Softball Finishes Weekend Sweep of Brown, 7-3 and 11-1

Whitney Shaw launched two home runs in Game 2 against Brown Sunday (Harvard Athletic Communications).

The Harvard softball team came out of the gate swinging Sunday, bashing 31 hits between two games and taking down Brown in a doubleheader, 7-3 and 11-1, to complete the series sweep against the Bears. With the pair of wins, Harvard (26-13, 10-2 Ivy) maintains its three-game lead in the Ivy League North standings and becomes the first team in the Ancient Eight to reach the 10-win mark.

The Crimson struck first for the third straight game, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the third of Game 1. Ellen Macadam reached base with a bunt single and moved to third on a steal and a sacrifice bunt. Kasey Lange came through in the clutch once again, plating Macadam with a sacrifice fly to center to give the guests a one-run lead. A solo home run from the Bears in the bottom of the fourth evened the score and 1-1 but the Crimson responded with two runs in the fifth and three in the sixth to grab the lead for good.

Stephanie Regan drove in Harvard's second run with a sacrifice bunt and Lange picked up her second RBI of the game with a single up the middle in the fifth. Ashley Heritage reached base on a fielder's choice with one out in the sixth and, after stealing second and third, came home on a bunt single by Mari Zumbro. Olivia Piccione showed her penchant for stingy pinch-hitting, lacing a double to right to plate Zumbro and Regan continued her hot weekend with a two-out RBI single for a 6-1 lead after six. Allison Scott launched a solo homer in the top of the seventh and two Brown runs in its final at bat were not enough in the 7-3 final.

Rachel Brown earned the win for Harvard, her 16th of the season, allowing three runs and striking out 12 in seven full innings. Macadam finished 3 for 4 with two runs scored and Scott and Zumbro had a pair of hits each in the win. Lange picked up two more RBI in the game and Harvard swiped five bases in the contest.

The first three innings of Game 2 were uneventful but Harvard utilized the long ball to bring four runs across in the top of the fourth. Regan led off the frame with a single and Lange followed with a double to put runners on second and third. Whitney Shaw brought home the game's first run with an RBI bunt single and Scott cleared the bases with a three-run blast to right to stake the Crimson to a 4-0 lead.

After the Bears posted a run with a solo homer, Shaw answered with a solo shot of her own in the sixth and Zumbro made it 6-1 with an RBI double. The Crimson put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh as Regan and Lange ripped back-to-back RBI doubles to give Harvard an 8-1 lead. Shaw lifted a two-run homer to center and Scott made it back-to-back shots with a solo bomb to put the finishing touches on an 11-1 win.  

Harvard recorded 18 hits in the blowout win, led by Scott who finished 4 for 4 with a pair of home runs, a double and four RBI. Shaw went 3 for 3 from the plate and matched Scott's totals of four RBI and two long balls. Regan also collected three hits in the game and Kasey Lange recorded an RBI for the seventh straight contest. Laura Ricciardone was efficient on the rubber, conceding just one run and four hits over seven innings for her ninth win of the season. With the one run allowed, Ricciardone saw her conference earned run average drop to an impressive 1.47 in 38.0 innings pitched this season.

Harvard is back in action Thursday when it makes the short trip to Boston University to take on the Terriers in a 4 p.m. game.