North Division Title Goes to Dartmouth With Sweep Of Softball, 5-4 (8) and 13-1 (5)

North Division Title Goes to Dartmouth With Sweep Of Softball, 5-4 (8) and 13-1 (5)

Harvard wraps up its season with a 22-22 overall record (Photo: Mike Slade).

A thrilling Game 1 saw Dartmouth edge the Harvard softball team, 5-4 in eight innings, and the Big Green went onto sweep the season-ending doubleheader Sunday at Soldiers Field. The sweep clinches the North Division title for the Big Green (25-18, 15-5 Ivy), its first since 2009, and breaks a streak of three straight for the Crimson (22-22, 12-8 Ivy).

The Big Green jumped out to a quick lead, bringing home a run in its first at-bat. Two quick outs made it look like it could be an easy inning for hurler Morgan Groom, but back-to-back doubles from Hillary Hubert and Katie McEachern put the guests up 1-0. Harvard was unable to answer in the bottom of the frame, but came back with two of its won in the bottom of the second. Adrienne Hume led off with a single and pinch runner Andrea Del Conte moved to third on a steal and a wild pitch. Emily Gusse drove a deep shot down the left field line and bounced off the wall for a double, easily knotting the score at 1-1. Katherine Appelbe moved Gusse to third on a sacrifice bunt and Zoe Galindo gave Harvard the lead with a sac fly to center.

Dartmouth tied the score in the score in the next half inning when Alex St. Romain drove a single to right that score McEachern. This time, Harvard had an immediate response when Katherine Lantz brought in Shelbi Olson with an RBI groundout to the shortstop. The Big Green managed to re-tie the score in the top of the fourth when Hubert drove a single to left center, allowing Megan Averitt to come home from second, knotting the game at 3-3. Both pitchers posted zeros in their ensuing innings of work, but it was Kasey Lange to the rescue in the bottom of the fifth, blasting her 30th career homerun over the centerfield fence to put Harvard up, 4-3, after five full frames.

Hubert picked up an infield single in the top of the sixth, but a smooth play by Lange on a groundout ended the frame with the Harvard lead still intact. Zoe Galindo popped a stand-up triple to the right-field corner with one out in the sixth, but relief pitcher Morgan McCalmon retired the next two hitters to escape the jam.

Back-to-back singles to start the seventh gave the guests hope, but a third-to-first double play put the Big Green against the wall in the game. Averitt singled on a bunt to third base and with two strikes against her, Rumley punched a single to center, bringing home the tying run. After Harvard was unable to plate the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh, McEachern lifted the first pitch she saw over the left-field fence for the go-ahead homer. Appelbe reached on a one-out single in the bottom of the eighth, but three strikeouts by McCalmon sealed the extra-inning win and the North Division title for the Big Green.

Harvard combined for nine hits on the day, led by Galindo and Olson with two apiece. Lange racked up two intentional walks to go along with her homerun and five different Harvard players swiped bases in the loss.  

Fueled by clinching the division title, the Big Green stormed out to a 4-1 lead after just two innings in Game 2. Shelbi Olson singled and came home with the first run of the game on a wild pitch, but a big second inning saw the Big Green take the lead. A walk and a single put two runners on with no outs and a lengthy home run by Katie Adams gave the guests a 3-1 lead. Kelsey Miller followed with a double to left and came home with the fourth run on a single from Morgan Wharton. Adams had her second homer of the game in the next inning, a two-run shot to push the lead to 6-1 after three full innings.

A four-base error in the top of the fourth brought in two more for the Big Green, and an RBI groundout from McEachern made it 9-1 Dartmouth. A two-run triple highlighted a four-run fifth for Dartmouth, as it extended the lead to 13-1. The Crimson was unable to respond in the final two frames, and the Big Green completed the sweep on the day with a 13-1 final.