PHILADELPHIA – One final test remains for the University of Pennsylvania softball team (22-18, 13-7 Ivy): the Ivy League Softball Championship Series. For the third straight year, the Quakers will meet Dartmouth (23-16, 16-4 Ivy) for the Ancient Eight title, and the ILCS will once again be hosted by the Big Green at the Dartmouth Softball Park in Hanover, N.H. The first pitch of the series is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 2. Game two will follow approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game and, if needed, a third game will be played on Sunday, May 3 at 1 p.m.
A live video feed for the Ivy League Softball Championship Series on Saturday and Sunday will be provided by the Ivy League Digital Network.
You can also follow all the action on live stats, by clicking here.
Links for the video stream and stats can also be found on the Penn softball schedule.
About the ILCS
The Ivy League Softball Championship Series is a best-of-three format and began in 2007, when Harvard and Penn went head-to-head for the crown.
The South Division champion has won four of the eight previous championship series, while the home team has won all eight series to date – all of which were won by taking the first game. Four of the eight contests have gone to a decisive third game, including Dartmouth’s win last year and Penn’s the year prior.
Having won the South and the chance to compete for the title, Penn is now tied with Harvard for most appearances in the ILCS at five and has the most consecutive appearances in the series with four. (Both Harvard, Cornell, and now Dartmouth appeared in the ILCS three straight years.)
Road to the Championship Series
Going into the last weekend of Ivy play, Penn’s magic number to claim the South Division outright was four; however, a Princeton loss would bump the number down to three.
On Saturday in New York, the Quakers split their doubleheader against the Lions, as did the Tigers against Cornell. In game one, the Red and Blue triumphed over the Lions, 9-0, in a near no-hitter as senior Alexis Borden allowed no hits through six innings and just two in the seventh. Game two, however, was much closer, resulting in a 5-3 win for Colombia. Needing to lock down the final two games on Sunday at Penn Park, the Quakers secured a 3-2 win with the help from a two-run homer from sophomore Sydney Kranzmann to tie the game at 2-2. With the help of a second loss by the Tigers, to the Big Red, and the first win on Sunday, Penn locked up the South Division crown for the fourth straight year.
The Quakers wrapped up the four game series with another come from behind win, overcoming a 7-2 deficit to defeat the Lions 9-8
As for Dartmouth, the Big Green needed only one win against Harvard to secure its third straight Ivy League North Division title. In the opener against the Crimson on Saturday home at the Dartmouth Softball Park, the Big Green did just that and won it, 1-0. However, the second game of the day went to Harvard, as the Crimson defeated the Dartmouth, 7-6. Harvard started the next day with another win, taking the third game of the series 3-2, but the Big Green would split the day as they won the final game, 4-1.
Penn and Dartmouth are no strangers. Aside from regular season contests, it was only last year that the two teams found themselves playing for the Ivy title in Hanover, where the Quakers fell to the Big Green in the decisive third game.
After splitting the first day of last year’s Ivy League Championship, the Red and Blue were unsuccessful in their pursuit of a second-straight title as the Big Green overcame them in game three, 7-3.
Since the championship series began in 2007, the Quakers will appear in their fifth ILCS with a 1-3 record, while Dartmouth will contend in its fourth with a 1-2 mark. The Red and Blue competed in the first championship series where they fell to Harvard in two games. Penn’s second loss also came in two games against Harvard in 2012.
The Big Green made their first appearance in the championship series in 2009 with Cornell. It was the first year that the series went to three games, with the Big Red winning game one and three.
Around the League
It’s no surprise that the two teams playing in the Ivy League Championship Series have several players among the League’s individual leaders.
In the batting average race, Dartmouth’s Katie McEachern currently holds a strong lead with .451, while freshman Jurie Joyner currently sits in second at .398. Senior captain Vanessa Weaver occupies the fourth best average at .387 while junior captain Lauren Li rounds out the top five batting .377.
Two players from Dartmouth and Penn occupy the top four spots in slugging percentage, as McEachern also leads the League in slugging percentage (.882). Joyner is again right behind McEachern with a .673 slugging percentage while Li has the fourth best at .614. The Big Green’s Karen Chaw is in third at .619.
McEachern, also the League leader with 10 home runs, is joined by two of her teammates, Chaw (7) and Maddie Damore (6), in the top five for homeruns. Tying Damore is Joyner, while sophomore Leah Allen is one of five players in the League to have five this season.
Once again, Penn and Dartmouth hold the top spots in the League in RBI. Joyner currently holds strong at 33 with sophomore Alexis Sargent in second with 30. Chaw and Li join the ranks with 29, while McEachern rounds out the top five at 28.
Once again, the pitching matchup will highlight two of the best pitchers in the League – seniors Kristen Rumley and Alexis Borden. On the season, Borden leads the League in strikeouts with 140 while Rumley sits right behind her with 120. Both pitchers surpassed the 600 career strikeout milestone this season and place themselves among the elite in the Ivy League. Aside from Borden and Rumley, only four other Ivy pitchers have reached the mark.
Download: 2015 ILCS Games Notes.pdf