For the last three years, Princeton softball finished in second place in the Ivy League South Division, narrowly missing a chance to compete in the league’s championship series. This spring, with a veteran lineup and a few key freshman additions, the Tigers won their division convincingly, setting up a best-of-three showdown at North Division-champion Harvard May 7 and 9.
After splitting the first two games of the series, Princeton erupted with an 8-run rally in the second inning of game three and held on to win, 8–3. Along with the Ivy title, the Tigers earned a bid to the NCAA Championships, which were scheduled to begin May 19.
Princeton had just eight hits in the decisive win, but six of them came in the second inning, including run-scoring singles by Marissa Reynolds ’17, Kaitlyn Waslawski ’19, Kayla Bose ’16, and Kaylee Grant ’19. Shanna Christian ’16 pitched a complete game to earn the victory, her sixth of the year.
Head coach Lisa Van Ackeren gave credit to her captains, Bose and Christian, two seniors who overcame injuries and setbacks earlier in their careers and fueled the team’s positive outlook. “That makes such a big difference in how a team operates in the big moments,” Van Ackeren said. “It was inspiring.”