Following spring trip, softball primes for Ivy League opener

by Taylor Malmsheimer | 3/27/12 10:00pm

by Maggie Rowland and Maggie Rowland / The Dartmouth

It is Rumley's first Ivy League Rookie of the Week award and Dartmouth's first since Hillary Hubert '13 won in 2010. Rumley explained that she likes the high competition and intensity of the college game and has worked to make a smooth transition from high school to college softball.

"I've just been working with the team," she said. "Knowing the defense behind me and working with the catchers helps. We fit well together and it's been amazing playing with the team."

Last week, Rumley recorded wins over Stetson and North Texas, with six strikeouts in each of the victories. In four appearances throughout the week, she allowed only three runs on nine hits and posted a 1.07 ERA. For the season, Rumley has a 2.39 ERA and a team-high 49 strikeouts.

"If you saw Kristen on the field, you would not know she was a freshman," Molly Khalil '12 said. "She has the composure of an upperclassman. There wasn't really a transition she stepped in with the mentality that she was already comfortable on the field."

Offensively, Rumley recorded her first collegiate at-bats against Stetson and went 5-for-5 with an RBI. She was also 2-for-4 against North Texas and finished the week at 9-for-18 with three RBIs. She leads the Big Green with a .474 batting average. Rumley explained that hitting helps her pitching game.

"I think it keeps me more involved in the game," she said. "When I'm not hitting I sometimes lose focus on what the other pitcher is throwing. It keeps you mentally focused on the game."

On Friday, the Big Green will begin Ivy League play by traveling to Princeton, N.J. to take on the Tigers (3-16) in a doubleheader. Last week, Princeton was winless in seven games in California. The contest against Dartmouth will be their first home game of the season.

Offensively, the Tigers are led by senior Nicole Ontiveros, who has a batting average of .344 and nine RBIs. Freshman Alyssa Schmidt has recorded a .314 batting average and a .471 slugging percentage so far this season.

Defensively, Princeton has three pitchers who have pitched at least 27 innings and have recorded one win each. Their ERAs range from 4.15 to 4.50.

Last year, the teams met for one doubleheader on Dartmouth's home field. The Big Green won the first game by a score of 10-9 and lost the second by a score of 1-0.

On Saturday, Dartmouth heads to Ithaca, N.Y. to take on Cornell (9-10). The Big Red is coming off three canceled games last weekend and will face Harvard University on Friday afternoon. The upcoming weekend will be the first time the Big Red plays at home this season.

Offensively, senior Morgan Cawley leads Cornell with a .345 batting average, while freshman Clare Feely boasts a batting average of .321 and a slugging percentage of .464. Junior Kristen Towne, who leads the team with 54 at-bats, has a batting average of .296.

In the circle for the Big Red is usually sophomore Alyson Onyon. She has pitched 51 innings and started seven games for Cornell with a 4-2 record and a 2.75 ERA. Cornell has three other pitchers with 23 to 27 innings recorded and a combined record of 5-8.

Last year, the teams met for one doubleheader in Hanover. Dartmouth lost the first game 9-5 before recovering to win the second game 9-6.

After its early season success, Big Green players said that they are ready to face off against their traditional foes.

"Everyone's really excited," Khalil said. "We're feeling confident after the work we've done in Florida and South Carolina. We're ready to take on the Ivy League."

Dartmouth was scheduled to play the University of Massachusetts on Tuesday afternoon but the game was canceled due to cold and windy weather conditions in Amherst, Mass. The game may be rescheduled in April.