Pictured: The Crimson will play for its first Ivy League
championship since 2007.
Photo Courtesy: Harvard Athletic Communications
ITHACA, N.Y. – Trailing 2-1 entering the bottom of the eighth inning in the second game of the Ivy League Championship series, the Harvard softball team got two runners on base before Jennifer Francis belted an 0-1 pitch over the center field fence for a walk-off, three-run home run to give Harvard a 4-2 win over Cornell. The come-from-behind victory by the Crimson forces a deciding game three, the first time since the inception of divisional play that the championship series has gone to three games.
The Big Red plated a run early in game two as Elise Menaker lifted a long ball to right center to give Cornell a quick 1-0 lead. Harvard answered right back in the bottom half of the inning, manufacturing a run to tie the score after one. Ellen Macadam led off with a single to center and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Stephanie Krysiak. Melissa Schellberg shot a 1-2 pitch to right field to bring Macadam in with the Crimson's first run.
From the second inning on, both starting pitchers bore down and kept the opposing bats quiet. Crimson starter Margaux Black settled in and kept the Big Red scoreless through the sixth where Rachel Brown took over, while Cornell's Elizabeth Dalrymple kept Harvard off the board through the seventh. Marissa Amiraian reached base with a one-out single in the top of the eighth and, after advancing to second on a wild pitch, scored on an Alyson Intihar single up the middle, giving the Big Red a 2-1 lead. Mari Zumbro kept the Harvard hopes alive with a two-out single in the bottom of the eighth and Jessica Pledger followed with a single to third. Francis was next up and ended the game with a blast to center, giving Harvard a 4-2 win.
Zumbro finished game two with a 3 for 3 showing from the plate, while Macadam, Krysiak and Schellberg all had two hits in the game. Francis' three RBI was a game high and Schellberg also picked up an RBI for the Crimson. Brown earned the win in circle, striking out two in 1.2 innings while Dalrymple took the loss despite striking out eight in 7.2 innings of work.
The Crimson and Big Red will play the deciding game three tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.