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Princeton softball stands atop the Ivy League standings after defeating Yale

A woman celebrates on a softball field in an orange and white uniform.
First year Sonia Zhang earned both Ivy League Player and Rookie of the Week honors after an impressive weekend against the Bulldogs.
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This weekend, Princeton Softball (23–11 overall, 11–4 Ivy League) traveled to New Haven to face the Yale Bulldogs (18–23, 12–6). The teams battled it out over a three-game series across two days. The Tigers won all three games, catapulting them into first place in the Ivy League standings.

The Tigers came into this weekend on a five-game win streak. Princeton needed to win all three games in order to move up in the Ivy League standings.


“This is what your season is all about,” first-year third baseman Sonia Zhang told The Daily Princetonian, speaking on the pressure of Ivy League games.

Tigers stun Bulldogs in the seventh inning

The scoring began early as sophomore catcher Julia Dumias hit a home run in the top of the first. However, Yale pushed back in the bottom as junior Sophie Woodridge hit a single which sent senior Carolyn Skotz home. At the end of the first, both sides were tied one run apiece. The second and third innings saw both pitchers get in the rhythm, not allowing any runs.

The Tigers managed to put up two more runs in the fourth when first-year right fielder Karis Ford hit a crucial two-run homer to take a commanding 3–1 lead. Princeton stopped Yale from any runs in the bottom of the fourth, keeping the home team at bay.

After the Tigers went scoreless to start the fifth, Yale came out firing in the bottom of the inning. They quickly loaded the bases before a single sent two runners home to tie the game. Towards the end of the inning, a wild pitch allowed the Bulldogs to take a 4–3 lead with two innings remaining.

Dumais was batted home by first-year second baseman Allie Goodwin in the sixth to even the score once again. However, the Bulldogs continued to fight back with two runs off of a double hit by senior Willa Ferrer. This left the Tigers short two points heading into the last inning.


The Tigers took matters into their own hands in the seventh inning. Junior center fielder Lauren Sablone shrunk the gap with a base hit and the Tigers overcame the Bulldogs with two more RBIs from Goodwin.

Sophomore pitcher Brielle Wright threw a no-hit seventh inning. Wright recently set the Ivy League record for most saves, recording her eighth save of the season in a game against Monmouth on Wednesday. This inning allowed the Tigers to keep their lead and end the first game with a crucial 7–6 victory.

Adding seven more 

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The second game did not end up quite as close as the first, with Princeton in the lead for the entirety of the contest. First-year pitcher Cassidy Shaw pitched four consecutive innings without allowing a hit from Yale, giving Princeton ample time to gain and extend a lead.

“I had the flu all week," Shaw told the ‘Prince.’ “I kind of came in with no expectations for myself and that kind of helped me play more freely.”

The Tigers were able to score seven runs during Shaw’s run. Hits from Zhang and Dumais brought three runners home in the third. In the fourth, senior right fielder Cate Bade hit an RBI single before Zhang extended the gap with a three-run home run.

“I credit my teammates for that moment … they had great at bats before me, and they were on base for me to hit that pitch,” Zhang noted. Following her impressive performances, Zhang was named Ivy League Player and Rookie of the Week, which marked her second time receiving the honor.

The Bulldogs did not end the game empty-handed. Ferrer hit two runners in on a single and sophomore Libby Peoples followed those points up with a hit that sent Ferrer’s pinch runner home. Still, it wasn’t enough for a comeback, and the Tigers ended their first day in New Haven with another victory, this time 7–3.

Bring out the brooms 

The following morning, the teams met again for their final game of the weekend. After two walks and two errors to start the contest, the Tigers had a 1–0 lead with the bases loaded. This allowed Goodwin to get a hit that sent Dumais across home plate to give the Tigers a strong start once again.

After neither team scored in the second, Skotz sent senior Gretchen Bunovsky home on a base hit, getting Yale a run and making for a close game in its latter half. However, the Tigers refused to let the Bulldogs get any closer. A leadoff hit from Bade in the fourth and a two-run homer from Ford in the fifth put Princeton up 5–1.

Yale responded in the bottom of the fifth when senior Sam Goodcase hit a solo home run. However, Princeton scored on a walk in the sixth and put the game out of reach for the Bulldogs. The game ultimately ended with a 6–3 win for Princeton, giving the Tigers an undefeated weekend and a comfortable two-game lead atop the Ivy League standings.

The Tigers now control their own destiny for the rest of the regular season and are on an eight-game winning streak. Should they finish as the No. 1 seed, they will host the Ivy League tournament from May 9–11. The Tigers will continue their Ivy League play at home this weekend in another three-game series against the Brown Bears (15–20, 7–8).

If they succeed in another weekend sweep against Brown, coupled with losses from Harvard and Yale, Tigers could clinch the No. 1 seed Sunday evening.

Dalynn Holtzclaw is a Sports contributor for the ‘Prince.’

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