Princeton softball made a strong claim as to why it is the team to beat in the Ivy League by going undefeated this weekend, boasting a pair of wins against Brown and Yale. The team won both close and lopsided games over the course of the weekend and asserted its dominance on offense and defense.
Princeton began the weekend with a Saturday doubleheader against Brown. With a three-run first inning, the Tigers sprung out to a quick lead in the first game, and led 4-0 after two innings. That lead was large enough for senior Claire Klausner to protect, as the pitcher tossed a complete game. Despite allowing three solo home runs interspersed throughout the game, she kept the lead secure in the final inning, as the Tigers won 4-3.
Princeton won the second matchup in a much more convincing fashion. The team’s offensive onslaught led to a 10-0 victory, with the mercy rule being called after only five innings. The floodgates came open for the Tigers in the fourth inning, in which the team posted a whopping eight runs on the scoreboard. Junior shortstop and second baseman Danielle Dockx contributed a three-run home run, and the remaining runs came courtesy of four run-scoring doubles. Senior Erica Nori was dominant on the mound, tossing a five-inning shutout.
The following day’s doubleheader against Yale followed a similar pattern, with one win coming in a blowout and the other in a closely contested game. In the first matchup of the day, the Tigers scored early and often, en route to a 9-1 victory. After a four-run first inning gave Princeton an early lead, sophomore Alexandra Viscusi drilled a three-run home run in the fourth to blow the lead open to 8-1. A Marissa Reynolds RBI later triggered the mercy-rule, and the Tigers won 9-1 in five innings. Klausner posted her second complete game of the weekend, conceding only one run over the five innings.
The Princeton bats would quiet down for the nightcap of the doubleheader, but Nori led the team to a 2-0 victory nonetheless with her second shutout of the weekend. Princeton had numerous opportunities throughout the game, but its only two runs came off of doubles from sophomore Keeley Walsh and freshman Allison Harvey in the fourth and fifth innings respectively. That is all Nori would need, as she was practically unhittable, allowing only two hits and one walk.
Princeton’s weekend was highlighted by the performances of their two start pitchers, Klausner and Nori, who improved their records to 5-3 and 5-1 respectively. Offensively, Princeton benefitted from the performances of many players, but most notably sophomore Kaylee Grant, who was awarded Ivy League Player of the Week Honors for batting 5-7 with three doubles.
After logging a somewhat lackluster record through nonconference play, Princeton demonstrated its mettle in the first weekend of conference action. Princeton will travel to New England this weekend to face two more opponents in the Ivy League North Division, Harvard, and Dartmouth, with the hopes of keeping the winning streak alive.