Harvard wrapped up second place in the Ivy North Division standings Monday against Dartmouth (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In its final home weekend of the regular season, the Harvard softball team could not hold off a potent Dartmouth offense, dropping games by scores of 8-2 and 9-2 Monday at Soldiers Field. The pair of wins allows Dartmouth to clinch its second consecutive Ivy North Division title and berth in the Ivy Championship Series, while Harvard moves to 14-3 in league action.
Dartmouth came out in attack-mode and three of the first four batters lined clean singles to give the guests a quick 2-0 lead. A sacrifice fly from Karen Chaw pushed a third run across for the Big Green, putting the Crimson in a 3-0 hole after one half inning. Dartmouth pitcher Kristen Rumley worked effectively through the Crimson order, inducing numerous ground-ball outs and keeping the hosts off the board through the first five innings. The Dartmouth players continued to swing freely and put single runs across in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to power out to a 6-0 lead.
The Crimson finally touched up Rumely in the bottom of the sixth, where Andrea Del Conte led off with a bunt single and scored all the way from first when Katherine Lantz roped a deep shot to left center for an RBI double. Dartmouth got one out in the next at-bat, but Emily Gusse plated Harvard's second run with a sharp double down the left field line. That is as close as Harvard would get, however, as Laura Ricciardone lined out sharply to the second baseman to end the inning. A pair of hits and a Crimson error saw two more Dartmouth runs come in, and a Katherine Appelbe single was not enough to lift Harvard in its final at-bat.
Dartmouth was able to push more runs across early in Game 2, taking a 3-0 lead after just two at-bats. Katie McEachearn was responsible for the early lead, blasting a two-run home run to left-center after Chloe Madill lined a one-out single. Maddie Damore's solo shot in the second brought in the third Dartmouth run and back-to-back doubles from McEachearn and Morgan McCalmon in the fifth put the Big Green up 5-0.
Harvard mounted some offense in the bottom of the fifth when Katherine Appelbe reached on a fielder's choice and Del Conte followed with a single towards the left side of the infield. Both runners moved up thanks to a wild pitch in the next at-bat, and Lantz once again delivered the big hit, stroking a two-run single to right to cut the deficit to just three runs at 5-2. The guests would pad their lead with four runs on three hits and a Harvard error in the next half inning, and Rumley was able to keep the Crimson bats at bay to seal the 9-2 win and the sweep for Dartmouth.
Harvard still needs to make up a doubleheader against Cornell and a suspended game vs. Penn, but has yet to set dates for the contests.