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Rookies Lead Harvard Past Holy Cross, 3-0

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Jane Alexander scored one run and drove in another while fellow freshman Rachel Brown tied the program’s single-season strikeouts record as the Harvard softball team defeated Holy Cross, 3-0, in a non-league game Thursday afternoon at Soldiers Field.

The freshman duo of Brown and Julia Moore teamed up on a two-hitter, their second combined shutout in five days. Marika Zumbro led all players two hits. She and fellow rookie Whitney Shaw scored runs, as freshmen accounted for all of Harvard’s three of its five hits.

The junior class also played a key role in the win, as Stephanie Krysiak reached base three times and Melissa Schellberg had an RBI double.

Brown started and allowed just one hit, a swinging dribbler by Camille Trainor, in four innings. She tied the strikeout record with her seventh of the game, against the final batter she faced, Mandy Correale. It was her 182nd strikeout of the season, matching Tasha Cupp’s mark set in 1997. Brown also got the win to move to 15-5 on the season and take sole possession of fourth on the team’s season wins list.

Moore pitched the final three innings for the first save of her career. She struck out two while allowing one hit and one walk.

The Crimson (25-14) took the lead in the opening inning, when Alexander walked, moved to second on a Shaw sacrifice and scored on consecutive wild pitches by Holy Cross pitcher Melissa Pivonka. Harvard left two runners on base in each of the first two frames, but junior Melissa Schellberg delivered a two-out double off the left-center fence on a bounce to score Shaw from first base.

Harvard used two more doubles to add another run in the fourth inning. Zumbro tucked one inside the leftfield line and scored on a two-out shot off the fence in right center by Alexander.

Alexander, who started at second base, added her defensive stamp in the game’s final inning. She dove to her left to snag a line drive off the bat of Nicole Ortiz and threw to Shaw at first to double off Correale.

Holy Cross (12-29) totaled four baserunners on the day. The first of those, Trainor, was thrown out at second before she could even go into her slide by Harvard catcher Hayley Bock. It was the school-record 34th runner the senior has caught stealing in her career and the ninth she has thrown out this year.

The Crimson returns to action Saturday at Dartmouth for the first half of a four-game series against Dartmouth to determine the champion of the Ivy League North Division.