Harvard Downs Cornell 4-0 to Claim 2011 Softball Championship
Portions Courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- For the second consecutive day, Harvard's pitching silenced Cornell's bats and the Crimson went on to post a 4-0 win over the Big Red in game two of the 2011 Ivy League Softball Championship Series to claim the title.
As the 2011 Champions, Harvard earns the League's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Softball Championship. The Crimosn will learn where it is headed for NCAA play when the field of 64 is announced at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 15 live on ESPNU.
Harvard wasted no time getting on the board, posting three runs
in the top of the first, playing as the visiting team. Stephanie
Regan took a one-out walk and back-to-back singles from
Kasey Lange and Whitney Shaw
loaded the bases for the Crimson. Allison Scott
brought home Harvard's first run, slapping a ball to second base
and bringing home Regan on a fielder's choice. Ashley Heritage was
next up and the Crimson left fielder pumped a 2-1 pitch deep to
left-center for a two-run triple, giving Harvard a 3-0 lead after
Cornell threatened in each of the next three innings, collecting a hit each in the first and second and a trio of hits in the third, but not bringing any runs across. Lange made a fantastic diving play on a Marissa Amiraian shot to finish off the Big Red in the second, and Shaw squashed a potential rally with an unassisted double play off a line drive to end the third.
Cornell pitchers Ali Tomlinson and Elizabeth Dalrymple worked well through the middle innings, combining to sit down the Crimson in order in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. The Crimson padded its lead in the sixth where Lange reached on a one-out single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Scott went the opposite way with a 1-2 pitch, bringing home Lange and giving the Crimson a 4-0 lead.
Rachel Brown took over for Laura Ricciardone in the circle for Harvard in the sixth and was lights out down the stretch, fanning five Big Red batters and scattering a pair of hits. Brown recorded the final out on a swinging strike, giving Harvard the title with it second-straight shutout victory.
Scott and Heritage were responsible for the runs on the day as each drove in a pair while Lange collected a pair of base hits. Brown earned her second save of the year in two innings of work and Ricciardone allowed just five hits in five solid innings for the 13th win of her rookie campaign.