CORNELL 1, HARVARD 0
Both teams must have used up all their firepower in the first game, as Saturday’s second contest turned into a defensive struggle. Despite a three-hit jewel by Lauren Bettinelli, the Big Red handed Harvard its first Ivy League loss, 1-0.
A first inning sacrifice fly by Lauren May proved to be the difference in this one, pushing across Kate Varde for the only run Cornell would need.
For its part, Harvard could never put together the streak of big plays needed to get on the scoreboard. In seven innings, the Crimson stranded 11 runners on seven hits.
“We were hitting the girl [Cornell pitcher Whitney Smith] really well, but we were just hitting it right to them, and we weren’t getting the job done with runners on second and third,” said co-captain Sara Williamson.
Harvard had one last chance in the top of the seventh when freshman Virginia Fritsch singled to set the table for Bettinelli. The pitcher grounded out to second, however, to end the game and the Crimson’s Ivy League win streak.
But Williamson believes the team learned an important lesson in defeat.
“The Ivy League is always a crap shoot. It’s never a hands down win for anybody, and it’s important to remember that any team can beat any other team on any given day,” Williamson said. “If you let down on just one pitch or one at bat, you could lose a game on it.”
HARVARD 9, CORNELL 5
Goldberg kept pace with Cornell all by herself in Saturday’s first game, pounding her first two home runs of the season and finishing with five RBI. Her teammates pushed the effort over the top, scoring four more runs in the 9-5 victory over the Big Red.
Harvard started the scoring in the third inning, when Kidder scored on a bases-juiced single from Fritsch. Cornell quickly recorded two outs, but Williamson kept the inning alive with an RBI single to left that loaded the bases.
“We hit the ball well from the start,” said Williamson, “but about the second inning we really started putting them in the gaps, and in the third we were able to push a couple of runs across and then keep the bases loaded for Rachel.”
Goldberg stepped to the plate and matter-of-factly broke the game wide open.
“I was just looking for a good pitch to drive, and it just happened to go over the fence,” Goldberg said.
Harvard scored twice more in the top of the fifth, when junior Lauren Stefanchik and freshman Susie Winkeller touched home on a passed ball and a wild pitch, respectively.
Cornell put a dent in Harvard’s lead with a Melissa Hientz three-run shot in the bottom of the fifth, bringing the Big Red within five, but the Crimson’s big bats had an immediate response.
In the top of the sixth, Goldberg stepped up to the plate, and again sent the ball sailing, this time for a solo home run that put the game permanently out of reach.
“The second time up she threw me a change-up that I saw coming,” Goldberg said.
Brotemarkle gave up eight hits but had eight strikeouts in the complete-game effort.
Harvard takes to the field next on Tuesday, playing a doubleheader against Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. starting at 3 p.m.