Softball Completes Series Sweep of Brown Sunday; Sets the Stage for Decisive North Division Matchup Versus Dartmouth

Haley Davis had six RBI Sunday to help Harvard sweep Brown (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard softball (25-14, 13-3 Ivy) tallied 26 hits over a doubleheader sweep against Brown (16-21, 5-11 Ivy) Sunday to notch wins in all four games of the weekend series at Soldiers Field. Harvard posted a 6-2 decision in the opener and then scored nine runs in the late innings of the series finale to rally for an 11-4 triumph.

The four-game sweep extends Harvard's current win streak to six games, as well as victors in 14 of its last 15 games. The Crimson is also a perfect 10-0 at home this season.

With the four-game sweep of the Bears, and Dartmouth splitting its series at home with Yale, the Crimson and Big Green will meet next weekend with the North Division title, and a spot in the Ivy League Championship Series, on the line. Dartmouth is 14-2 in Ivy League play, holding a one-game advantage over Harvard. The Crimson will host the first doubleheader of the series Saturday, April 30 at Soldiers Field at 2 p.m., with the teams reconvening in Hanover, New Hampshire Sunday for the last two games of the regular season.

Harvard 6, Brown 2
Brown scored the game's first two runs in the top of the first, but Harvard scored the next six to capture a 6-2 win in the opening game on a sunny, but breezy day in Cambridge. Taylor Cabe went the distance in the circle for Harvard, tallying a career-best nine strikeouts. Haley Davis started off a terrific day at the dish with a 3-for-4 showing and two RBI, while Zoe Galindo, Elizabeth Shively and Rhianna Rich each had two hits in the game.

Sarah Syrop gave Brown the early advantage with a two-RBI single, but Harvard struck back in the bottom of the first with three runs of its own. Rich doubled and Meagan Lantz was hit by a pitch to give Harvard a pair of base runners with one out. The duo advanced a bag on a passed ball to give the Crimson two runners in scoring position. Gianna Panariello took advantage with a single that plated both and tied the game. Shively knocked in Panariello, who had stolen third, in the next at bat with an infield single.

In the second, Galindo and Maddy Kaplan each recorded singles, Galindo's via a bunt, giving Harvard two runners on once again. Rich was able to bring home Galindo on a drive out to left, extending Harvard lead to 4-2.

The teams settled in for the next three frames without the score changing before Harvard tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs, Shively and Savannah Bradley earned walks to load the bases with Lantz already on third. That brought Davis to the dish, and the senior proceeded to lace a double to left center that scored the two lead base runners.

Cabe closed out the victory with her final two K's of the afternoon and a groundout in the top of the seventh.

Harvard 11, Brown 4
Panariello and Davis each drove in four runs, helping Harvard rally from a 4-2 deficit late, as Harvard completed the series sweep of Brown with an 11-4 victory in game two Sunday.

Freshman Kathleen Duncan started the game and allowed three runs on five hits before senior Morgan Groom came on in the fourth and earned the win after limiting the Bears to one run on four hits the rest of the way.

Both teams scored in the first inning once again. Brown got on the board with an RBI double by Christina Andrews, but Harvard responded with two runs in the bottom half. Panariello's hard hit through the left side scored Kaplan to even the score and Davis' sacrifice fly to right allowed Lantz to tag up to put Harvard ahead 2-1.

The Bears recaptured the lead in the third with two more RBI from Andrews by way of a homer to left center. Brown extended its lead to 4-2 in the top of the fifth on a RBI single from Ashli Lotz, but Harvard's rally sprang to life in the next half inning.

Responding well to the pressure of two outs, Lantz singled and Panariello walked with Davis standing in again. This time, Davis rocketed a ball to left field, shadowing the foul line before clearing the fence in fair territory to swing the score in Harvard's favor, 5-4.

The Crimson broke open the game in the sixth with six more runs crossing the plate. Rich started the scoring with a triple to the gap in left that drove in Galindo and Kaitlyn Schiffhauer. Kaplan completed Rich's trip around the bases with a RBI single to left.  Two batters later, Panariello put the exclamation point on the weekend for Harvard with a three-run shot of her own over the right field wall.