PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY – The Brown softball team (6-10, 0-2 Ivy League) opened conference play on Saturday afternoon, taking to the Class of 1985 Field on the campus of Princeton University for a doubleheader against the Tigers (16-8, 2-0 Ivy League). The Bears dropped both games to the home team, falling 8-0 in six innings in the first match-up and 5-0 in the second contest.
After a scoreless first inning, Princeton surged to a 2-0 lead over Brown in the bottom of the second on a homerun by Nikki Chu. Candy Button, who was hit by a pitch in an earlier at-bat, also scored on the play. Rachel Rendina added a run in the bottom of third, putting the Tigers up 3-0 when Alex Peyton singled to shortstop to drive her home.
The Tigers added another two runs to their lead one inning later, led by Rendina's sacrifice fly to left field. Tory Roberts, who advanced through the bases after hitting a single to the left side, scored to put the home team up, 4-0. Chu added a run just a few minutes later, scoring after Peyton hit a single to shortstop, and Brown headed into the top of the fifth inning with a 5-0 deficit to overcome.
The Bears created a few offensive chances in the fifth while holding the Tigers scoreless, but the home team cemented its victory in the bottom of the sixth when Alyssa Schmidt homered to left field, driving in both Lizzy Pierce and Maddie Cousens to give Princeton the 8-0 win over Brown.
Senior co-captains Stephanie Thompson (Chino, CA) and Avery Silverstein (Woodbridge, CT) were each 1-for-2 in the contest, as was freshman Alex Scott (Santa Cruz, CA). Two other Bears registered a hit in the contest. Freshman Sarah Ropiak (Acton, MA) pitched 5.1 innings for Brown in her first Ivy League contest, allowing 11 hits and striking out two batters.
Princeton used a three run spurt in the bottom of the first inning to take an early lead in the second game. With Redina on base, Schmidt doubled to right center to bring her in. Peyton headed to the plate next and homered to left center, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
The two teams played four scoreless innings after that, but Princeton struck again at the bottom of the sixth, as Peyton homered to left center, bringing in Kate Miller. Neither team earned a run in the seventh inning, and Princeton completed its sweep of the day with a 5-0 win over Brown.
Thompson led the Bears' offense, going 2-for-3 in the second game, and five additional players connected once at the plate. Sophomore Jessica Cherness (Torrance, CA) received the loss on the mound, pitching six innings in which she allowed seven hits and had three strikeouts.
Brown will complete its first Ivy League weekend on Sunday with a doubleheader against Cornell at Niemand Robison Field in Ithaca, New York.