Loss a Microcosm of Softball's Season

Yesterday’s heartbreaking loss to BC—the Harvard softball team squandered a 2-0 lead to fall 5-2 in 13 innings—paralleled the Crimson’s freshly completed 2004 season.

This year’s squad finished 22-20-1, a significant improvement on last year’s 15-26 effort. In the Ivy League, Harvard finished in third place with a record of 9-5—up from 7-7 last year—just one game away from tying with league winners Cornell and Brown, who both finished 10-4 in Ivy play. But it fell short of its title goals, losing crucial Ivy games on the road to Cornell, Columbia and Brown.

After traveling to the Midwest, the South and the Southwest in its preseason, Harvard returned home for its Ivy opener sitting just below .500 at 10-12-1.

It vaulted to the top of the league with a dominant opening doubleheader against Penn and the near-legendary marathon 20-inning game against Princeton. The Crimson’s slashing of the Tigers took the reigning champs out of title contention despite Princeton’s return of both the Ivy Player and Rookie of the Year. It was out of the gate with a 4-0 league record.

That was the hot start.

The next weekend was the stutter-step.

In Ithaca, Harvard first faltered as it split with Cornell. A disappointing pair of losses to Columbia the next day almost took the Crimson out of contention for good.

With a sweep of Yale, however, and some shuffling in the league, Harvard showed up at Brown with a chance to win the coveted rings.

Enter the devastating blow.

The Crimson gave up its lead in not one, but two games in Providence and was eliminated from the title race for good.

After the pressure was off, it came back with a successful doubleheader against Dartmouth and wound up third in the league.

There might have been a lot of “woulda, coulda, shoulda” situations for Harvard this year, but there were no regrets after yesterday’s season ending game.

“This has been the most enjoyable of my four seasons,” co-captain second baseman Sara Williamson said.

Co-captain pitcher Kara Brotemarkle echoed the same sentiment.

“This year was great,” she said. “I think of my four years, I had the most fun playing on this team.”

And junior first baseman Cecily Gordon repeated a comment heard a lot this season, praising Williamson and Brotemarkle for a job well done.