Softball Travels to Las Vegas

Meghan T. Purdy

Batting leadoff, senior shortstop Lauren Brown led the Crimson to two wins on Saturday, knocking five hits and scoring three runs. But Harvard finished just 2-3 on the weekend after a tough day yesterday.

The Harvard softball team competed in its second tournament of the season, playing five games and winning two in the Eller Media Stadium Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., this weekend.

“We are going home confident with what we’ve done,” Crimson coach Jenny Allard said, “but hungry for improvement.”


Yesterday, Harvard (4-5) struggled to keep up with Longwood (10-5), which tallied a run in the first inning after a line-drive double that came around to score.

Two unearned runs in the third—resulting from an error and a fielder’s choice—put the Crimson in a three-run hole after only three innings.

With two outs, junior Shelly Madick relieved freshman starter Dana Roberts and wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam.

Harvard mustered a run in the fifth inning when senior Lauren Brown crossed the plate. The score was a team effort, as Brown singled up the middle to lead off the inning and advanced on a pair of sacrifices—a bunt by senior Julia Kidder and a fly by sophomore Bailey Vertovez.

Unable to string more hits together, the Crimson left a total of 10 runners on base while the Lancers left only six.


In the first of yesterday’s pair of losses, Harvard buried itself early in the game. Miami (9-15-1) exploded for nine hits and all eight of its runs in the second inning.

All three Crimson pitchers that threw against the Redhawks appeared in the second inning. Vertovez started and, after giving up six runs, was relieved by junior Amanda Watkins, who contributed one out while surrendering two runs. Roberts then came in to pitch a scoreless 4 1/3 innings to close out the game.

“They came out and attacked our pitchers, but our freshman, Roberts, was able to stop them,” Allard said. “After that they didn’t score again.”

Harvard fought back against Miami and came up with two runs in the second, scored by junior Danielle Kerper and freshman Stephanie Krysiak. Kerper walked and advanced on a single by Krysiak.

After a throwing error, the junior scored on Kidder’s walk. Krysiak was knocked in by freshman Lauren Murphy on a sacrifice fly to right.

The Crimson tallied another two runs between the third and fourth innings, both scored by Vertovez, who went 2-for-4 in the game.

Murphy led off the first inning with a solo home run.

Harvard’s defense finished the bottom half of the inning with a quick 1-2-3 by Vertovez.


In nine innings, Harvard battled Portland State (7-12) to earn its second win of the day on Saturday.

The Crimson’s victory redeemed last year’s shutout loss to the Vikings.

The win came from a key base hit in the ninth, when Kerper knocked in the winning run.

Brown doubled to left center to lead off the game. Kidder also doubled to left center to knock in Brown and came around to score on a single by freshman Jessica Pledger.

Portland State recorded two runs in the second inning, one of which was unearned due to a Harvard fielding error.

In the third, Murphy knocked in three runs on a home run to left-center, scoring Kidder and Krysiak.

The Vikings retaliated, earning their own three runs on a pair of doubles in the bottom half of the inning.

The next five innings remained scoreless, tied at 5-5.

“It was a competitive game,” Allard said. “We were strong offensively.”


Harvard earned its first win of the tournament in a close game over New Mexico State (22-9) on Saturday.

After giving up a three-run double in the first, Vertovez held the Aggies scoreless for the rest of her performance.

The Crimson put up one in the first, with Brown scoring on Murphy’s double to right, and rallied in the third, coming up with six runs on four hits.

Pledger, Krysiak, Brown, Murphy, and freshman Melissa Schellberg all earned RBIs in the third.

New Mexico scored again in the fourth and sixth innings, but it was not enough to come back and defeat Harvard.

“New Mexico State was a good hitting team, and we kept them off balance,” Allard said. “We had a great offensive day. We did a better job of moving runners and getting key hits.”


In the tournament opener on Friday, Madick pitched a complete game, giving up only two hits. Despite her efforts, the Crimson was unable to come up with any runs, as UNLV (19-11) took the win.

The Rebels’ lone run came in the second inning on a home run to centerfield.

In a solid defensive performance, Madick pitched 1-2-3 innings in the third, fourth, and sixth. Her efforts were backed by an error-free game.

The Crimson had a good offensive game but struggled to string hits together, leaving a total of six runners on base.