Softball Doubles Up Yale, 8-0 and 11-1, in Senior Day Slugfest

Harvard Softball Senior Day (April 24, 2011 vs. Yale) Buy Now
Harvard Softball Senior Day (April 24, 2011 vs. Yale)

Harvard posted a doubleheader sweep of Yale on senior day Sunday (Harvard Athletic Communications).

Ellen Macadam's Postgame Video

There was no shortage of offense Sunday at Soldiers Field as the Harvard softball team topped Yale 8-0 in six innings in Game 1 and 11-1 in five innings in Game 2 of a key Ivy League doubleheader. The pair of wins moves Harvard's Ivy record to a league-best 12-2, as the Crimson has won its last seven Ancient Eight contests.  

Game 1 started off as a pitcher's duel as Yale ace Chelsey Dunham matched Rachel Brown frame for frame though the first four innings. Dunham limited the Crimson to just one hit during that span while Brown scattered four Bulldogs hits without allowing a run. Harvard broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth, collecting five hits and plating three runs in the inning.

After Ashley Heritage led off with a single and moved to third on a steal and a sacrifice bunt, Jane Alexander brought her home with a game's first run with a strategically placed single to the pitcher. Ellen Macadam muscled a single to right-center to score Alexander and Kasey Lange picked up an RBI when she brought home Macadam on a single through the right side. Brown kept the Bulldog bats quiet in the top of the sixth and Harvard put the game away with a five-run sixth.

Mari Zumbro plated Harvard's fourth run on a fielder's choice that scored Jessica Ferri and Alexander followed with a second RBI fielder's choice. Zumbro came home on a double-steal with the sixth run and Stephanie Regan drove a single to left field that brought Alexander home to push the score to 7-0 with no outs. Lange stepped up with the bases loaded and lined out to the center fielder deep enough to bring the game-ending run home, stopping the game in the sixth with Harvard up 8-0.

Macadam, Regan and Heritage all had a pair of hits in the game while Lange and Alexander had a pair of RBI each. Brown sat down nine Bulldogs in six innings of work, giving her 244 strikeouts on the season, which stands as the second-highest single-season total in Ivy League history. Brown needs 15 more strikeouts to set the all-time single season record in the Ancient Eight.

Harvard didn't waste any time getting going in Game 2, scoring all 11 runs in the first two innings of play. A single, an error and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases for Whitney Shaw in the bottom of the first and Shaw turned on a 3-2 pitch, blasting a grand slam over the left field wall for a quick 4-0 lead.

The Crimson put the game out of reach in the bottom of the second, scoring seven runs on five hits and one Yale error. Macadam led off with a single and quickly stole second and Regan drove her in with a single to right. Heritage lined a two-RBI double over the centerfielder's head four batters later and Olivia Piccione picked up a pair of RBI on a pinch-hit single to left. Macadam capped the Harvard scoring with an RBI double that just skipped off the third baseman's glove and worked its way down the left field line.

The offensive outburst was more than enough support for hurler Laura Ricciardone as the rookie scattered three hits and forfeited just one run on a solo blast in five innings of work to earn her 10th victory of the season. Macadam finished 3 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBI while Shaw had a game-high four RBI. Heritage picked up two more hits in the Game 2 victory.