SOFTBALL | Yale drops two to Harvard

Despite dropping two games to Harvard on Saturday, the softball team stayed at third in the Ivy standings. The Bulldogs will play another doubleheader against the Crimson on Tuesday.
Despite dropping two games to Harvard on Saturday, the softball team stayed at third in the Ivy standings. The Bulldogs will play another doubleheader against the Crimson on Tuesday. Photo by Brianne Bowen.

The softball team held steady at third in the Ivy League standings after dropping two games to Ivy League leader Harvard on Saturday in Cambridge.

The Crimson (28–14, 12–2 Ivy), who lead the league with a .312 batting average and are second with a 2.52 ERA, defeated the Bulldogs (15–21, 6–8) 8–0 in six innings in the opener and completed the sweep with a five-inning 11–1 win in the nightcap. The two victories allowed Harvard to maintain its hold of first place in the North Division and put the Bulldogs in a third place tie with Brown.

Though second baseman Katie Yanagisawa ‘11 doubled in the opener to extend her hitting streak to 23 games, she was kept hitless in the nightcap, bringing that streak to an end.

In the first game, Harvard pitcher Rachel Brown tossed a complete game shutout to lead her team to an 8–0 win over Yale. Brown limited the Bulldogs to five scattered hits while fanning nine in six innings of work.

Both teams were kept off the board through the first four innings, but Harvard broke through in the bottom of the fifth. Ashley Heritage opened the frame with a leadoff single and advanced to third on a steal and a sacrifice bunt. Jane Alexander then singled to bring home Heritage and reached second on a Yale error. The Crimson got two more runs on RBI singles from Ellen Macadam and Kasey Lange to extend their lead to 3–0.

Harvard sealed the win by scoring five runs in the following inning.

“Obviously it’s very frustrating,” Chelsea Janes ’12 said. “We played well for six innings in the first game and then it kind of got out of hand. Harvard is a very good team and we definitely didn’t play as well as we could.”

Strong pitching and hitting carried the Crimson to an 11–1 win over the Elis in the nightcap.

Harvard pitcher Laura Ricciardone allowed just one run on three hits through five innings to earn the win.

The Crimson wasted no time getting on the board in the second game. In the bottom of the first, Harvard loaded the bases after the first three batters all reached. The next batter, Whitney Shaw, then homered to give her team a 4–0 lead.

Harvard broke the game open in the bottom of the second, when it took advantage of five hits and a Yale error to score seven runs and seize an 11–0 lead.

The Bulldogs’ lone run came in the fourth inning after third baseman Christy Nelson ’13 went deep to left center.

“Harvard capitalized on the mistakes we made and put a lot of runs on the board,” captain and catcher McKynlee Westman ’11 said. “While mistakes are disheartening, it’s energizing to know we should do better next time.”

Yale and Harvard close out their four-game series on Tuesday with another doubleheader. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. in Cambridge, Mass.

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