Whitton Ties Record in Sunday Penn Sweep
In closing out Harvard’s only Ivy league homestand, Whitton led the charge for Harvard (21-7, 7-1 Ivy) in yesterday’s doubleheader sweep of Penn (11-26, 0-10) in 7-2 and 8-0 victories.
After being intentionally walked twice in the opening game, the Harvard junior tri-captain closed out the doubleheader in style with three home runs, invoking the mercy rule on the hapless Quakers.
Whitton’s three home runs gave her 10 for the season to tie the school single-season record set by Deborah Abeles ’00 in 1998. She’s also one short of Abeles career record of 21.
“Tiffany’s a great hitter,” said Harvard Coach Jenny Allard. “She struggled a bit mentally yesterday, but she waited on pitches today. She has a great swing and she just came through.”
Harvard 7, Penn 2
It took Harvard three innings to open the scoring in the first game when Whitton doubled home sophomore center fielder Kim Koral with two down.
The bottom of the fifth began innocently enough. Freshman outfielder Lauren Stefanchik slapped a one out single, and was bunted to second by Koral.
Having learnt her lesson, Quaker Coach Carol Kashow had pitcher Nicole Borgstadt intentionally walk Whitton to face right fielder and tri-captain Sarah Koppel.
The right-handed hitting Koppel made the Quakers pay, singling to the opposite field to drive home Stefanchik.
“We have so much strength in our lineup,” Whitton said. “As a pitcher, I wouldn’t want to face anyone on this team.”
A Sara Williamson double, a Beth Sabin single and a Breanne Cooley double capped the five-run, two-out rally.
On the mound, sophomore Kara Brotemarkle tossed a complete game. Her only moments of difficulty occurred in the sixth, when the Crimson defense stumbled. Errors from the second baseman Williamson and first baseman Whitton led to two Quaker unearned runs.
In the bottom half of the inning, with sophomore shortstop Rachel Goldberg on second, the Quakers once again intentionally walked Whitton. This time it was to face tri-captain Lisa Watanabe, who had come in to run for Koppel in the fifth.
Watanabe came up with a base hit to score Goldberg, extending the Harvard lead to five.
“One of the strengths of this team is that it’s a true team,” Allard said. “If one person’s not producing, somebody else steps up. If a person’s not given the chance, somebody steps up.”
Harvard 8, Penn 0 (6 inn.)
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Quakers made the even deadlier decision to pitch to Whitton.
Whitton opened the scoring with a first-inning homer and broke the game open with a three-run homer in the fourth.
In the sixth, Quaker starter Rebecca Ranta started Whitton off with a couple of pitches inside, refusing to come into the zone.
Finally, she tossed a pitch Whitton could handle and sure enough, the Crimson slugger smacked a home run to deep center, giving the Crimson an eight-run lead and invoking the mercy rule to end the game.
“I looked for a pitch to hit and I swung,” Whitton said. “It happened to go out today.”
Crimson senior Suzanne Guy shut down the Quakers, giving up only one hit in five innings.
“Sometimes you get a little tense and makes your balls not drop as much, or curve as much,” Guy said. “But I was a little more loose today.”
Guy credited the team’s run-production with helping her loosen up.
“It makes it a lot easier to be more relaxed, because you don’t get into situation where you’re worried about the one run,” she said.
Buoyed by the 3-1 weekend, Harvard now must tend with Rhode Island on Thursday before travelling to Columbia and Cornell for the weekend.
Harvard 7, Penn 2
at Soldier’s Field
Harvard (20-7, 6-1) 0 0 0 0 5 1 0 — 7 11 3
Penn (11-25, 0-7) 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 — 2 4 1
LOB: H 7, P 5. 2B: H Whitton, Williamson, Cooley. RBI: H Whitton 1, Koppel 1, Wantanabe 1, Sabin 2, Williamson 1, Cooley 1. P Dilts 1. Pitchers: H Brotemarkle W 8-4 (7 IP, 5 K, BB 0) , P Borgstadt. L 8-16 (6 IP, 3 K, 3 BB). Attendance: 125
Harvard 8, Penn 0
at Soldier’s Field
Harvard (21-7, 7-1) 1 0 3 3 0 1 8 9 2
Penn (11-26, 0-8) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
LOB: H 7, P 3. HR: H Whitton 3. RBI: H Whitton 5, Williamson 2, Cooley 1. Pitchers: H Guy W 6-2 (5 IP, 1 k, 0 BB), Sabin (1 IP, 0 k, 0 BB), P Ranta L 3-4 (5 IP, 1 k, 3 BB). Ranta faced 1 hitter in the sixth. Attendance: 125