
Cornell wins series, 2-1 (at Niemand*Robison Field // Ithaca, N.Y.)
2010 -- Harvard (North) vs. Cornell (South)
Game One: Cornell def. Harvard, 3-1
Game Two: Harvard def. Cornell, 4-2
Game Three: Cornell def. Harvard, 3-2
Cornell wins series, 2-1 (at Niemand*Robison Field // Ithaca, N.Y.)
2011 -- Harvard (North) vs. Cornell (South)
Game One: Harvard def. Cornell, 5-0
Game Two: Harvard def. Cornell, 4-0
Harvard wins series, 2-0 (at Soldiers Field // Cambridge, Mass.)
2012 -- Harvard (North) vs. TBD (South)
(at Soldiers Field // Cambridge, Mass.)
The 17-Ivy Win Plateau
Since the Ivy schedule format change in 2007, a team has finished with 17 or more League wins six times and won its division on each of those six occasions. In 2008, Princeton set the record with an 18-2 mark en route to claiming the South Division title. In 2009, Cornell became the second team to crack the 17-Ivy win plateau with a 17-3 record to take the South Division. Then in 2010, both the North (Harvard) and South (Cornell) Division winners reached 17-wins. In 2011, Harvard tied for the most League wins all-time at 18-2 while becoming the fifth squad to win at least 17 Ivy games and win its division. The Crimson have followed up with a 17-3 mark in 2012.
College Sports Madness Honorees
College Sports Madness names National Players of the Week for NCAA Division I softball and the website also selects Players of the Week for 30 conferences, including the Ivy League:
March 5 - Stephanie Thompson, Brown
March 12 - Rachel Brown, Harvard
March 19 - Kasey Lange, Harvard
March 26 - Georgia Guttadauro, Penn
April 2 - Alexis Borden, Penn
April 9 - Lauren Bucolo, Cornell
April 16 - Kasey Lange, Harvard
April 23 - Rachel Brown, Harvard
April 30 - Alexis Borden, Penn
2012 IVY LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
March 6 - Kasey Lange (Harvard)
March 13 - Alyssa Schmidt (Princeton)
March 20 - Jane Alexander (Harvard)
March 27 - Stephanie Thompson (Brown)
April 3 - Stephanie Thompson (Brown)
April 10 - Kasey Lange (Harvard)
April 17 - Kasey Lange (Harvard)
April 24 - Georgia Guttadauro (Penn)
May 1 - Brooke Coloma (Penn)
2012 IVY LEAGUE PITCHERS OF THE WEEK
March 6 - Rachel Brown (Harvard)
March 13 - Rachel Brown (Harvard)
March 20 - Rachel Brown (Harvard)
March 27 - Laura Ricciardone (Harvard)
April 3 - Alexis Borden (Penn)
April 10 - Liza Kuhn (Princeton)
April 17 - Rachel Brown (Harvard)
April 24 - Rachel Brown (Harvard)
May 1 - Alyson Onyon (Cornell)
2012 IVY LEAGUE ROOKIES OF THE WEEK
March 6 - Liz Caggiano (Columbia)
March 13 - Alexis Borden (Penn)
March 20 - Alexis Borden (Penn)
March 27 - Kristen Rumley (Dartmouth)
April 3 - Brooke Darling (Columbia)
April 10 - Linda Laeufer (Cornell)
April 17 - Alexis Borden (Penn)
April 24 - Liz Caggiano (Columbia)
May 1 - Alexis Borden (Penn)
2012 HONOR ROLLS
March 6 - Meredith Brown (Princeton), Kara Curosh (Dartmouth) Jenny Edwards (Cornell), Alyson Onyon (Cornell), Kristen Rumley (Dartmouth), Stephanie Thompson (Brown), Sydney Turchin (Penn), Kelsey Vandebergh (Princeton).
March 20 - Tori Balta (Yale), Jennifer Bergeron (Columbia), Kara Curosh (Dartmouth), Kayla Dahlerbruch (Penn), Evan Gray (Dartmouth), Liza Kuhn (Princeton), Nicole Ontiveros (Princeton), Rachel Rendina (Princeton), Kalli Schultea (Columbia), Kate Strobel (Brown).
March 27 - Alexis Borden (Penn), Trista Chavez (Brown), Alix Cook (Columbia), Maddie Cousens (Princeton), Kara Curosh (Dartmouth), Brooke Darling (Columbia), Georgia Guttadauro (Penn), Meg Johnson (Yale), Linda Laeufer (Cornell), Lauren Marx (Cornell), Shelby Olson (Harvard), Emily Snodgrass (Columbia).
April 3 - Jane Alexander (Harvard), Katherine Applebe (Harvard), Lauren Bucolo (Cornell), Trista Chavez (Brown), Morgan Cook (Columbia), Kat Hicks (Dartmouth), Jessica Melendez (Penn), Christy Nelson (Yale), Sarah Onorato (Yale), Alex Peyton (Princeton), Jenna Stoller (Cornell), Sydney Turchin (Penn).
April 10 - Alix Cook (Columbia), Kayla Dahlerbruch (Penn), Brooke Darling (Columbia), Meg Johnson (Yale), Erin Keene (Cornell), Katherine Lantz (Harvard), Tristin Moone (Columbia), Alex Peyton (Princeton), Noelle Ramirez (Dartmouth), Laura Ricciardone (Harvard), Kristen Rumley (Dartmouth), Kate Strobel (Brown).
April 17 - Hillary Barker (Dartmouth), Meredith Brown (Princeton), Maddie Cousens (Princeton), Emily Gusse (Harvard), Jessica Melendez (Penn), Tristin Moone (Columbia), Christy Nelson (Yale), Kate Strobel (Brown), Kristen Towne (Cornell).
April 24 - Alexis Borden (Penn), Brooke Darling (Columbia), Chelsey Dunham (Yale), Britta McOmber (Dartmouth), Alex Peyton (Princeton), Kristen Rumley (Dartmouth), Allison Scott (Harvard), Kayla Shimoda (Columbia), Stephanie Thompson (Brown), Kelsey Vandebergh (Princeton).
May 1 - Hillary Barker (Dartmouth), Rachel Brown (Harvard), Clare Feely (Cornell), Alison Lam (Columbia), Kasey Lange (Harvard), Kristen Leung (Yale), Christy Nelson (Yale), Danielle Palms (Brown), Alex Peyton (Princeton), Kristen Rumley (Dartmouth), Sydney Turchin (Penn).