PHILADELPHIA The Quakers went to bed on Friday with good news: they had earned at least a tie of the South Division title. And the best part? They didn’t have to lift a finger to do it. Princeton took care of it for them.
Sunday brought more good news -- actually, the best news. The Tigers came through one more time for Penn, splitting with Cornell for the second time to givethe Quakers the South Division title outright.
Penn wrapped upits regular season last weekend, splitting with Princeton in theirfour games to finish its Ivy seasonwith a temporary hold on first place in the division at 14-6. But Cornell, who was second at 11-5, and Princeton, whowas third at 10-6, still had to face off in their two doubleheaders, leaving the Quakers’ postseason hopes up in the air.
The Red and Blue needed the Tigers to win at least one game to ensure a shot at the championship series; if Cornell swept Princeton, they would have taken sole possession of first and left Penn in the dust.
The Tigers helped the Quakers out in an odd twist of fate for the longtime Ivy rivals, beating Cornell in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader, 9-2. The Big Red came back in the second to win, 12-10, eliminating the Tigers from the race.
Sunday's doubleheader started at noon, and again, it was Princeton who gave Penn exactly what they needed: a 4-1 defeat of Cornell in the first game. With Princeton's second win, the Quakers won the South Division crown and a chance to play for the Ivy title next weekend. Cornell won the second game, 5-2, but the damage was done.
Much like the South Division, the North was up in the air going into this Ivy weekend. Harvard (27-12, 12-5 Ivy) sits atop the pile, with Dartmouth (15-22, 10-7 Ivy) right behind. The Crimson and the Big Green faced off in the first of two doubleheaderson Saturday. Harvard won the first game 2-0, but the second was called in the fifth inning due to rain, with the game tied, 4-4. The two rivals were supposed to complete the series today, but rain has postponed the outcome yet again, and their second doubleheader has been rescheduled forTuesday.
While Harvard has the early lead in the series, the Quakers will be rooting for a Big Green win: earlier this season, Harvard took two wins over Penn (6-3 and 9-6), while the Quakers swept Dartmouth with ease (14-0 and 11-4).
The Quakers will play for an Ivy League championship on May 5 and 6, keeping alive their hopes for Penn's first Ivy title since 1981. The outcome of the North Division games will determine where the championship gamesare held: the division winner with the best league record plays host to the championship series.