Kasey Lange broke the all-time program homerun record Saturday with her 12th longball of the season (Gil Talbot).
HANOVER, N.H. – A strong pitching performance in Game 1 kept the Harvard softball team in the North Division title hunt as the Crimson split a doubleheader with Ivy rival Dartmouth Saturday. Harvard (22-20, 12-6 Ivy) captured the first game, 4-1, while Dartmouth (23-18, 13-5 Ivy) took Game 2, 7-1.
The North Division title will be decided on the final day of the regular season, with the Crimson needing to take both games of a Sunday doubleheader at Soldiers Field. The winner of the North Division will travel to Philadelphia to take on South Division champ Penn in a best of three series.
Harvard ace Morgan Groom was firmly in control throughout Game 1, but was tested right out of the gate. Kristen Rumley led off the game for Dartmouth with a double to left field, but Groom recorded the second and third outs of the inning via strikeout. The rookie pitcher proceeded to sit down the Big Green in order in the second and third, and the Harvard offense got her some support in the top of the fourth. Facing the hottest pitcher in the league in Rumley, Kasey Lange broke the all-time Harvard home run record, bashing a solo shot for her 12th longball of the season and 29th of her career.
Groom continued to mow through the Dartmouth lineup and the offense further padded the lead in the top of the fifth. Haley Davis followed Lange's example, blasting a solo shot to make it 2-0, and a two-run single off the bat of Shelbi Olson gave the guests a comfortable 4-0 lead with two frames to go. The Big Green managed to bring home one run in its last at-bat thanks to a Crimson miscue, but that is as close as it would get in the 4-1 final.
The freshman hurler turned in one of the finest performances of the season, finishing with a career-best nine strikeouts and scattering six hits in the complete-game victory. Olson led all hitters with a pair of RBI and added a steal in the game.
The Big Green offense woke up in Game 2, scoring runs in four different innings, beginning with the second where it plated two runs on a sacrifice and a Harvard error. Dartmouth collected four hits in the fourth inning alone, and a two-run single off the bat of Katie Adams put the Crimson in a 4-0 hole. Jessica Ferri led off the fifth with a double to right-center and came home with Harvard's lone run on an Adrienne Hume sac fly. Kelsey Miller tripled in the Dartmouth fifth, bringing in Morgan McCalmon, and a two-run homer from Hillary Hubert capped the scoring in the game.
Katherine Appelbe led the Crimson with a pair of hits and a steal in the loss. Jamie Halula took the loss in the circle for Harvard, while Gabrielle Ruiz picked up three strikeouts in 2.2 innings of work.
Sunday's decisive doubleheader is slated to begin at 2 p.m., and will be streamed live on GoCrimson.com.