After allowing the game-winning home run in the softball team's loss to Cornell Friday, junior pitcher Lynn Miller was more than anxious to get back on the mound and back on track.
When presented with the opportunity to redeem herself, Miller capitalized. Twice.
Miller garnered both of Princeton's wins in a doubleheader sweep over cross-county rival Rider at 1895 Field yesterday, 8-0 and 3-2. She also helped her own cause in game two by scoring the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a one-out double by senior left fielder Bevin Keenen.
Jump the gun
Princeton's offensive display equaled Miller's dominance in the opening game, as the Tigers (20-12 overall, 2-2 Ivy League) used a four-run first inning to propel themselves to victory. The early scoring spree was capped off by sophomore second baseman Kamilah Briscoe's second home run of the season, a three-run line drive to left-center. Princeton improved to 9-2 in games when Briscoe, the team's RBI leader, drives in a run.
The story of the day, however, was Miller (11-6), who bounced back from a shaky performance against the Big Red to shut out the Broncs (14-20) on just three hits in eight total innings. She also struck out six players in a potent lineup that produced 18 runs in a single game against Penn earlier this year.
"It feels so good," said Miller, who allowed only one runner past first base in the first game, a two-hit shutout. "I've been concentrating and thinking a lot and trying to figure out what went wrong at Cornell. And I can't. So I just think ahead and look forward to the next game."
The next game Miller looked forward to was the nightcap of the afternoon twinbill. After sophomore pitcher Sarah Peterman allowed a fifth-inning leadoff homer to Rider's Kelly McKenna and a one-out triple off the right-field fence to Colleen Fox, assistant coach Dina DeAquino sent Miller to warm up in the bullpen. Although Peterman escaped the inning without further damage, Miller entered the game in the top of the sixth.
The relief appearance was a rarity for Miller, who leads the team in games started with 14.
"It's a lot tougher going into a game when it's tied," Miller said. "You have to start your own vibe and your own rhythm. To go in and just jump into a rhythm you haven't established isn't too easy."
True to her own proclamation, Miller found herself in a jam in the top of the sixth. She, like Peterman, eluded disaster when Keenen erased a two-on, no-out situation by scurrying in from left field to snare a short popup off McKenna's bat.
Lighting it up
Princeton's offense featured a plethora of solid performances, led by Keenen's 6-for-8 showing and freshman third baseman Lauren Poniatowski's three hits and four RBI. The team collected 22 base hits against a Rider squad with a team earned run average over three.
"(The Broncs) were basically on the defensive the whole time," Miller said. "Everyone hit the ball hard. If it wasn't a hit, it was a shot straight to someone."
The Tigers' balanced attack made life easier on DeAquino, who managed the team yesterday because head coach Cindy Cohen was home with the chicken pox.
Princeton's sweep over Rider opened up an eight-game homestand that includes this weekend's league games against Harvard and Dartmouth. The Tigers will have to be wary of the Crimson's sophomore sensation Deborah Abeles, who just last week broke the school's career home run record with her 10th.