Florida Tournament Yields Three Wins

While the Harvard softball team traveled south, its spirits went the opposite direction. Taking three out of five games at this past weekend’s Bethune Cookman Spring Break Classic in Daytona Beach, Fla., the Crimson improved its record to 4-5.

Co-captain Kara Brotemarkle, who surrendered one earned run in 15 innings pitched, and junior first baseman Cecily Gordon, who went 8-for-15 with 5 RBI, were named to the All-Tournament team.

“Playing in Florida was amazing,” Gordon said. “Being from California myself, it was like playing at home, farmer tans and all. The whole team loved the warm weather and did an amazing job this weekend.”

HARVARD 11, LIBERTY 2

Harvard torched the Flames in five innings, taking advantage of Liberty mistakes early and often. The Crimson offense tallied double-digits for the first time in the young season, scoring 11 runs on eight hits in a mercy-rule victory over the Flames (5-18) in the weekend’s final game.

After Liberty got on the board with two runs in the top half of the first inning, Harvard promptly responded with four runs in the bottom of the first.

Then, in the bottom of the second, junior catcher Annie Dell’Aria and sophomore designated player Erin Halpenny both came up with 2-RBI doubles, keying the seven-run frame for the Crimson.

Liberty fielders committed five errors and Flame pitchers threw a pair of wild pitches in crucial situations, miscues that permitted Harvard to dispatch its opponent swiftly.

After the two-run first, freshman pitcher Becky Voaklander restrained Liberty to one hit and two base runners for the remainder of the game, picking up her first collegiate win.

“I had a touch of nerves for the one inning that I pitched in Illinois [in the Brecthelsbauer Classic],” Voaklander said. “So, in reaction to that, I had mentally prepared myself for Florida to keep cool while I was throwing. I may have been too cool at first—Coach [Jenny Allard] had to give me a friendly boost after the first inning—but it worked.”

Dell’Aria finished 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI and two runs and freshman third baseman Virginia Fritsch went 1-for-3 with an RBI double and two runs scored.

“We have some great stick and incredible depth, it just needs to come together more often and we’ll come out on top for sure,” Dell’Aria said.

BETHUNE-COOKMAN 3, HARVARD 2

The Crimson fell to the host and eventual champion Wildcats (21-18) in the weekend’s fourth consecutive closely-contested game.

The three runs that junior Lauren Bettinelli gave up in the first five innings proved to be enough for Bethune-Cookman, despite Bettinelli’s best effort. The former middle infielder and catcher aided her own cause, hitting a single and scoring a run.

Sophomore Michele McAteer closed the game, holding the Wildcats hitless and scoreless in the final two innings.

On the offensive side, senior outfielder Monica Montijo went 1-for-2 with a run scored and Halpenny batted 1-for-3 with an RBI single.

RADFORD 1, HARVARD 0

Despite the one-run, eight-strikeout performance from co-captain Kara Brotemarkle, the Highs (11-13) took a tight contest on Saturday morning.

Radford fast-pitcher Kat Peck outdueled Brotemarkle, limiting the Crimson to two hits in seven innings.

Senior shortstop Rachel Goldberg and Gordon and supplied the only Harvard offensive firepower, each contributing a hit.

HARVARD 3, SAMFORD 2 (8 Innings)

Friday went so well for the Crimson that the squad decided to spend a little more time on the field. After blanking Iona earlier in the day, Harvard topped the Bulldogs (6-19) in extended time.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Gordan drove in her first of three runs on the night with a single to score junior outfielder Lauren Stefanchik.

With the Crimson down 2-1 in the sixth inning, Gordon again came through with a two-out single to score Bettinelli and level the score.

After scattering four hits and giving up one run over the first two and two thirds innings, McAteer gave way to Bettinelli, who tossed the next four and a third, allowing only two hits and one run while striking out 11.

With the score still knotted at two at the end of seven, the game headed into extra innings.

Samford had the first scoring chance in the top of the eighth with a runner on second, but a runner’s interference on Bulldog Kelly Smith—who was heading to first after laying down a sacrifice bunt—thwarted that opportunity.

In the bottom of the frame with Harvard runners on first and third and no one out, Gordon strode to the plate and delivered a single up the middle to score freshman outfielder Susie Winkeller with the game-winning run.

HARVARD 2, IONA 0

Brotemarkle led off the weekend right for Harvard, tossing a complete-game shutout against the Gaels (2-5) on Friday afternoon.

“Kara was awesome—as usual,” Voaklander said.

Allowing just two hits over seven innings, Brotemarkle notched her second win of the season.

Gordon manufactured most of the offensive fireworks, going 3-for-3 and slugging a home run.

—Staff writer J. Patrick Coyne can be reached at coyne@fas.harvard.edu.

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