BOSTON-Crimson senior Hayley Bock homered, scored twice and threw out a runner in the final game of her career, but Boston University hung on for a 3-2 win in the Harvard softball team's season finale Thursday afternoon at the BU Softball Field.
Bock was 2 for 3, hitting the ball hard three times, to lead the offense for Harvard (27-17). Fellow senior Bailey Vertovez also reached base twice in her final game. Freshman Rachel Brown (16-7) allowed three runs on six hits in a complete-game pitching effort.
Brown struck out eight Terriers to finish the season with a school-record 211 strikeouts but was out-dueled by BU ace Cassidi Hardy. Hardy surrendered two runs on six hits with five strikeouts. Emily Roesch led BU (36-15) with two hits.
After Hardy and Brown retired the game's first eight hitters, Bock began the scoring by smashing an opposite-field home run to right center in the top of the second inning. The longball was Bock's third of the season and the 11th of her career. She finishes her career tied for eighth on Harvard's career homers list.
The Terriers also got their first baserunners in the second inning, putting runners on first and second with one out on a walk and a hit. Brown got out of trouble with consecutive strikeouts. She snuck a back-door breaking ball over the outside corner following three straight foul balls by Caitlin Rentler on a 3-2 count. Brown blew a high fastball past Rachel Moeller on a 1-2 count to end the frame.
One inning after her lone classmate and co-captain homered, Vertovez crushed a double off the top of the fence in centerfield in the first at-bat of her final collegiate game. Hardy, however, got two outs to strand Vertovez at second.
Boston University took the lead from the Crimson, 2-1, in the bottom of the third. Shayne Lotito laid down a leadoff bunt single and Brooke Hudson was hit by a pitch, setting up Melissa Dubay for a two-run triple that landed just inside the rightfield line.
Rachel Hebert extended the BU lead to two runs with a two-out single to left in the fourth, scoring Roesch, who led off with a single. The Harvard seniors ended any further Terrier scoring hopes, as catcher Bock threw to shortstop Vertovez to catch Hebert trying to steal. It was the school-record 35th runner caught stealing of Bock's career.
Harvard got back one run in the fifth. Bock led off with a single up middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Jane Alexander. Rookie Marika Zumbro then plated Bock with a hard-hit double to right center.
The Crimson threatened to regain the lead in the sixth following back-to-back, one-out singles by sophomore Ellen Macadam and freshman Whitney Shaw. After a steal of second by junior pinch-runner Margaux Black and an out, Bock ripped a line drive toward third, but Hudson was there to snag it and escape the Harvard threat.
Vertovez drew a two-out walk in the seventh, but Hardy ended the game with a strikeout.