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Miller retires 19 of last 21 as softball sweeps

Until Saturday's doubleheader sweep of Temple, the softball team was 5-7 when its opponent scored first. But against the Owls, Princeton came back from 1-0 deficits in both games to prove that it is capable of coming from behind.

The Tigers continued their winning ways at Temple (10-16), with victories of 7-1 and 6-2. The sweep capped a season-high five-game winning streak for the Tigers, improving their record to 14-10. With just two games against Delaware remaining before the start of the Ivy League season, Princeton is poised and ready.

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"Having won our last five is really important heading into Ivies. We need a sense of accomplishment and confidence," sophomore pitcher Sarah Peterman said.

Preparation

"All of our games up to this point have just been getting ready for Ivies," freshman catcher/designated hitter Devon Keefe said.

The Tigers' performance against Temple was marked by strong all-around play, especially with pitching and defense. Junior pitcher Lynn Miller (8-5) starred in the first game of the doubleheader, mowing down 19 of the last 21 batters she faced, singlehandedly guaranteeing a Tiger victory. Miller allowed just four hits and struck out four in her 12th complete game in 12 starts on the season.

After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, Princeton stormed back with three runs in the fourth, keyed by Keefe's two-run home run to left field. Keefe added an RBI single in the fifth, and junior first baseman Wendy Herm blasted her first career home run, a three-run shot in the sixth inning, to round out the scoring.

Errors in the field

The second game was marked by Temple's defensive slipups. After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, Princeton erupted for five unearned runs on just one hit in the second. The Tigers batted around and used three Owl errors to break the game open.

"We took advantage of Temple's mistakes, capitalizing on them offensively," Keefe said.

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Princeton rallied behind another stellar pitching performance in the second game by Peterman (4-3). Peterman struck out three and allowed just one run in a complete-game effort.

Uprising

The Tigers, who have had trouble coming back when they go down early, reversed this tendency over the past week. Three of Princeton's past four wins have been come-from-behind victories.

Although belied by its strong performances of late, the softball team admits that it still has much to work on before the Ivy season begins.

"The defense will have to remain tight," Peterman said. "Offensively, we need to capitalize with runners in scoring position more, but we've been doing that in our last few games. We need to continue playing with confidence."

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The Tigers committed just three errors against Temple, a remarkable feat considering the less-than-optimal weather conditions. Princeton battled through the cold and rain and lack of dugouts, pounding out 17 hits while leaving 12 on base.

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