Softball Goes 1-1 To Start Dartmouth Series
Senior pitcher Rachel Brown took her first loss in her last 12 appearances at the hands of Dartmouth Saturday, as the Big Green upset the Harvard softball team, 4-2, before the home Crimson registered a come-from-behind, 2-1 win in game two.
“I was disappointed in how we came out,” Harvard coach Jenny Allard said. “I thought Dartmouth came out strong against us, and I don’t think we came out with a strong, focused effort.”
HARVARD 2, DARTMOUTH 1
Through five innings, sophomore hurler Laura Ricciardone was getting exactly what she wanted on her birthday. She had given up just three hits on the day, and two fifth-inning runs had given her home team its first lead of the game. But things soured for the birthday girl in the sixth. With two outs, Ricciardone gathered a comebacker and flipped it to first for the final out of the inning, but then grimaced and took all of the weight off of her right leg.
A week after watching junior Stephanie Regan suffer a knee injury that kept her out Saturday, the crowd went silent as Ricciardone was helped off the field. Senior Rachel Brown came in to seal the 2-1 win in the seventh, and then the team got more good news; Ricciardone’s injury turned out to be an ankle sprain that prevented her from pitching Sunday but should not keep her out of next week’s championship series.
“It is a little swollen and sore,” Ricciardone said. “But it will be good to go for the championship.”
Ricciardone gave up all three hits in the fourth inning, leading to a Big Green (14-25, 7-13 Ivy) run that put the visitors up, 1-0. But in the fifth inning, the Crimson (31-13, 17-3 Ivy) gained its first lead of the day.
Poor baserunning turned out for the best when a pickle involving the runner on second allowed freshman Adrienne Hume to come home, giving Harvard its first run of the day. The next batter grounded out but also brought a runner home. Those two runs were all the Crimson would need to garner a split on the day. In the win, the Harvard offense only managed to get three hits.
DARTMOUTH 4, HARVARD 2
Harvard entered Saturday’s twinbill riding an eight-game winning streak over Dartmouth and playing its best ball of the year.
The club had won nine of its last 10 contests, was undefeated in home Ivy play, and was coming off a 10-0 drubbing of Holy Cross two days prior. The Crimson pitching staff, led by Brown and Ricciardone, had not surrendered more than three runs in a game since March, and the offense, led by senior leadoff hitter Jane Alexander, appeared to be clicking.
On the other side, the Big Green was 2-8 in its last 10 games and was recovering from a 7-0 loss to Boston College on Wednesday. It was the third time the Dartmouth offense—which ranked last in the league in batting average—had been shut out and the third time during the period that the Big Green pitching staff had surrendered seven or more runs.
But none of that mattered Saturday. History seemed to go out the window, and the Big Green made a statement.
The visitors gained a 1-0 advantage in the second inning when senior Kat Hicks scored from first base on a Hillary Hubert double. The Big Green tacked on another run in the fourth on a Noelle Ramirez single that scored one.
Through four innings, the Crimson had a number of chances to put a tally on the scoreboard but each time came away empty, stranding five runners in the process. In the fifth, Harvard finally scored as a single by sophomore Kasey Lange scored junior Ashley Heritage, who had just stolen second after getting on with an infield single.