Perhaps last season the Harvard women's softball team would have entered Providence, R.I. hoping not to be defeated too badly by the mighty Bears. Last year, the Crimson eagerly anticipated the end of their woeful season.
This year, the outcome was not so bleak.
Harvard entered last Friday's doubleheader against Brown with confidence and a winning season under its belt. Although the Crimson was swept by the Bears, 2-0 and 7-1, it finished the season over 500 with a 21-7 record, handily defeating Lowell, 1-0 and 3-1, in its last two games.
The first game against Brown turned into a pitching duel between the Crimson's Chris Carr and the Bear's Christy Trexler. Carr was the first to succumb in the heated battle, when she surrendered two hits in the fifth inning to Brown's Michelle Pagliaro and Shannon Blumer, which eventually led to the Bear's only two runs of the game.
While Carr did turn in a solid effort throughout the game, giving up only five hits and two runs in the losing effort, Trexler topped her with a stellar performance on the mound. The Brown hurler recorded no walks and relinquished only one hit on the day.
The Crimson's second game against Brown, however, was not nearly as close. Once again the Crimson's bats were frozen as Bear ace Juliana Blaser surrendered only two hits to the Crimson, one to pitcher Julie Fromholz in the first, the other to Beverly Armstrong in the fourth.
The Bears, on the other hand, had not trouble lighting up the scoreboard. Fromholz gave up seven hits to the mighty Brown bats, while three Crimson errors in the first and fourth innings played a key role in pushing Brown to a convincing 7-1 victory.
"We played a very good first game against Brown on Friday but after we lost the first game we were a little flat," Reilly said. "It was hard to come back after a couple of errors early on."
The two losses to Brown on Friday were quickly forgotten, however, when the Crimson swept its final doubleheader of the season against Lowell on Saturday.
The Crimson's lone run came in the top of the sixth inning on errors by Lowell firstbaseman Sharesa Emmett and thirdbaseman Stephanie O'Sullivan. More importantly, Harvard's stellar pitching staff once again came through in the clutch. Carr surrendered only four hits and no walks to Lowell in the 1-0 Crimson victory.
The Crimson's bats came alive in the second game of the double-header to come away with a 3-1 victory and complete the sweep of Lowell. The Crimson scored twice in the first, off basehits by Katie Fitta, Fromholz, and Reilly.
Though Lowell countered with one run in the bottom of the first, Nicole Desharnais doubled in Elissa Kao in the fourth to give the Crimson a 3-1 lead it would never relinquish.
"It was a great season," Reilly said. "It certainly was nice to end the season with optimism by winning our last two games. The biggest factor was our freshmen. It's nice to see that after being with the program for so long."