PRINCETON, N.J. -- It was another busy week of nonconference play for the Ivy League softball teams. A quick look at the standings shows Harvard and Penn lead the North and South Divisions with 10 wins apiece.
The Crimson are 10-4 overall coming off an eight wins in nine games on its California swing, giving Harvard its best start since 1985. Penn stands at 10-7 overall and is coming off a midweek split of games with city rivals Saint Joseph’s and Temple.
After three consecutive weekend sets of games in Fairfax, Va., Cornell is 6-6 on the year, the only other Ivy squad with a .500 or better record in the early going. The Big Red now heads through Virginia and Delaware to play 10 games over its spring break.
Columbia (3-14) closed out its spring trip on March 17 with a 4-2 victory over Lafayette at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. Yale (4-6) will play regional foes Marist, Bryant and Providence over the next week.
Princeton (3-9) is in the midst of a spring break swing through California, where it will close out the week at the Pacific Tiger Invitational. Brown (2-7) concludes its spring break trip with the UC Riverside Tournament on March 23-25, while Dartmouth will wrap-up a Florida swing with four games on Wednesday and Thursday before returning to the northeast to play at Boston College this weekend.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior infielder Jane Alexander (Palo Alto, Calif.) led all Harvard players with nine hits in four games last week, good for a .600 batting average as she led the Crimson to 3-1 record that included wins over Utah State (8-5), San Diego State (6-3) and Long Beach State (3-0). She recorded at least two hits in all four games, including a 3-for-3 performance against UNLV.
4 GP, 15 AB, 2 R, 9 H, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 2 K, .600 Avg., .600 OBP, .800 Slg.%
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Harvard senior Rachel Brown (San Diego) continued to sparkle in the pitcher’s circle, as she helped Harvard finish its Florida/California spring break swing with a 10-4 record, the best in team history. Last week she recorded two complete game wins in her two starts (6-3 over San Diego State and 3-0 versus Long Beach State). She also tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless relief in the Crimson’s 8-5 win over Utah State. She struck out 20 in the three appearances and posted a 0.45 ERA.
Brown broke the all-time Harvard mark with her 60th career win in the 3-0 shutout of Long Beach State. She has a 0.64 ERA on the season and she has held opponents to a .116 batting average. Brown, the 2011 Ivy League Pitcher of the Year, has now earned Ivy League Pitcher of the Week honors for the third consecutive week and has 10 such honors in her career, including three as a junior and two as a freshman and sophomore.
0.45 ERA, 2-0, 3 App., 2 GS, 2 CG, 15.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 20 K
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Penn freshman pitcher Alexis Borden (Yorba Linda, Calif.) recorded both Quaker wins last week, including a 1-0 triumph over St. Joseph’s and a 5-4 victory against Temple. She threw her third shutout of the season in Penn's 1-0 win over the Hawks.
Both of Borden’s starts were complete game wins, including an eight inning win against Temple. She allowed 14 hits in 15 innings, while striking out 17 and posting a 0.93 ERA. Her only two earned runs allowed were in extra innings versus the Owls. It marks the second consecutive week she has earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors.
0.93 ERA, 2-0, 2 App., 2 GS, 2 CG, 15.0 IP, 13 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 17 K
Tori Balta, Yale (So., CF – Valencia, Calif.)
2 GP, 6 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, .500 Avg., .625 OBP, .833 Slg.%
Jennifer Bergeron, Columbia (Jr., SS –
9 GP, 24 AB, 4 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, .333 Avg., .414 OBP, .500 Slg.%
6 GP, 19 AB, 2 R, 8 H, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 SB, .421 Avg., .450 OBP, .474 Slg.%
Kayla Dahlerbruch, Penn (So., 3B – West
4 GP, 14 AB, 3 R, 6 H, 1 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 2 K, .429 Avg., .429 OBP, 1.143 Slg.%
Evan Gray, Dartmouth (Jr., P – Edmond,
1.85 ERA, 1-1, 3 App., 2 GS, 11.1 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
Liza Kuhn, Princeton (Jr., P/UT –
1.56 ERA, 1-0, 2 App., 9.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 14 K
Nicole Ontiveros, Princeton (Sr., OF –
Laguna Niguel, Calif.)
3 GP, 10 AB, 4 R, 5 H, 1 2B, 2 HR, 2 K, .500 Avg., .500 OBP, 1.200 Slg.%
Rachel Rendina, Princeton (Fr., IF – Palm
Beach Gardens, Fla.)
3 GP, 7 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 1 SB, 0 K, .429 Avg., .429 OBP, .429 Slg.%
Kalli Schultea, Columbia (Fr., P –
1.75 ERA, 2-2, 5 App., 4 GS, 28.0 IP, 23 H, 10 R, 7 ER, 10 BB, 12 K
Kate Strobel, Brown (Sr., 1B – Denver,
4 GP, 11 AB, 1 R, 4 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, .364 Avg., .417 OBP, .727 Slg.%
Christina Villalon, Cornell (So., C/OF – Robstown, Texas)
4 GP, 11 AB, 5 H, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, .455 Avg., .455 OBP, .818 Slg.%
2012 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
March 6 - Kasey Lange (Harvard)
March 13 - Alyssa Schmidt (Princeton)
March 20 - Jane Alexander (Harvard)
2012 PITCHERS OF THE WEEK
March 6 - Rachel Brown (Harvard)
March 13 - Rachel Brown (Harvard)
March 20 - Rachel Brown (Harvard)
2012 ROOKIES OF THE WEEK
March 6 - Liz Caggiano (Columbia)
March 13 - Alexis Borden (Penn)
March 20 - 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).
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.