With Ivy League play underway this weekend, the Yale softball team is set to face off against a pair of South Division foes in Cornell and Princeton. Heading into the pair of doubleheaders with an overall record of 5–17, the Bulldogs look to build on last weekend’s results, which included a two-game sweep of Central Connecticut State and a two-game split with Rider. After traveling to Ithaca and Princeton, Yale will host doubleheaders against Penn and Columbia the following Friday and Saturday as it looks to preserve its undefeated home record in 2017.
Cornell (5–6, 0–0 Ivy)
The Big Red opens Ivy League play with its first home games of the season, hosting Yale and Brown in doubleheaders this Saturday and Sunday. Though the Bulldogs and the Big Red are 3–3 against each other over the past three years, Yale has increased its win total over Cornell each year, earning 9–2 and 3–1 wins at home in 2016.
This season, Cornell looks to tip the scales back its favor with a lineup highlighted by senior outfielder Michiko McGivney, who is batting 0.625 in six games, and junior infielder Megan Murray, who has started every game for the Big Red and boasts a 0.303 batting average. In the circle, Cornell is led by pitcher Maddie Orcutt, whose 4.04 earned-run average ranks 10th in the Ivy League.
Princeton (7–11, 0–0)
Princeton, last year’s Ivy League champion, enters conference play with an overall record of 7–11 and with the hope of returning to the Ivy League championship series.
The 2016 Tigers dueled the Bulldogs in a grueling doubleheader which featured a combined four extra innings at DeWitt Family Field, ultimately prevailing in a pair of one-run contests.
Tiger outfielder Marissa Reynolds currently leads the Ancient Eight in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, receiving the league’s most recent Player of the Week honors for her contributions to Princeton’s 10-game week. While Reynolds commands significant attention in the batter’s box, senior pitcher Erica Nori has provided a spark for the Tigers in the field, throwing the program’s first no-hitter since 2006 against North Dakota on March 18.
Penn (9–8, 0–0)
After finishing second and first in the South Division in the last two seasons, Penn heads into the 2017 Ivy League campaign as the only conference team with a winning nonconference record.
The Quakers boast two pitchers with sub-2.50 ERAs in seniors Courtney Cuzick and Alexis Sargent, with the latter having already picked up two Pitcher of the Week awards this year after earning first-team All-Ivy honors as a junior. The two hurlers complement a Penn lineup that leads the Ivy League thus far with a 0.286 batting average; sophomore infielder Sarah Cwiertnia has paced both the Quakers and the Ivy League through nonconference play with 18 runs batted in. After facing Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend, Penn will travel to Yale to try and improve on last-year’s two-game split against the Bulldogs.
Columbia (7–13, 0–0)
The Lions open their conference season against Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend as they look to build on their 7–13 nonconference mark. The Lions boast two freshman with Rookie of the Week honors in Madison Canby and Sommer Grzybek and are looking to build on recent momentum, having won four of their last six games, including a pairs of wins against Monmouth last weekend. Shortstop Madison Gott currently sits in second in the Ancient Eight in batting average, with a 0.429 and runs batted in and leads the conference with five home runs for the South Division’s cellar dweller.
Still, in the last three years, the Lions have bested Bulldogs in all but one of their six contests by a 26–9 combined run total and will look to continue that trend when they face Yale on April 8.