PRINCETON, N.J. -- Six of the League's eight teams were in action last week and spring break tournament trips were in full effect for several of the squads. Penn and Harvard led the Ivies with strong weeks, as the Quakers went 7-1 at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimee, Fla., and the Crimson posted a perfect 5-0 mark at the Cal State Northridge Classic.
Penn opened the Rebel Spring Games with a six-game win streak that included victories over Sacred Heart, Indiana State, South Dakota (two), Detroit and Holy Cross. Harvard's five-game sweep included two victories over hosts Cal State Northridge, as well as wins against Cal State Bakersfield, Oregon State and Maine.
Yale opened its 2012 season last week at the Rebel Spring Games and posted wins over South Dakota, St. Francis and Lehigh. Cornell earned a second-consecutive weekend split at George Mason, this time with a pair of wins over Hartford. Columbia embarked on the first leg of its spring trip with a quick three-game set at Towson before heading south to join the fray at the Rebel Spring Games this week. Lastly, Princeton played a five-game set at the Maryland Invitational that culminated in a 9-4 win over Rhode Island. Dartmouth and Brown had the week off.
Player of the Week
Princeton freshman infielder Alyssa Schmidt (Rocklin, Calif.) had an impressive week at the plate en route to claiming Player of the Week honors. She recorded at least two hits in all four games in which she had an at-bat and went 10-for-16 (.625) at the plate. She hit a double in Friday's game versus Kent State and added a home run in Princeton's 9-4 win over Rhode Island on Sunday. She drove in a total of three runs over the weekend.
Schmidt was perfect in the field in 19 chances and only struck out once in 16 at-bats while also drawing two walks. She is the first Princeton's first Ivy League Player of the Week since Kelsey VandeBergh earned the honor on March 22.
Schmidt's Weekly Stats
5 GP, 16 AB, 4 R, 10 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, .625 Avg., .667 OBP, .875 Slg.%
Pitcher of the Week
Harvard senior Rachel Brown (San Diego) continued her hot start to the 2012 season with three wins at the Cal State Northridge Classic, helping the Crimson to a perfect 5-0 record at the tournament. The senior, who was the Ivy League's Pitcher of the Year In 2011, hurled three complete game victories, including back-to-back shutouts to start the tournament, and she posted a 0.67 ERA. She notched a season-high 13 strikeouts against tournament host Cal State Northridge in Harvard's 3-0 win on March 9 and then tossed a complete game shutout over Cal State Bakersfield in Harvard's 2-0 win on March 10. Brown closed her week by earning a victory over Oregon State in the tournament finale, giving the Beavers just their sixth loss in 27 games this season as the Crimson won, 3-2.
All told, Brown walked one batter in 21 innings pitched last weekend, compared to 25 strikeouts. She has now earned Ivy League Pitcher of the Week honors for the second consecutive Tuesday and has nine such honors in her career, including three as a junior and two as a freshman and sophomore.
Brown's Weekly Stats
0.67 ERA, 3-0, 3 App., 3 GS, 3 CG, 21.0 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 25 K, 1 BB
Rookie of the Week
Penn freshman pitcher Alexis Borden (Yorba Linda, Calif.) helped the Quakers to four victories at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimee, Fla., including three complete game wins. All told, she posted a paltry 0.32 ERA in 22 innings of work and yielded six walks against 27 strikeouts.
Borden opened her week with a 2-0 shutout against Indiana State in which she fanned eight batters. Her other shutout came as Penn blanked South Dakota, 1-0, on the strength of her 11-strikeout performance. Borden also closed Penn's win over Detroit, pitching two shutout innings to earn the save and finished the week with a complete game win over Manhattan that saw her strike out seven en route to a 9-1 win. She is Penn's first Rookie of the Week since Mikenzie Voves took home the honor on March 29, 2011.
Borden's Weekly Stats
0.32 ERA, 3-0, 4 App., 3 GS, 3 CG, 22.0 IP, 12 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 27 K, 6 BB
Chelsey Dunham, Yale (So., P – Fairfax Station, Va.)
1.69 ERA, 3-1, 4 App., 4 GS, 29.0 IP, 22 H, 15 R, 7 ER, 14 K, 6 BB
Erin Keene, Cornell (Fr., 3B – New Milford, Pa.)
3 GP, 10 AB, 2 R, 5 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 0 K, .500 Avg., .545 OBP, .900 Slg.%
Alison Lam, Columbia (Jr., OF - South San Francisco)
3 GP, 6 AB, 2 H, .333 Avg., .333 OBP, .333 Slg.%
Lauren Marx, Cornell (Sr., P - San Diego)
0.00 ERA, 1-0, 2 App., 0 GS, 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 7 K, 2 BB
Christy Nelson, Yale (Jr., 3B - San Diego, Calif.)
8 GP, 27 AB, 5 R, 10 H, 4 2B, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 SB, .370 Avg., .414 OBP, .519 Slg.%
7 GP, 20 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 4 K, 3 SB, .350 Avg., .480 OBP, .400 Slg.%
Stephanie Regan, Harvard (Jr., OF/1B – Humble, Texas)
5 GP, 16 AB, 3 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, .438 Avg., .471 OBP, .562 Slg.%
0.84 ERA, 1-0, 2 App., 1 GS, 8.1 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 K, 1 BB
2012 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
March 6 - Kasey Lange (Harvard)
March 13 - Alyssa Schmidt (Princeton)
2012 PITCHERS OF THE WEEK
March 6 - Rachel Brown (Harvard)
March 13 - Rachel Brown (Harvard)
2012 ROOKIES OF THE WEEK
March 6 - Liz Caggiano (Columbia)
March 13 - 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).
Brittany Sutton (Cornell).
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 represented the North in four of the five 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.)
The 17-Ivy Win Plateau
Since the Ivy schedule format change in 2007, a team has finished with 17 or more League wins five times and won its division on each of those five 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.