After shutting out Columbia in Friday’s doubleheader, the Harvard softball team kept the momentum going on Saturday, sweeping its two games against Penn, 4-3 and 10-1. After taking the first game by only one run, the Crimson (19-9, 7-1 Ivy) routed the Quakers (20-13, 5-3 Ivy) in five innings at home.
“These wins were huge,” said co-captain and first baseman Whitney Shaw. “This weekend has really helped us make our presence felt in the Ivy League.”
HARVARD 10, PENN 1 (5 inn.)
After taking the first game, 4-3, Harvard dominated the second game, both in the field and at the plate, grabbing a 10-1 victory against Penn in just five innings by mercy rule.
The Crimson swiftly grabbed an advantage in the first inning, as freshman second baseman Katherine Lantz singled up the middle with the bases loaded to bring home sophomore third baseman Kasey Lange and senior shortstop Jane Alexander. Junior centerfielder Stephanie Regan then scored on a wild pitch, and Lantz was plated in by junior left fielder Ashley Heritage’s single, extending the lead to four runs.
But it didn’t stop there.
In the second inning, Harvard cranked up the pressure on the Quakers, scoring two more runs to make the score 6-0.
Lange was the first one on base, getting hit by a pitch and advancing to second on a Regan single. Lantz ripped another single right after, allowing Lange to cross home. The final run of the inning came in as Regan scored on sophomore catcher Allison Scott’s ground out to second base.
“After we scored those first four runs, we came into the second inning knowing that we needed to keep scoring if we wanted to take over the game,” Shaw said. “So it was really important for us to keep producing runs in those next few innings and put the nails in the coffin.”
The Crimson offense tacked on three more runs on five hits in the bottom of the third inning to secure a nine-run lead.
Consecutive singles from Alexander and sophomore right fielder Shelbi Olson loaded first and second base just in time for Lange, who leads the league with 22 RBIs. Last season’s Rookie of the Year sustained the offensive rally, singling past second base to drive in Alexander. Olson and Lange then each advanced a base on a passed ball, and Regan singled to left field to bring the two runners home.
In the fourth inning, the Harvard bats continued to produce, putting up one more run to increase its lead to double digits. Freshman designated hitter Andrea Del Conte singled to the shortstop and advanced to second on a steal. Alexander then smacked a triple, allowing Del Conte to score.
The Quakers attempted to make a comeback in the fifth inning but were only able to muster one run, and the game finished two innings early due to the mercy rule.
HARVARD 4, PENN 3
The first game of the day proved to be a pitcher’s duel, with co-captain Rachel Brown fanning 13 batters to lead the Crimson to a 4-3 victory.