The Lions edge past .500 in the Ivy League after smashing two home runs against the Quakers, sealing the series win.
After snatching a win from second place Princeton (19–15, 12–3 Ivy), the University of Pennsylvania (4–33, 2–13 Ivy) proved that despite a less than spectacular record, the Philadelphians can’t be counted out. Columbia (13–19, 8–7 Ivy), having been swept in its own series against the Tigers, recognized that good pitching would be crucial to a successful series against the Quakers. Despite good fielding, Lion pitchers gave up a combined 30 hits and 20 runs to Princeton. After the Lions had a team batting average of .111 over the three-game Princeton series—the lowest in any series this season—they looked to bounce back against Penn.
Excellent pitching and defense for both sides brought the first game of Friday’s doubleheader to an eighth inning. Pitcher Raquel Reyes (CC’ 24) threw all eight innings, allowing only three hits in 27 at bats, to keep the Lions in the running against Penn and earn the win. With a scoreless game going into extra innings, Reyes blooped a ball into left field to kick off Columbia’s rally with a double. After sending first-year Savanna Messner (CC ’26) to second as a pinch runner for Reyes, the Lions called upon Maddy Rifenberick (CC ’24) for her first at bat of the game. Drilling the ball down the left foul line, just past the Quaker third baseman, Rifenberick doubled, sending Messner home for a game-winning RBI to put the Lions up 1–0.
The Lions’ second game of the double header didn’t go as smoothly. Tacking three runs on the scoreboard in the first inning, Penn got to work quickly, tearing through pitches for nine hits in 33 at bats. Scoring again in the third, fifth, and twice in the seventh, the Quakers took advantage of two Lion errors, bringing them to a 7–0 lead to end the game.
Celebrating Pride Day, Columbia bounced back in the last game of the series, toughing out the Quakers to a 5–4 win. In a back and forth game, the Lions and Quakers picked up a run each in the first and third innings. Columbia drove in two runs in the fourth before Penn answered with two of its own in the fifth. Reyes picked up another win in the series as two Lions sent balls out of the park to score three runs to keep the Lions level with Penn going into the sixth inning before first-year Eleni Katsivalis (CC ’26) sent a ball flying into center field to send Messner home for the winning run.
The Lions will stay at home this weekend to face Cornell (11–20, 4–8 Ivy) in their last home series of the season.
Riff via Garrett Sulak