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Softball goes 1–4 in Longhorn Invitational Tournament, winning final game in extra innings

softball march 2023
The Tigers continue preparing for their official season and look toward their spring break tournament in Madeira Beach, Florida.
Courtesy of @PUSoftball/Twitter.

This past weekend, Princeton softball (3–7 overall, 0–0 Ivy League) traveled to Austin, Texas to compete in the Longhorn Invitational Tournament. They went 1–4 for the weekend, and were able to stop a seven-game losing streak by winning their final game of the weekend in a rematch against the Tennessee State Tigers (9–10, 0–0 Ohio Valley) by a score of 6–5.

Princeton lost a pair of games on the opening day of the tournament to the McNeese State Cowgirls (12–5, 0–0 Southland) and Tennessee State Lady Tigers.


McNeese State claimed the first game of the weekend against the Tigers in a narrow 1–0 victory. The sole run was scored off of senior pitcher Alexis Laudenslager in the top of the third inning, as the Cowgirls capitalized on a leadoff walk and a defensive error to place runners on first and third. McNeese State then put pressure on the Tigers with a double steal attempt, enabling the runner on third to score. 

Later that day, Princeton was toppled in another nail-biter. Tennessee State tied up the game with three walks and a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh to force extra innings at 5–5. Tennessee State then overtook Princeton in the ninth with a two-run home run by utility player Anayah Baker that put TSU ahead for good, 8–5. 

Though Princeton suffered losses in both games, they still saw a strong performance on the offensive side. Princeton outhit McNeese State 6–5 and Tennessee State 11–8. Sophomore infielder and outfielder Allison Ha had an explosive day at the plate, going five for eight with three hits in three at-bats during the first game and giving Princeton the lead in the second game with a three-run home run in the fifth inning. 

Ha is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

The Tigers did not see much more success on the second day of the tournament, as they were beaten by two top-25 teams. The No. 11 Texas Longhorns (16–2–1, 0–0 Big 12) got on the board early with a run scored on a sacrifice fly in the first inning, and they maintained a lead throughout the game to win 2–1, despite an RBI earned by Tigers first baseman Sophia Marsalo in the sixth.  

Pitchers Laudenslager and Brielle Wright held their own, as they faced a high-powered Texas offense. Laudenslager and Wright combined to strike out five, with Wright throwing two shutout innings to finish the game. Unfortunately for Princeton, four errors committed by the Tigers defense worked against them to give the Longhorns momentum.


Princeton fell 8–3 in the second game of the day against the No. 24 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (13–7, 0–0 Sun Belt). The game saw a lot of offensive action on both sides, as senior outfielder Serena Starks earned two hits in three at-bats and first-year catcher Julia Dumais earned two RBIs, batting in Starks with a base hit in the third and hitting a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Despite four consecutive losses on Friday and Saturday, the Tigers were able to bounce back during their final game on Sunday as they again battled Tennessee State, this time winning the game by one run in extra innings. 

After three lead changes, the go-ahead run was scored on a double by sophomore utility player Lauren Pappert in the top of the eighth, giving the Tigers a 6–5 lead and sealing their victory. Wright pitched five and two-thirds innings in relief and earned her first collegiate win, striking out six and giving up one earned run.

“We grew a lot this weekend, playing high quality teams, two who were ranked in the top 25 in the country,” Ha wrote to The Daily Princetonian. “The results of the game did not reflect our performance. We were able to grow and learn from this weekend and are excited to take on more tough teams during the preseason.” 

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“The team’s goal is to get one percent better every time we compete and practice and stay in a growth mindset,” she added.

The Tigers will continue preparing for their official season and look toward their spring break tournament in Madeira Beach, Fla.

Sarina Sheth is a Sports contributor for the ‘Prince.’

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