Three big innings for Penn doomed the Harvard softball team to back-to-back losses in its Ivy opener on Friday.
Despite out-hitting the Quakers in the double-header, the Crimson (9-14, 2-2 Ivy) was unable to make the stops it needed and allowed its mistakes to build on themselves, leading to losses by scores of 6-3 and 7-2.
In the first game, Penn (13-11, 3-1) tallied five of its six runs in the bottom of the third, and in game two the Quakers posted four runs in the first and two in the third.
“We definitely let things get out of our hands and got in our own way,” junior captain and right fielder Shelbi Olson said. “Mistakes are always going to happen, but we let it turn into more.”
Pitching in their first career conference games, freshmen Morgan Groom and Jamie Halula allowed a combined five earned runs, and sophomore Gabrielle Ruiz—who pitched the first inning of the second game—allowed four earned runs on four hits.
Despite opening the conference season without a win, Harvard coach Jenny Allard commended the young pitchers on their progress since the beginning of the season.
“We know as coaches and the team knows we needed to gain a lot of experience and that there would be ups and downs and growing pains,” Allard said. “We’re just trying to push forward and do things more consistently game to game.”
PENN 7, HARVARD 2
After winning the previous match-up, Penn jumped out to an early lead with a four-run first inning.
Back-to-back singles to open the game—combined with a throwing error by sophomore second baseman Katherine Lantz—put runners on second and third with nobody out. Senior right fielder Brooke Coloma started the rally with a single to short and a steal.
After the next batter walked, junior third baseman Kayla Dahlerbruch came up with the bases loaded and slapped a single through the left side to bring one runner home, and freshman designated hitter Korinne Raby earned an RBI by drawing a walk on the Quakers’ next plate appearance.
After Halula came in to relieve Ruiz, the Crimson managed to turn a double play on a fly ball to center field, but the fourth run of the inning scored before sophomore Karina Rios—who pinch ran for Dahlerbruch—was tagged out at third.
“We would have a hit, a walk, an error, and then a big hit,” Allard said. “Instead of containing them, we let it develop into a rally inning.”
Harvard responded with a run of its own in the fourth on a solo homerun by junior third baseman Kasey Lange, but Penn came back with three more in the fifth. After consecutive singles with one out, the Quakers added two on a Coloma triple down the left field line, and Coloma came home on a wild pitch by Halula.
Olson brought home the final run of the game on a groundout to first in the seventh inning, but with two outs the Crimson could not build a rally when Lange popped out to second base to end the game.