The Harvard softball team now finds itself in a most uncomfortable-and unusual-position. For the first time in a year, the team's fate lies in hands not its own.
After splitting its games Friday with upstart Columbia and Saturday with Cornell, the defending Ivy League champions now stand a game behind the Big Red and Dartmouth in the race for the Ivy League title. The Crimson (14-16, 5-3 Ivy) cannot repeat last year's feat without at least some help: if Cornell wins all four of its games against Penn and Princeton next week, the Crimson would definitely not repeat as Ivy League champs.
"We feel we're a much better team than the losses indicate," senior pitcher Chelsea Thoke said. "We've been inconsistent and I think we could've won all the games we've lost."
The team split on the weekend despite a monstrous effort from Thoke. She pitched in all four games, turning in 11 innings and allowing only one earned run while striking out 10.
Thoke also hit two home runs and, in the first game of the Cornell doubleheader, recorded the 500th strikeout of her career.
Cornell 2, Harvard 1
Big Red senior Nicole Zitarelli showed why she is one of Cornell's all-time winningest pitchers on Saturday, handcuffing the Crimson with a one-run complete-game gem. But it appeared that she had a little help.