After a seven-game homestand, Lions’ softball (14-30, 5-11 Ivy) will begin the first half of a four- game series against Penn. According to head coach Jennifer Teague, this is a crucial weekend for softball as they are looking finish in the top half of the Ivy League’s South Division.
“We’re kind of fighting for that second spot in the South,” she said.
Penn (21-19, 7-9 Ivy) currently holds the second spot in the South Division, three games behind first-place Princeton (17-25, 10-6 Ivy). The Light Blue has to win 3 out of 4 games in the series with Penn to solidify its second seed in the division.
Despite the importance of every game, the Lions enter the series plagued by injuries.
“We have some girls that are playing on some soreness and some injuries,” said Teague.
One of these may be junior first baseman Kerry Cook, who was absent from Wednesday’s game against Rider. She was replaced by first-year Alexandra Yule, who typically plays as a center fielder. The Lions defeated Rider, 2-1, with Yule going 2 for 3 at her first career start at first base.
Cook’s absence could potentially be a problem for the Lions as they face a Penn squad that is currently on a six-game win streak. The Quakers’ success can be attributed to the fact that the team features six players hitting over .300. Penn boasts Leah Allen, who leads the Ivies in RBIs with 37 on the season. But Columbia has a big bat in second baseman, Taylor Troutt, who is also one of the Ancient Eight’s leaders, trailing Allen by 3 RBIs.
Allen is also one of the elite base stealers in the Ivy League, amassing 11 stolen bases, the third best in the league. Trailing closely behind her is teammate Hayley Metcalf with 10 stolen bases.
Columbia will take the field in Philadelphia on Friday at 2 p.m. and 4 pm. and on Saturday at Columbia Softball Stadium at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.