CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A walk-off infield single by junior shortstop Rhianna Rich in the bottom of the 11th inning of game one propelled Harvard (20-12, 13-4 Ivy) to the doubleheader sweep of Dartmouth (15-16, 9-5 Ivy) on Saturday afternoon. The Crimson defeated the Big Green, 6-5, in 11 innings in game one, before pulling out the 4-1 win in game two on Senior Day.
Game 1: Harvard 6, Dartmouth 5 (11 innings)
The first game of the twin bill was a barn-burner. Dartmouth struck first scoring once in the top of the first, but junior third baseman Erin Lockhart answered with an opposite filed solo shot to right center field to tie the game.
Dartmouth re-gained the lead pushing across a run in the top of the second and two in the third to take the 4-1 lead. But Harvard chipped away, cutting the deficit in the half scoring once in the home half of the third.
With the game moving along and both pitchers settling into a rhythm, the Crimson took advantage of free bases and a Big Green error in the bottom of the fifth. Lockhart worked a, bases loaded, walk against Dartmouth reliever Shelby Wilkison to plate junior second baseman Meagan Lantz with the third Crimson run. Moments later, Rich came in to tie the ballgame on sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of sophomore Olivia Giaquinto.
After Dartmouth took the lead back with a solo homerun in the top of the sixth, Harvard answered in the home half. The Crimson opened the frame with back-to-back base hits by senior left fielder Dallas Hogan and Lantz. Three batters later, Lockhart drove in her third run of the game with a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Hogan and tie the game at five.
It was where the ballgame stood the for the next five innings. After rough first few innings, Harvard junior starter, left hander Katie Duncan settled down retiring 15 of the last 17 batters she faced. But Dartmouth reliever, Heather Turner was equally impressive, keeping the Crimson off the scoreboard until running into trouble in the 11th.
In the bottom of the 11th, the Crimson took advantage of two Big Green errors. Lantz opened the inning reaching on an error by the shortstop, then advanced to third on an overthrow by the catcher. Moments later, Rich beat out an infield chopper to her counterpart at shortstop, and in the back door came Lantz with the winning run.
Game 2: Harvard 4, Dartmouth 1
In game two, the Crimson offense picked up where it left off at the end of game two. Rich opened the inning dropping a double down the left field line. After advancing 60 feet on a ground out to shortstop, Rich scored the first run of the game on a ground ball to first base to give Harvard the 1-0 advantage.
Junior right hander Sarah Smith kept Dartmouth hitters off balance as she took a no-hitter into fifth before giving up a one-out base-hit to Tatyana Castillo. Despite giving up two hits in the frame, Smith got out of the inning unscathed, getting Micah Schroder to fly out to center field.
The Crimson pushed across two insurance runs in the home half of the fifth, which proved to be important as the Big Green broke up the shut-out with solo homerun in the top of the sixth. Harvard got the run back scoring once in the bottom of the frame to put the Crimson back up by three.
It was more than enough as junior left hander Katie Duncan tossed the final two innings of the ballgame to pick up her third save of the season. Smith improved to 5-0 on the season after tossing five innings allowing just two hits, while tying her single-game best, striking out five opposing batters.
- Junior left hander Katie Duncan earned her 13th win of the season, tossing all 11 innings in game one, and picked up her third save tossing two innings in game two.
- Junior shortstop Rhianna Rich went five-for-nine at the plate with a double, triple, two RBI and two runs scored.
- Junior Sarah Smith held the Big Green hitless through 4.1 innings in game two to improve to 5-0 on the season.
Harvard will go for the series sweep of Dartmouth tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is slated for 12:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Ivy League Network.