Big Bats Help Harvard Softball Sweep Season Series Against Yale

Ellen Macadam logged six hits in two games Tuesday against the Bulldogs (Harvard Athletic Communications)

The Harvard softball team tallied 23 run in 12 innings, coming from behind in Game 1 and invoking the mercy rule in Game 2 of a doubleheader sweep of Yale Tuesday at Soldiers Field. The pair of wins gives the Crimson a four-game cushion in the Ivy League standings heading into the final weekend of league competition.

The Bulldogs got to Harvard starter Rachel Brown early, bringing in four runs in the top of the first thanks to a two-run triple and a two-run home run. The Crimson began chipping away immediately as Ellen Macadam led off the game for Harvard with a triple and came home on a Stephanie Regan RBI groundout. Shelbi Olson cut the deficit to 4-2 in the second with a sacrifice fly that plated Jessica Ferri in the second.

Harvard tied the score in the third when Allison Scott launched an opposite-field, two-run home run and back-to-back long balls from Jane Alexander and Olson gave Harvard its first lead after four full innings. The Bulldogs answered back with a two-run shot of their own in the top of the fifth but a Mari Zumbro sacrifice fly pushed the score to 7-6 in Harvard's favor at the end of five. The Crimson looked to have put the game out of reach in the sixth, driving in four runs on three hits and three Yale errors, but the Bulldogs rallied in their final at bat, plating five runs on just two hits to knot the score at 11-11 heading into the bottom of the seventh. Alexander missed a walk-off homer by a matter of inches and ended up with a triple to start the bottom of the seventh, and Macadam notched the game winning hit one batter later to cap the 12-11 victory.

Macadam led all players with three hits in the game while Scott, Alexander and Olson all had two in the contest. With 12 strikeouts in the contest, Brown upped her season strikeout total to 260, breaking the Ivy League single-season strikeout record of 258, set by Princeton's Erin Snyder in 2006. Laura Ricciardone recorded the win for Harvard, recording two outs for the Crimson.

Yale took an early lead in Game 2 as well, taking a 2-0 lead on a two-run home run in the second. Harvard answered with a vengeance in the next half inning, scoring six runs on three hits and one Yale error. Whitney Shaw came home with Harvard's first run on a fielder's choice and an RBI single from Macadam followed by back-to-back two-RBI doubles by Regan and Kasey Lange gave the hosts a 6-2 edge after two full frames.

After Yale put up another run in the fourth, Harvard stretched its lead to 9-3 with three more in the bottom of the inning. Macadam popped her second triple of the day and Lange plated her with a two-run blast to right-center. Scott followed with an RBI double to the right field gap that plated Shaw, who reached via a hit-by-pitch. The Crimson ended the game early as Macadam and Lange each ripped RBI singles in the bottom of the fifth, sealing the 11-3 win and series sweep for the Crimson.

Lange's five RBI was a game high and she and Macadam each went 3 for 4 on the day. Ricciardone picked up her second win of the afternoon, allowing three runs on five hits in five innings of work for her 12th win of the year.

Harvard now looks to clinch the Ivy League North Division title and home field advantage in the Ivy Championship Series when it takes on Dartmouth in a home-and-home series next weekend. The first doubleheader will be played Saturday in Hanover, N.H., while Sunday's twinbill will take place at Soldier's Field.