Tied with Dartmouth for first place in the North Division, the Harvard softball team took a break from conference play on Thursday, extending its winning streak to eight with two victories over Quinnipiac.
The Crimson (18-17, 8-4 Ivy) played a close first game with the Bobcats (14-26, 7-3 NEC) until a five-run sixth put Harvard up, 9-4. In the second game, the Crimson made quick work of Quinnipiac, winning, 11-6, in five innings.
Harvard took advantage of the Bobcats’ struggling starting pitching, working the count and coming up with timely walks and hits. Junior co-captain Shelbi Olson was an offensive sparkplug for the Crimson, going 2-for-3 in both games with a walk and three RBI.
“I thought we were really selective, and it helped that their pitchers having a hard time finding their zone,” Harvard coach Jenny Allard said. “We have been focusing on going deep in the count and having consecutive good at bats in the lineup. We executed and the runs came.”
The Crimson, which now holds an overall winning record for the season, capped off a 12 game home stand before taking to the road to close out its conference season with eight Ivy League games—including four against the Big Green.
“We’re feeling really confident with where we are,” said junior third baseman Kasey Lange. “We’re not taking anything for granted, but we’re definitely looking to carry this momentum into the weekend.”
HARVARD 11, QUINNIPIAC 6
Though freshman starting pitcher Jamie Halula struggled with her control in the opening innings of the game, the Crimson was able to isolate the Bobcats on the base paths and contain its mistakes.
“Jamie was trying to overthrow at first,” Allard said. “She’s not a power pitcher; she’s a finesse pitcher. She was trying to power past hitters, and her pitches weren’t breaking, so she was getting hit.”
Quinnipiac scored the first run on back-to-back doubles in the first, but Harvard fought back with a four-run second. After Bobcats pitcher Hannah Lindsley gave up four consecutive walks, Olson singled up the middle—just over Lindsley’s reach—driving in two.
The Crimson added four more in the bottom of the third when freshman center fielder Zoe Galindo hit a line drive into the right-center gap for a triple, driving in two runs. The Bobcats tried to limit the damage, pulling Lindsley from the mound.
But freshman pinch hitter Alyssa Siegmann had a different plan, and belted a triple of her own into left field, coming home on a fielder’s choice.
Quinnipiac would not go down quietly, taking advantage of a couple of Crimson defensive lapses to score two in the fourth. But Halula got out of the jam, forcing the final out on a pop-up to second base to end the inning and strand a runner.
“We're seeing the ball well, and we have been very poised and confident,” Allard said. “I think we can be a little sharper on the mound and on defense.”
Lange ended the game in the bottom of the fifth with a walk off double to center.