Emily Gusse launched a three-run homer in the series finale with Yale Sunday (Harvard Athletic Communications).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Harvard softball team saw its unprecedented win streak reach 18 games Sunday, as the Crimson completed the series sweep of North Division foe Yale with wins of 11-3 and 7-5. Harvard ups its record to 27-11 on the year, 13-0 in Ivy League play and claims sole possession of first place in the Ivy North Division standings thanks to Dartmouth's first league loss of the season.
It was a pitcher's duel through the first half of Game 1 Sunday with Laura Ricciardone leading the charge for the Crimson per usual. The teams combined for just four hits through the first three innings, but Harvard finally pushed a single run across in the fourth when Emily Gusse singled and Allison Scott came home all the way from first on an error by the Yale right fielder. Harvard did most of its damage in the fifth when four hits and two Yale miscues resulted in five runs for the guests. Katherine Lantz plated Andrea Del Conte with a single through the left side and Adrienne Hume brought in Giana Panariello with a sac fly. An error from the Yale centerfielder on a Ricciardone drive allowed Kasey Lange to cross the plate, and RBI doubles from Allison Scott and Gusse pushed the score to 6-0 in favor of Harvard.
Hume extended the lead to 7-0 in the sixth inning with a single up the middle, and Harvard took an 11-0 edge in its final at-bat thanks to a three-run triple from Shelbi Olson and an RBI single from Lindsey Hagberg. Two RBI base hits and a sacrifice fly allowed the Bulldogs to push three across in the seventh, but that is as close as they would come. Ricciardone collected her 16th victory of the season while Gusse and Olson both had multi-hit games. As a team, the Crimson combined for 13 hits in the first game of the day.
Harvard benefitted from another big inning in Game 2, but it proved essential in the Crimson taking both games on the day. With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the third, Yale took its first lead of the day when Hannah Brennan took a Taylor Cabe offering over the left field fence for a three-run homer. Gusse erased the deficit almost immediately when she popped a three-run home run of her own in the next half inning, and three more runs came in the inning thanks to an RBI single from Lange and a two-run base hit from Hume. Yale got one back in the bottom of the fourth, but Ricciardone took over pitching duties and shut down the Bulldogs the rest of the way to secure the two-run victory.
Ricciardone earned the win in Game 2 as well, giving her wins in each of Harvard's last six games. Hume and Gusse had multi-RBI games in the final game of the series while Scott roped a double and a triple in a two-hit game.
The challenging Ivy League schedule continues for the Crimson, as it is set to square off with Cornell in a makeup doubleheader Tuesday in Ithaca, N.Y.