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Softball wins Ivy League regular-season crown, will face Harvard for spot in NCAA Tournament

<h5>The Tigers swept Columbia in the final weekend of play to claim the title.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of <a href="https://twitter.com/PUSoftball/status/1521862998075322368/photo/3" target="_self">@PUSoftball/Twitter</a>.</h6>
The Tigers swept Columbia in the final weekend of play to claim the title.
Courtesy of @PUSoftball/Twitter.

The Tigers are just two wins away from competing in the NCAA Tournament.

By winning their last nine Ivy League games, the Princeton softball team (25–14–2 overall, 17–4 Ivy League) clinched the Ivy League regular season title. The Tigers closed out the title race by sweeping Columbia (12–26, 8–13) in New York during the weekend of April 30–May 1.

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The Tigers’ 17 league wins are the most achieved by the program since the team went 18–2 in 2008. Their record gave them their 20th conference title in program history, the most of any school in the League, as well as their third in the past five seasons.

“Winning the Ivy League after two years of not being able to play has been an emotional experience,” junior outfielder Serena Starks wrote in a message to The Daily Princetonian. “Not only did we succeed for the current team, but [for] the past two years of seniors who were not able to compete in their last season as [college athletes].”

The Tigers began the season with a rough out-of-conference schedule, winning only one of their first nine games. Since March 11, though, the team has been unstoppable, going 24–6–2 over that stretch. This included a 2–1 record against Harvard (21–18, 15–6), whom the Tigers will face in the Ivy League Playoff Series.

The playoff will be held on the weekend of May 13 in Princeton, and will be a best-of-three series. The winner of the series will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, the selection show for which will take place on Sunday, May 15.

Should the Tigers emerge victorious against the Crimson, they will be making their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. Princeton is 8–20 all-time at the tournament. 

“We are not done yet,” Starks said. “The team plays next Friday [against Harvard] to get a bid to play in Regionals and make a statement.”

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Wilson Conn is a co-head editor for the Sports section at the ‘Prince’ who typically covers football, basketball, and breaking news. He is also a senior writer for the Podcast section. He can be reached at wconn@princeton.edu or on Twitter at @wilson_conn.

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