The Crimson captures its seventh Ivy League title and first since 2012 (Mark Washburn).
HANOVER, N.H. – Harvard softball (24-16) captured its seventh Ivy League title after sweeping the championship series from Dartmouth (22-18) on Saturday afternoon. The Crimson took game one of the series with a late inning, 6-4, comeback victory before taking game two, 4-1.
The Crimson earned an NCAA tournament berth in the process.
Game 1: Harvard 6, Dartmouth 4
Down to its final out and trailing 4-1 in game one of the Ivy League Championship series, the Crimson batted around in the top of the seventh inning to put up a crooked number five. Junior second baseman Meagan Lantz launched a two-out, two-run homerun to straightaway center field to bring Harvard to within one run.
Moments later, junior third baseman Erin Lockhart lined base hit back where it came from before classmate Olivia Giaquinto kept the game allive reaching on a throwing error by the shortstop. The Crimson took advantage of the Big Green miscue. Junior Elizabeth Shively poked an outside pitch down the right field line to plate Lockhart and pinch-runner Dallas Hogan to take the 5-4 lead.
Sophomore backstop Lindey Kneib ripped a single into center field to bring home pinch-runner, Izzy Haugh to give Harvard an insurance run. But it was more than enough. Junior right-hander Sarah Smith tossed the final inning for earn her second save.
Junior left-hander Katie Duncan picked up the win, improving to 15-9 on the season allowing four runs on five hits while striking out one.
Game 2: Harvard 4, Dartmouth 1
The Crimson offense picked up where it left off in game two of the series. Junior shortstop Rhianna Rich opened the bottom of the first beating out an infield single. Three batters later, with runners in scoring position, Lockhart drove a one-out base hit into left center to bring home Rich and senior right fielder Maddy Kaplan.
Harvard added to its lead in the bottom of the third inning. Junior center fielder Kaitlyn Schiffhauer began the frame working a lead-off walk before advancing 60 feet on a single up the middle by Kaplan. After Lantz grounded out for the second out, Lockhart came through with a ground ball through the left side to bring home Schiffhauer to put the Crimson up, 3-0.
An inning later, Harvard added to its lead with Shively driving in her fourth run of the afternoon plating pinch-runner sophomore Chanel Varney. But it was more than enough for game two right-hander junior Sarah Smith to earn her sixth win of the season.
Retiring six straight Big Green hitters, Smith tossed a complete game allowing just one run, while scattering five hits and striking out four.
- Junior right-hander Sarah Smith earned her second save of the season, tossing the finally in off game one, before earning her sixth win of the season in game two's 4-1 win.
- Junior Elizabeth Shively went 3-for-6 with four RBI, including driving in a career single-game best three runs in game one.
- Junior third baseman Erin Lockhart went 3-for-6 with five RBI on the afternoon.
Harvard finds out its NCAA Regional opponent tomorrow evening with the NCAA selection show at 10 p.m. on ESPN2.