Crimson Slide Runs to Five Games
The Crimson (10-14), on the heels of an eight-game winning streak, has now lost five in a row after dropping a pair to Boston University (10-15-1) on the road yesterday.
Although it has not had to venture far from home for its contests against local rivals this week, the travel has been less than kind to Harvard. Following Tuesday’s defeats at the hands of Boston College, the Crimson fell twice yesterday to the Terriers; once in heart-breaking, extra-inning fashion and once convincingly in only five innings.
“I think there are some bragging rights when we play them,” junior Michele McAteer said. “Both BC and BU are tough teams. So if you’re not playing very, very well, it’s really tough to beat them.”
BU 9, HARVARD 3
After the heartbreak of game one, Harvard fell behind early in the nightcap and could not recover in a game that was called after five innings due to darkness.
Sophomore starter Becky Voaklander held Boston University hitless over the first two innings, but the Terriers broke through in the third.
“The second game I don’t think we got things going,” sophomore Julia Kidder said. “And I guess a lot of their hits were small singles and they really tied them together.”
Voaklander was touched up for seven hits and four runs in the frame, putting the Crimson down 4-1 after it seized the first lead of the game in the second.
Senior Beth Sabin’s leadoff double was finally cashed in after two strikeouts on a single by junior Rachel Murray, giving Harvard a brief one-run edge.
The strikeouts, though, were part of a string of eight straight by BU hurler Brittany Detwiler that included three in the third inning intermixed with three Crimson baserunners.
Leaving runners on base was a problem that plagued Harvard all afternoon, as it continually missed the chances associated with six hits, two walks, and two batters hit by pitch over the course of five innings.
The Terriers widened their advantage in the bottom of the fourth at the expense of McAteer. She surrendered seven hits and five runs (three earned) in 1 1/3 innings of work, as the BU batters dumped blooper after blooper into the shallow outfield for base hits.
“It was a tough game for me because I felt as though they didn’t really hit me that strong,” McAteer said. “But they were very effective in their style of hitting.”
The Crimson salvaged some dignity in its final turn at-bat with a pair of solo home runs from freshman Danielle Kerper—her team-leading fifth of the season—and sophomore Susie Winkeller.
Then, with the game in hand for the home team and dusk descending on Boston, the umpires called an end to another disappointing outing for Harvard.
BU 4, HARVARD 3
The Crimson built a hard-fought 3-0 lead in the opener, but let the margin slip away down the stretch and eventually fell by one in the first extra stanza on a controversial call.
BU chipped away with a notch in the fifth and a two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh by centerfielder Chiya Louie before stealing the win in the eighth. A one-out single and a steal off Voaklander set the stage for Jamie Haas—5-for-10 on the day—to come through for the Terriers.
She dumped the ball into left field and when as the runner rounded third and senior Annie Dell’Aria cocked to throw home, the umpire ruled catcher’s interference at the plate to permit the contentious score.
“It was a bad call by the umpire,” Kidder said. “It was an awful obstruction call in the 8th inning.”
Harvard surged to its apparently secure three-run lead with a pair of run-scoring innings.
“We came out really strong at the beginning,” McAteer said. “But we just kind of coasted. We just needed that one extra hit that would have closed the door, but we just didn’t get it.”
In the top of the first, Kerper knocked in seniors Lauren Stefanchik—who singled and stole a base to ignite the rally—and Cecily Gordon from second and third.
Then, the Crimson added to its lead with three singles in the fourth. Winkeller, getting a rare start, singled to center off BU’s Ashlee Freeman, who went all eight innings. Winkeller was followed by singles to left field by sophomore Lauren Brown and co-captain Kerry Flaherty, filling in for the injured Kidder at second.
Meanwhile, freshman Shelly Madick dominated the Terriers through the first four innings, racking up eight strikeouts, allowing only two hits, and escaping a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the third. She tired down the stretch, though, as BU pulled even.
Harvard hopes to break its slide as it returns to Ivy League play this weekend with a trip to Princeton and Penn.
—Staff writer Jonathan Lehman can be reached at email@example.com.