Softball Opens Ivy League Play at Columbia, Penn This Weekend

Softball Opens Ivy League Play at Columbia, Penn This Weekend

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Twelve days removed from its third tournament in as many weekends, the Brown softball team opens its Ivy League schedule under second-year Head Coach Katie Flynn when the Bears travel to Columbia and Penn for Ancient Eight doubleheaders this weekend. Brown (2-13) faces the Lions (9-9) on Friday at 12 p.m. and the Quakers (4-9) on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.


Fans can follow the action with Live Stats for Friday's doubleheader at Columbia, while Penn will provide live audio and live stats for Saturday's two games.


With the start of Ivy League play this weekend, all eight Ivy League teams will be taking part in a League-wide show of support for Go4theGoal.

Go4theGoal is a public, non-profit charitable foundation whose funds are used to provide supportive services to children with cancer. The foundation was founded in 2006 by Dr. Richard Stefanacci and his wife Beth in memory of their son, Richard, who was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. Go4theGoal is based in Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., dedicating money to granting wishes to children in treatment and raising more than $500,000 for innovative pediatric cancer research. 

On Friday and Saturday, each of the Ancient Eight teams will be wearing gold shoelaces purchased by their players during the game to help raise awareness for the organization and donate money to this important charity.


Sophomore Alex Scott (Santa Cruz, Calif.) belted a first-game home run and scored twice to cap a 3-for-5 day, but the Brown softball team dropped a pair of contests to St. Francis (Pa.), 4-2, and George Washington, 3-0, at the Capital Invitational on March 16.

Senior Kelsey Williams (Greenwood, Ind.) and freshman Casey Fisher (Oro Valley, Ariz.) each went 2-for-3 in the opener while junior Trista Chavez (San Pedro, Calif.) did the same in game two. Sophomore Janet Leung (Mississauga, Ontario) doubled and drove in a run against the Red Flash, and on the mound, freshman Christina Andrews (Southlake, Texas) and junior Jessica Cherness (Torrance, Calif.) both fought to complete game losses.


Freshman Christina Andrews (Southlake, Texas) slugged her way to being named the Ivy League Player and Rookie of the Week, it was announced by the league office on March 11. The awards are the first of Andrews' career, the first for Brown this season and the first multiple-award winner for the Bears since Liz DiMascio was named Pitcher and Rookie of the Week on Mar. 16, 2010.

Andrews batted .500 during the Bears' six games at the Loyola Marymount Invitational. Andrews went 8-for-16 with three doubles and a home run, slugging .875. She hit safely in five of the six contests, driving in four runs and scoring once. She is hitting .412 thus far this season and leads the League in total bases with 23. 


Riding a five-gave winning streak to a 9-9 overall record, Columbia is four games into an 11-game homestand that began with doubleheader sweeps of Iona and Rider last weekend. The Lions lead the league in hitting (.295), on-base percentage (.371) and slugging (.457) but have the highest team earned run average (5.74) and surrendered the most walks (69) of the eight squads.

Junior Kayla Shimoda and freshman Alyssa Rodia were named Ivy League Co-Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively, on Tuesday. In nine games last week, Shimoda batted .355, slugged .645 and posted a .444 on base percentage. She also drove in 11 runs, walked four times, stole three bases and hit a pair of home runs and doubles. Against Iona on Saturday, Shimoda launched a walk-off grand slam to lift the Lions to a 12-9 victory.

Rodia posted a .435 batting average, .500 OBP and slugged at an .826 clip. Of her 10 hits, three were doubles and two were home runs, as she drove in 11 runs, scored 14 times and swiped two bags.


Penn is nursing a five-game losing skid en route to a 4-9 overall record this season. The defending Ivy League champions coming off a 30-win season and a trip to the NCAA Tournament, but graduated seven seniors from that squad including All-Ivy and NFCA All-Region outfielder Brooke Coloma. Coloma batted .331, drove in 35 runs and stole a Penn single-season record 19 bases in 2013.

Freshman pitcher Alexis Sargent leads the Ivy League with a 1.40 ERA, most recently tossing 6.2 innings of one-run softball with six strikeouts in a no-decision against Saint Joseph's. The Quakers are fourth in the league with a .249 team batting average, led by junior All-Ivy outfielder Sydney Turchin, who owns a .349 average with just two strikeouts in 43 at bats.


Last season, Brown hosted Columbia and Penn in the second weekend of Ivy play. The Bears split with the Lions on April 5, falling 12-1 in the opener before taking the nightcap, 5-1 for their first Ivy League win of the season. The following day, Penn took two from Brown, prevailing 7-1 and 6-4. The Bears last beat Penn on April 9, 2011, with a doubleheader sweep in Providence.


Brown will host Ocean State rival Bryant for a single non-conference game in the Bears' home opener on Thursday, April 3, at 4 p.m.