Blame it on a tiring schedule, blame it on the heat or simply blame it on some very tough opposition.
It doesn't really matter who (or what) you pin the blame on because the Harvard softball team would probably rather just forget all about yesterday's contest at Stonehill College.
The Crimson (now 14.7) received its worst drubbing of the season, an 11-1 blowout at the hands of Stonehill.
Not since it was crushed 13.3 by the University of Pennsylvania last May had Harvard lost by as many as 10 runs.
The batswomen fell to Princeton 8-1 earlier this season, but had out-scored their opponents 110-74 before yesterday's loss.
"We were very flat against a good team that was very sharp." Crimson Coach John Wentzell said, "It was like Murphy's law: anything that could have gone wrong did go wrong.
Stonehill, now 21.6, played flawless defense--in sharp contrast to the Cantabs who bumbled seven chances.
"They were a good team, and we decided to get all our errors out in one game." Harvard Co-Captain Ann Wilson said, "It was one of those days when no one was having a good game, and it all happened on one day."
Stonehill got on the board early with a lone run in the first, and broke the game open in the third inning when four Crimson miscues--along with four hits and a walk by the hosts--led to eight Stonehill runs. That explosion marked the greatest number of tallies Harvard has allowed in one frame all year.
"Eight runs in one inning was a tough load." Wentzell said, "One thing led to another."
After the third-inning debacle, the Crimson scratched out a somewhat inconsequntial run of its own in the top of the fourth, to bring the score to 9-1.
Irisha Brown singled for Harvard, Lisa Rowning followed with a walk, Gerri Rubin chipped in with another single, and Brown scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Wilson.
Stonehill added another pair of tallies in the seventh to wrap up the scoring.
Overall, the Crimson scattered seven hits over the seven innings, as compared to the 10 Stonehill accumulated against Harvard hurler Janet Dickerman.
"Janet didn't do too badly," Wentzell said. "Some of our errors came on tough plays, some on easy plays. There's really no excuse, though. They [Stonehill] are a solid, solid team."
THE NOTEBOOK: The batswomen have only four games remaining on their schedule. They host Holy Cross for a 3 p.m. doubleheader at Soldiers Field Thursday--and then close out the season by hosting Dartmouth for in 11 a.m. twinbill Saturday... Last year's Harvard squad swept a doubleheader from Stonehill by a pair of 4-3 scores... The 1984 Crimson played only 21 games, and finished 11-10, three games behind the batswomen's current mark.