Softball Wraps Up Historic Regular Season With Pair of Wins Over Dartmouth
Shelbi Olson went 4 for 4 in Game 1 against Dartmouth Sunday (Harvard Athletic Communications).
Jenny Allard Postgame Comments
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard softball team wrapped up its regular season in fine style, downing Dartmouth, 10-9 and 10-1 (6 innings), Sunday at Soldiers Field. Harvard finishes the regular season with a 34-14 overall record, tying the program record for wins in a season. The Crimson also posted a program-best 18 regular-season league wins, including a perfect 12-0 record against Ivy North Division opponents.
Dartmouth struck first in Game 1 with an RBI double, but Kasey Lange responded in the bottom of the inning with a solo blast, her tenth of the season, to knot the game at 1-1. The Crimson grabbed a short-lived lead an inning later, plating a single run on a Dartmouth error after Allison Scott led off the frame with a double. Dartmouth's bats caught fire in the top of the third and the Big Green banged out five hits, including a three-run homer from Kat Hicks, and brought in seven runs to claim a commanding 8-2 lead.
The Crimson didn't have an answer in its next at-bat but the bottom of the fourth saw the Crimson match Dartmouth's seven-run output. Mari Zumbro, Jane Alexander and Shelbi Olson smacked consecutive one-out doubles and Ellen Macadam cleared the bases with a three-run bomb, her eighth of the season. After a Big Green pitching change, the hit parade continued as Stephanie Regan slapped a double to left and Lange followed with a single to short. Scott capped the scoring in the inning with a two-run shot over the center field fence to give Harvard a 9-8 lead after four.
A bases-loaded walk in the top of the sixth knotted the score at 9-9, forcing Harvard to come up with a run in the bottom of the seventh. Zumbro popped a two-out double to right-center and Olson drove in the winning run two batters later with a base hit to deep left center, sealing the 10-9 win. Olson finished the game 4 for 4 with a pair of RBI and Scott and Lange collected three hits each in the win. Rachel Brown earned the win for Harvard, pitching 1.1 innings of relief and picking up three strikeouts.
Game 2 saw Dartmouth take a 1-0 lead on an RBI groundout, but Harvard leveled the score thanks to an RBI double from Lange in the bottom of the first. Olson was back at it in the Harvard second, plating a pair of runs on an RBI single to center and Regan and Lange followed with RBI base hits to move the Crimson lead to 5-1. Zumbro stretched the lead to 6-1 with an RBI single in the third and a two-run single from Macadam pushed the host's lead to 8-1 after three full innings.
The score stayed at 8-1 into the bottom of the sixth where Macadam led off with a single to short and advanced to second on a throwing error. A Regan sacrifice bunt in the next at bat proved unnecessary as Lange followed with a walk-off, two-run homer to end the game an inning early with a 10-1 final.
Lange finished Game 2 with three hits and four RBI while Macadam also had a trio of hits in the game. Brown reached the 20-win plateau, going four innings and striking out five and Zumbro pitched two scoreless innings of relief.
Harvard now sets its sights on the Ivy League Championship Series, to be played Saturday and Sunday (if necessary) against the winner of the Ivy League South Division. Cornell and Penn will play a doubleheader this week to determine who will face the Crimson for the Ivy League title.