Spring break may be over, but the Harvard softball team’s winning streak is not. The Crimson beat Holy Cross yesterday afternoon, 10-3, on the strength of a two-out, seven-run scoring spree in the seventh inning.
The scheduled second game of the doubleheader was called due to darkness with Harvard (13-4) leading 5-0 after 3 and one half innings.
Holy Cross (4-13) managed to stay with the heavily-favored Crimson for most of the game. After spotting Harvard two runs in the first, the Crusaders responded with two runs of its own off of a double and an illegal pitch by sophomore pitcher Kara Brotemarkle.
“Kara was getting called on some illegal pitches, which is a tough thing for be called on,” sophomore Breanne Cooley said. “It is tough to adjust to, but she made the adjustment.”
The tie score did not last for long, however, as sophomore shortstop Rachel Goldberg hit her second home run of the year to open the second inning.
Trailing 3-2 in the fifth, the Crusaders were able to tie the game off of freshman pitcher Beth Sabin.
The game seemed to be headed for extra innings when, with two outs in the top of the seventh, Harvard’s bats came alive. Cooley hit a solo home run—her third of the year—to begin the trouncing of the Crusaders. With the bases loaded, sophomore Louisa Canham came in as a pinch hitter. Canham took full advantage of her entrance into the game and ripped a line drive down the right field line. The blast cleared the bases to increase Harvard’s lead to 7-3.
Freshman Lauren Stefanchik, boasting an outstanding .416 batting average, then drove in Canham. Sabin provided the finishing touches on the 10-3 win with a two-run homer over the center field fence.
“It felt really good to have a huge inning because we knew we needed to pick up the slack offensively,” Cooley said. “It was nice to let ourselves know that we can have big two-out rallies. That will be important when Ivy League competition starts.”
The seventh-inning outburst was indicative of Harvard’s balanced offense. The Crimson have found production from all spots on in lineup this season.
“A lot of people were really clutch and a lot of people really contributed,” tri-captain Tiffany Whitton said. “We’re a come-from-behind team. We like to make games exciting.”
Sabin earned the win, improving her record to 4-0. She pitched 2.2 innings and only gave up one run.
The Crimson has been dominant thus far, but it has yet to face any Ivy League competition. It will do so this weekend when it travels to Brown and Yale.
“We are using these nonconference games to work on coming out strong for the weekend,” Cooley said. “All that we have worked for is coming up this weekend.”
The Crimson has shown that it can play well both defensively and offensively, but the team still hopes to play better.
“We could have pushed ourselves a little more [early in the game], but it was good that in the seventh inning we finally did what it took to win,” Cooley said. “Hopefully by the Ivies, we will learn that we need to do that every inning.”
Harvard next will face Boston University tomorrow afternoon.