PRINCETON, N.J. -- Ivy play got underway over the weekend with Penn jumping out to a 4-0 League mark with two wins over both Brown and Yale. The Quakers proved they could win close games (5-4 over Brown), pitching duels (1-0 versus Yale) and also by posting offensive outbursts (14-3 against Yale).
Last year's Championship Series participants Harvard and Cornell put up 3-1 marks over the opening weekend as well, including a split versus each other. The Crimson claimed game one of that showdown, winning 6-2 in eight innings. The Big Red bats rallied to lead Cornell to the game two win, 10-8.
Brown of the North Division and Princeton of the South Division each posted 2-2 records to open Ivy play. The Bears did so by closing the weekend with a pair of wins at Columbia, while home-standing Princeton opened the weekend with a pair of wins against Dartmouth.
The second and final set of cross division play is scheduled to take place on April 6 and 7. Preceding divisional play, each team plays a two-game series versus the four teams from the other division.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Brown junior Stephanie Thompson (Chino, Calif.) continued her torrid pace at the plate as the Bears reached Ivy League play. In four games, including a pair of losses at Penn and a pair of wins at Columbia, Thompson batted .769 by collecting 10 hits in 13 at bats. The nation's leading batter in terms of average (.544 for the season), she added a double and a home run to go with five RBI in the four games. In Brown's 6-5 win versus the Lions on April 1, Thompson's three RBI and stolen base led the Bears to the win.
Also one of the toughest players in the nation to strikeout, Thompson scored two of Brown's 13 runs over the weekend while not recording any strikeouts. She carries a nine-game hitting streak into this weekend's Ivy home games versus Cornell and Princeton and has now earned back-to-back Ivy League Player of the Week honors.
Thompson's Weekly Stats
4GP, 13 AB, 2 R, 10 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 SB, .769 Avg., .750 OBP, 1.077 Slg.%
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Penn freshman pitcher Alexis Borden (Yorba Linda, Calif.) threw shutouts versus La Salle and Yale and also posted two wins against Brown en route to claiming Pitcher of the Week honors. Against the Bears, she earned a complete game win in game one and then threw 3.1 innings of shutout relief to pick up the game two victory. In the win over Yale to close out her week, she scattered three hits and struck out six as the Quakers claimed the pitcher's duel by a score of 1-0.
For the week, Borden allowed just 14 hits while striking out 31 in 23.1 innings of work. She did not allow an earned run in three of her four appearances and she posted a 0.90 ERA. It marks Borden's first career Pitcher of the Week honor, though she did earn the League's Rookie of the Week award on March 13 and March 20.
Borden's Weekly Stats
0.90 ERA, 4-0, 4 App., 3 GS, 3 CG, 23.1 IP, 14 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 7 BB, 31 K
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Columbia freshman pitcher Brooke Darling (Springville, Pa) had a strong week in the circle, going 2-1 over three complete-game starts (21.0 IP) with a 2.33 ERA and 11 strikeouts. She limited opposing batters to a .231 batting average. Against Rider on March 28, Darling tossed her first career complete-game shutout, fanning four batters over the seven frames in a game Columbia won, 3-0.
Then on March 30, Darling won her first career Ivy League start against Yale, striking out three and holding the Bulldogs to one run as the Lions claimed a 4-1 victory. Darling joins teammate Liz Caggiano to become Columbia's second Rookie of the Week this season. Caggiano earned the honor on March 6.
Darling's Weekly Stats
2.33 ERA, 2-1, 3 App., 3 GS, 3 CG, 21.0 IP, 18 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 9 BB, 11 K
Jane Alexander, Harvard (Sr., INF - Palo Alto, Calif.)
5GP, 18 AB, 9 R, 11 H, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 SB, .611 Avg., .667 OBP, .944 Slg.%
Katherine Applebe, Harvard (Fr., C/OF - Phoenix, Ariz.)
5GP, 13 AB, 3 R, 4 H, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 2 K, .308 Avg., .400 OBP, .385 Slg.%
Lauren Bucolo, Cornell (So., INF - Palo Alto, Calif.)
4GP, 12 AB, 4 R, 5 H, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, .417 Avg., .462 OBP, 1.417 Slg.%
Trista Chavez, Brown (Fr., INF - San Pedro, Calif.)
4GP, 13 AB, 2 R, 5 H, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, .385 Avg., .429 OBP, .615 Slg.%
Morgan Cook, Columbia (So., 1B - Gilbert, Ariz.)
6GP, 17 AB, 6 H, 2 2B, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 2 K, .353 Avg., .476 OBP, .471 Slg.%
Kat Hicks, Dartmouth (Sr., 1B - Templeton, Calif.)
4GP, 13 AB, 2 R, 5 H, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K, .385 Avg., .429 OBP, .846 Slg.%
Jessica Melendez, Penn (Jr., OF - Miami, Fla.)
6GP, 19 AB, 6 R, 5 H, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, .263 Avg., .300 OBP, .737 Slg.%
Christy Nelson, Yale (Jr., 3B - San Diego, Calif.)
6GP, 15 AB, 1 R, 5 H, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, .333 Avg., .421 OBP, .533 Slg.%
Sarah Onorato, Yale (Fr., C/OF - North Reading, Mass.)
6GP, 20 AB, 1 R, 7 H, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 SB, .350 Avg., .381 OBP, .400 Slg.%
Alex Peyton, Princeton (Jr., P/1B - Fullerton, Calif.)
2.50 ERA, 1-1, 2 App., 2 GS, 2 CG, 7.0 IP, 12 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
4GP, 12 AB, 3 R, 5 H, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K, .417 Avg., .462 OBP, 1.000 Slg.%
Jenna Stoller, Cornell (Sr., P - Upper Saddle River, N.J.)
2.44 ERA, 1-1, 2 App., 2 GS, 1 CG, 14.1 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 12 K
Sydney Turchin, Penn (Fr., 2B/OF - Princeton Junction, N.J.)
6GP, 16 AB, 9 R, 7 H, 1 2B, 5 BB, 1 K, 3 SB, .438 Avg., .591 OBP, .500 Slg.%
Brown junior infielder Stephanie Thompson leads the nation in batting average through games played on April 1 with an impressive .544 mark. Sam Fischer of Loyola Marymount is second with a .530 average and they are the only two players in Division I with averages above .500. In a weekend split with Penn and Columbia, Thompson batted .769 in the opening four games of the Ivy season. Thompson's slugging percentage of .877 is 15th in the nation and she ranks 11th in on base percentage with a .557 mark.
Thompson and Harvard sophomore outfielder Shelbi Olson are two of the toughest batters in the nation to strikeout. Olson ranks tied for fourth with one strikeout in 61 at bats, while Thompson ranks sixth based on having struck out once in 57 at bats.
Columbia sophomore infielder Emily Snodgrass ranks tied for second in the nation with a 0.43 doubles per game mark. Harvard senior pitcher Rachel Brown checks in 12th nationally with a 9.4 strikeouts per seven innings average, while she ranks seventh with a 3.98 hits per seven innings mark.
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.
2012 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)
2012 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)
2012 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)
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).