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Softball Sweeps Brown in Weekend Set

In Providence, R.I., Harvard softball (18-16, 9-6 Ivy) stayed in contention for an Ivy League Championship Series bid as it swept Brown (13-27, 3-12) in a three-game weekend series, putting the Crimson second in the Ivy North Division behind only Dartmouth (11-24-1, 10-6).

The three victories extended Harvard’s Ivy League winning streak to five consecutive games. The Crimson’s away record improved to 7-5 as well.

“We stuck to our process and had faith in ourselves and each other to get the job done,” sophomore catcher Nicole Nishizawa said.

HARVARD 5, BROWN 2

In the final game in Rhode Island, Harvard continued its winning streak with a 5-2 win against the Bears.

The second game of the series was not as smooth as the earlier game, as the Crimson and Brown were stuck in a 2-2 tie going into the sixth inning. Sophomore catcher Elizabeth Shively led off the top of the sixth with a double. A sacrifice bunt moved her over to third, but she was unable to score on a subsequent groundout, the second out of the frame.

Bears pitcher Meghan Wimmer’s control faltered after the groundout, as she hit sophomore center fielder Kaitlyn Schiffhauer and allowed a free pass to sophomore shortstop Rhianna Rich. Junior right fielder Maddy Kaplan capitalized on the bases-loaded opportunity, driving a double to center field to give Harvard a 5-2 advantage.

“The biggest thing that made us successful today was definitely clutch hitting,” Shively said. “We really stuck with the process today and battled every at-bat.”

The Crimson would hold the score with a strong performance by sophomore pitcher Kathleen Duncan, who struck out seven batters to defend the Harvard lead, as well as two strikeouts from freshman starter Olivia Giaquinto. The pair only allowed eight hits, one base on ball, and two earned runs in seven innings.

The Crimson opened the scoring once again with two runs in the second inning. Singles by Schiffhauer and Rich allowed Harvard to jump out to a 2-0 lead.

Brown fought back in the third inning to level the game at 2-2, and coach Jenny Allard opted to bring Duncan in to evade the scoring threat. The sophomore tossed 4.1 scoreless innings to improve her record to 7-6.

“We kept our energy up in the dugout and on the field,” Shively said. “We were really cheering for one another the whole time, and it was like we had 23 other girls behind us the whole game.”

HARVARD 4, BROWN 0

In the first game on Sunday, the Crimson rolled comfortably past the Bears with impressive performances from all players.

Rich opened the first inning with a walk before freshman first baseman Olivia Giaquinto hit a single to plate the El Segundo, Calif. native. The strong performances continued as Nishizawa hit an infield single to allow Harvard to run to a 2-0 lead. Giaquinto and Nishizawa led the team offensively, driving in three and one runs, respectively.

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