Softball Opens Ivy Play With 4-0 Mark

Weekend sweeps set up first-place showdown with 6-0 Princeton on Saturday

The Harvard softball team had an impressive opening to its Ivy season, going 4-0 on its road trip to Brown (4-13, 1-3 Ivy) and Yale (14-12-1, 1-3).

The Crimson (18-4, 4-0) hit the long ball, manufactured runs and showed off its come-from-behind ability in a weekend that showcased its diverse talents. The Crimson pitchers continued their strong performance, and were paced by three wins from senior Suzanne Guy.

Guy earned both Crimson victories in relief yesterday, quieting the Bulldog bats and giving the Harvard offense the opportunity to come-from-behind for a 6-5 victory in the first game. In the second game, a five-run seventh inning rally carried the team to an 8-4 victory.

Harvard opened Ivy play at Brown on Saturday, and thanks to complete games from Guy and Brotemarkle, took two from the Bears by scores of 5-1 and 4-2.

The perfect opening weekend for the defending Ivy co-champions surpasses Harvard’s 3-1 beginning last year.

The Crimson will be looking to continue its winning ways in a nonleague doubleheader against eastern power UMass on Thursday. Then next weekend, in what is already shaping up to be a huge weekend in the Ivy League, Princeton comes to town. The Tigers are 6-0 in Ivy play, including a sweep yesterday of Cornell, the other defending Ivy co-champion.

“They [the Tigers] have a new team, so we’re not sure what to expect,” Whitton said. “We want to focus on bringing our best game, because that’s all we can really control.”

Harvard 8, Yale 4

In the late game against Yale yesterday, Harvard took an early lead as tri-captain Sarah Koppel hit her third home run of the weekend to give the Crimson an early 1-0 lead. Junior tri-captain Tiffany Whitton hit her sixth homerun of the season to push the Crimson advantage to 2-0.

The Bulldogs were able to knot the score in the sixth, erasing a 3-2 Harvard lead. In that frame, Yale plated an unearned run off of Guy after sophomore starter Kara Brotemarkle left the game.

But the Crimson stormed back in the final inning. A leadoff triple by freshman designated player Beth Sabin started the rally, which was perpetuated by four Yale errors.

Sophomore shortstop Rachel Goldberg drove the winning run in on a single, and repeated Yale blunders allowed the Crimson to bat around. Guy sealed the victory after allowing one more run, and improved to 4-1 on the year.

“Suzanne was amazing this weekend,” freshman catcher Laura Miller said. “I had total confidence that she would work her way out of innings. Her pitches were moving and she didn’t throw any mistakes.”

Harvard 6, Yale 5

In the opening contest, Harvard got in a hole early but showed it had the tenacity to come back, winning 6-5 as Goldberg again contributed with a clutch late-inning hit to plate the Crimson’s winning run in the seventh.