Softball Splits With Dartmouth, 4-2 and 2-1, In Final Ivy Regular Season Home Games

Laura Ricciardone earned the win for Harvard in Game 2 against Dartmouth (Harvard Athletic Communications).

The Harvard softball team rallied late in Game 2 to salvage a split with Dartmouth Saturday at Soldiers Field in its final home regular-season action of the year. Dartmouth (13-24, 6-12 Ivy) took the first game, 4-2, while Harvard (30-12, 16-2 Ivy) won Game 2, 2-1.

Dartmouth got to Rachel Brown early, taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Two straight hits by Kat Hicks and Hillary Hubert to start the inning led to the run as Hubert ripped a double to center that plated Hicks. Another run came across for the guests in the fourth when Noelle Ramirez singled home Megan Averitt to stake the Big Green to a 2-0 lead through four.

The Crimson scored its first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. Ashley Heritage reached on a two-out single to the shortstop and swiped her ninth bag of the season to move into scoring position. Kasey Lange followed with a hard single past the Dartmouth first baseman, bringing Heritage around to cut the deficit to one. Back-to-back doubles by the Big Green to start the sixth pushed the lead back to two runs at 3-1, but Harvard answered right back when Adrienne Hume singled through the left side to score Shelbi Olson in the bottom of the frame. Dartmouth picked up one more in the top of the seventh and Harvard was unable to respond, sealing the 4-2 final.

Rachel Brown absorbed the loss for Harvard, striking out six and allowing four runs on the day. Katherine Lantz picked up a pair of hits in the game while Lange and Hume were responsible for Harvard's RBIs. Dartmouth's Kristen Rumley finished the game with nine strikeouts in a solid outing.

Runs were hard to come by in the second game as well as the teams traded scoreless frames through the first three innings. Dartmouth plated the first run of the game for the second straight contest, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth on a Noelle Ramirez single. The Crimson didn't have an immediate response, but came through with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to take its first lead of the day. Olson slapped a ball that the pitcher mishandled and Adrienne Hume came home when the Dartmouth catcher attempted to pick pinch-runner Kassy Shiotani off second base. Jessica Ferri drove in the winning run with an RBI groundout that scored Shiotani from third.

Dartmouth led off the top of the seventh with a single, but Rachel Brown, in a relief appearance, got the next three outs for her first save of the season. Laura Ricciardone fired six strong innings, earning her 13th win of the season and collected three strikeouts and no walks.    

Harvard's next action will be in the 2012 Ivy League Championship Series, which will likely take place May 5-6 at Soldiers Field. Harvard will take on either Penn or Cornell for the Ivy title, depending on the outcome of the Cornell-Princeton doubleheader tomorrow in Princeton, N.J.