Harvard and UMass proved yesterday afternoon that softball was not meant to be played in chilly weather, as the two teams managed just three runs in 15 innings of play.
UMass (15-15-1)--the No. 2-ranked team in the Northeast--beat Harvard (16-11-1) in the first game, 2-1, while the two played to an eight-inning scoreless tie in the second.
"I feel like we played well, but maybe not our best," junior Heather Brown said. "Of course we'd rather win both games, but they're number two in the region, and we hung with them and played tough both games."
UMass struck early but not often in the doubleheader opener. In the first inning, Harvard starter Kathleen Brown walked in UMass' Kelly Buckley with the bases loaded, forcing in the first run of the game.
"There's a lot of things I could have done better, especially at the beginning of the game," the sophomore pitcher said.
As it turns out the first inning was an offensive explosion in comparison to the rest of the game. Brown settled down somewhat, allowing only an unearned run the rest of the game.
Harvard's lone run came in the seventh and final frame, when the Crimson threatened a late comeback. Sophomore Terri Teller and senior Melissa Kreuder led off the inning with back-to-back singles, forcing a pitching change by UMass.
After freshman Deborah Abeles flew out to center, classmate Ghia Godfree singled to load the bases. Junior Hillary Read drove in Teller on a fielder's choice, leaving Harvard down one with the bases jammed.
But Harvard could not capitalize, as UMass' Danielle Henderson got the final Crimson batter to ground out to third.
"It's been a while since our hitting has been where I'd like it," junior Tasha Cupp said. "We had almost a two-week layoff because of the snow, so we're a little rusty."
Cupp pitched the second game, a pitcher's duel in every sense of the phrase. She had the misfortune of allowing no runs on just four hits in eight innings--striking out ten--but not getting a "W."
Of course, UMass' Henderson--who stayed on the mound after the first game--gave up three hits with 11 strikeouts and also went home emptihanded.
Harvard's biggest threat of the game came in the seventh when Jamie Stark reached second with one out. She was pinchrunning for Kreuder, who had singled. She never made it to third.
The game was called on account of darkness after eight innings and no runs. It was just one of those days for the Crimson bats.
Harvard can look at the game as an indication that it can play with a ranked team as well as preparation for this weekend's doubleheaders at Yale and at Brown.
"All the pitchers pitched well," junior Heather Brown said. "It is cold outside, but we have to get past that since it's supposed to snow at Yale." SB: UMass--Galas, George; Harvard--Abeles E: UMass--None; Harvard--Brown, Lee. WP: Wagner (7-6); LP: Brown (3-4) 2B: UMass--Buckley; Harvard--None E: UMass--Galas; Harvard--Lee. Game called on account of darkness.
SB: UMass--Galas, George; Harvard--Abeles E: UMass--None; Harvard--Brown, Lee.
WP: Wagner (7-6); LP: Brown (3-4) 2B: UMass--Buckley; Harvard--None E: UMass--Galas; Harvard--Lee. Game called on account of darkness.
2B: UMass--Buckley; Harvard--None E: UMass--Galas; Harvard--Lee.
Game called on account of darkness.
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