Davis' Walk-Off Grand Slam Closes Door on Big Red, Softball Splits Doubleheader with Cornell

Davis' Walk-Off Grand Slam Closes Door on Big Red, Softball Splits Doubleheader with Cornell

Freshman Haley Davis capped a seven-run, fifth inning by the Crimson to seal a win over Cornell on Saturday afternoon (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Freshman Haley Davis' first career home run was a walk-off grand slam that ended an 11-2 contest against Cornell in five innings, as the Harvard softball used the run-rule to split a doubleheader with an Ivy League rival for the second time in as many days. The Crimson (11-17, 4-4 Ivy) fell in a 10-7 battle with the Big Red (14-16, 4-4 Ivy) earlier in the day.

Junior Kasey Lange equaled Davis' team-leading four RBI with a 3-for-6 performance at the plate and scored three runs, as well as drawing two intentional walks. Senior Stephanie Regan and junior Shelbi Olson led the Crimson with four hits. Regan went 4-for-8 with four runs scored and three RBI, while Olson posted a .667 average (4-for-6), scored three times and drove in a pair of runs.

Freshman Jamie Halula (4-4) picked up the win for Harvard. The Key Biscayne, Fla. native struck out three batters, walked one and gave up two runs on eight hits in five innings of work. Morgan Groom (4-8) shouldered the loss for the Crimson in the first contest. After 5.2 innings, Groom struck out two batters, walked five and allowed six earned runs on eight hits. Sophomore Gabrielle Ruiz tossed 1.1 innings of relief in game one, but gave up three runs and walked two Big Red hitters.

The Crimson tagged Alyson Onyon (10-9) for nine runs in the second meeting, but shared responsibility of the grand slam with teammate Sammy Roth, who was making a relief appearance in the fifth inning of game two. Roth (3-3) had earned the win in game one after throwing 2.2 innings of ball with a pair of strikeouts, two walk and four hits allowed.

Harvard gave up a run off a pair of doubles in the first inning of game two, but used one of Regan's walks, sac bunt and single to left from Lange to even the game in the bottom half, 1-1.

The Crimson were briefly at a disadvantage again in the third when a single and single up the middle scored another run for the Big Red, 2-1, but Harvard claimed the lead with two runs in the bottom half of the frame, 3-2. Olson singled up the middle and stole second, before coming around when Lantz' shot to second base was mishandled. Sophomore Emily Gusse then singled through the left side to bring around Davis, who had drawn a walk to get on after Olson.

Harvard added to its lead with another run in the fourth, 4-2. Freshman Alyssa Siegmann led off with a walk and was advanced on a sac bunt and infield ground out, before scoring as Olson singled to short.

Seven runs in the fifth sealed the win for the Crimson, 11-2. Lantz started things off with a single and then stole second. Gusse put runners on the corners with chip shot to center and was subbed out for senior Jessica Ferri. Hume then knocked a pitch back up the middle for an RBI, 5-2, and Siegmann advanced her teammate on a sac bunt. Sophomore Katherine Appelbe landed a bunt single, before Regan drove a ball to center to plate two more runs, 7-2. After Olson reached on a fielder's choice and moved to second on a run-down, Lange drew an intentional walk to load the bases and Davis clobbered the ball to right-center in walk-off fashion.

 In game one, the Crimson gave up early walks and hit-by-pitches to provide the Big Red runners to work with, as they scored three runs off a pair of singles and a walk in the first inning.

Both sides posted two runs in the third. Cornell drew a leadoff walk and registered a double for the first run, 4-0, before a wild pitch and sac fly stretch its lead to five, 5-0. Regan got the Crimson started with a single and moved around on an infield groundout and single up the middle by Lange, 5-1. Lantz grounded out to advance her teammate, before Gusse charged a ball up the middle to give Harvard its second run, 5-2.

The Crimson tied the game in the fourth inning, 5-5. Regan hit a two-out single through the left side and Olson drew a walk to get runners on. Back-to-back doubles from Lange and Lantz evened the score at five.

Harvard took the lead with two runs in the fifth, 7-5. Siegmann delivered a pinch-hit single and Hume followed with a hit to center, before Appelbe dropped a bunt single. Regan's infield fly advanced the runs, 6-5, and Olson singled to second to add to the advantage, 7-5.

The Crimson allowed the Big Red to tie the game in the top of the sixth, 7-7, and gave up three runs in the seventh to fall in the first contest, 10-7.

Harvard will be back in action on Tuesday, April 9, when it hosts Boston University at 4 p.m. on Soldiers Field.