The softball team dropped each of its three games against Princeton this weekend, as the Bears could not overcome the Tigers’ stout pitching and defense.
Bruno did not score a run until the final inning of the series, a solo homer from catcher Madi Cranford ’21. While the Bears pitched well throughout the series, including 11.1 total innings of three-run ball from Emily Waters ’20, their offense could not do its part. The three losses extended Brown’s current losing streak to seven games as they battle through their Ivy League schedule.
In the first game of the series, Lauren Innerst ’22 turned in a solid pitching performance for Brown (8-17, 1-8 Ivy), tossing a complete game and giving up just one run. The only run Princeton (10-16, 6-3) earned came on a sacrifice bunt by Tigers third baseman Alex Viscusi in the fourth inning. But Princeton’s Allie Reynolds outdueled Innerst, throwing seven scoreless innings. The Bears were unable to manufacture any offense in the first half of Saturday’s doubleheader, only mustering three hits and one walk while losing the contest 1-0.
Princeton continued their dominance on the mound in Saturday’s second tilt. Tigers pitcher Ali Blanchard threw a complete game two-hitter and forced 12 strikeouts from the Bears. “We were putting too much pressure on ourselves to get results, rather than just trusting our swings and seeing the ball,” Cranford said.
Bruno could not match Blanchard’s pitching prowess, as starter Grace Ladd ’21 could only get one out before being ousted from the game by the hard-hitting Tigers. Princeton pulled ahead by five runs in the first inning, with RBI extra-base hits from Keeley Walsh and Alex Colón leading the way. While Waters pitched well in relief, allowing a single run over six plus innings, the Bears never recovered from their early game struggles, falling 6-0.
Although the Bears had a poor weekend at the plate, Waters pointed to their defense as a bright spot. “Our defense was rock solid, we made improvements coming from last weekend to this weekend, getting better in each game,” she said.
The same pattern continued in Sunday’s series finale. Reynolds toed the rubber again, throwing another complete game and letting up just four hits. Bruno was battered for six runs, including a solo home run by Princeton’s Mackenzie Meyer. Brown finally ended its scoreless streak in the seventh inning of Sunday’s game, with Cranford launching a solo shot to left field. Still, Brown lost 6-1, giving up its second consecutive Ivy League sweep.
“They did a really good job moving the ball around, getting us to chase,” said Head Coach Kate Refsnyder of Princeton’s pitchers. “We did a lot better (Sunday), we just had a lot of lineouts, but really solid contact today. It just doesn’t show in the box score.”
Brown takes the diamond next weekend for another Ivy home series against Yale. The Bears will have another Saturday doubleheader before closing out the series Sunday. “We’re just going to work on getting our hitting back in order,” Refsnyder said. “We hit really well in the beginning of the season, and we’ll focus on that this week to take on Yale.”