Softball sweeps four games against Yale for an 11-1 Ivy League record

by Daniel Lee | 4/14/15 5:12pm

The softball team traveled to New Haven, Connecticut, this past weekend to play two doubleheaders against Yale University (7-16, 2-8 Ivy) on Saturday and Sunday, winning all four games and improving its record against Ivy League schools to a conference-leading 11-1.

The Big Green (18-13, 11-1 Ivy) went on the board early in the first game as leadoff hitter Katie McEachern ’16 started the weekend with a home run to center field. In the top of the second inning, Morgan McCalmon ’16 and Karen Chaw ’17 added a two-run homer and three-run homer, respectively, to give Dartmouth an early 6-0 lead, which led to the replacement of Bulldogs starting pitcher Francesca Casalino with relief pitcher Kylie Williamson after just 1.2 innings.

In the top of the fourth inning, eight Big Green batters reached base through two walks, three singles, a two-run blast by Maddie Damore ’17 and two hit by pitches. The Big Green scored six runs on four hits in the fourth and four runs on five hits in the fifth, stretching its run tally on the day to 16 and causing the game to be stopped short at five innings.

In a slugfest for Dartmouth, all nine starting batters touched home plate, seven out of nine batters collected at least one hit and six batters combined for a total of 14 RBIs. Kristen Rumley ’15 earned her 10th conference win of the season after pitching four innings and striking out three.

The second game of Saturday’s doubleheader turned out to be a pitcher’s duel between McCalmon and Bulldogs pitcher Lindsay Efflandt, and neither pitcher allowed a hit in the first three innings. After falling in a blowout earlier that day, Yale drew first blood in the bottom of the fourth when center fielder Sydney Glover led off the inning with a single, reached second on a wild pitch and came home on an RBI single by first baseman Hannah Brennan.

After falling behind 1-0, Dartmouth exploded for five-run comeback in the sixth inning, spurred by a steal from Lourlin Lara ’18. After going down two outs, Lara walked to first, stole second and gave the Big Green its first run of the game on a single by Damore, tying the game at one.

Chaw followed Damore with her second two-run homer of the weekend to gain the lead. Kathy Dzienkowski ’16 and Kelsey Miller ’16 reached base on two consecutive errors, and McCalmon hit an RBI double to right center field, extending Dartmouth’s lead to 5-1. Rumley had a one-two-three seventh inning to seal the game for McCalmon’s sixth win of the season.

The Big Green picked up where it left off on Sunday and continued to dominate Yale in the third and fourth games of the weekend, not allowing a single run against the Bulldogs. In the earlier game of the day, Alyssa Jorgensen ’17 induced a bases-loaded walk in the top of the second inning, setting up McEachern, who hit a 2-RBI single to right center field, followed by another single by Lara, who scored Jorgensen for a four-run inning.

Up 5-0 in the top of the fifth, McCalmon hit her second home run of the weekend — this time a three-run home run — to stretch the team’s lead to 8-0. The Bulldogs failed to score in the bottom of the fifth, and the game was called short due to the mercy rule for the second time in as many days. Rumley pitched a shutout, allowing three hits, no walks and striking out five batters.

McCalmon took the mound for the final game of the weekend and pitched a four-hit shutout, walking one and striking out 10 Bulldogs. Lara rose to the occasion yet again with a bases-loaded single putting Dartmouth on the board in the top of the second inning. McEachern, McCalmon and Claire Bird ’18 each hit doubles and collected RBIs as the team completed the final game of the four-game sweep with a score of 7-0.

Dartmouth pitchers allowed only three runs throughout the four-game series, and Rumley and McCalmon pitched complete game shutouts in the first and second games, respectively, of Sunday’s doubleheader.

Rumley has a 2.41 ERA in 119.1 innings, and McCalmon has a 2.49 ERA in 64.2 innings. Rumley and McCalmon have established themselves as one of the deadliest one-two punches as one often starts the game and the other enters in relief.

“We complement each other so well that once hitters start to get their timing and make adjustments to [Rumley], they have to adjust to a completely different style when I come in for relief, and vice versa,” McCalmon said. “How different we are is really hard for hitters to adjust to.”

As for the offense, Big Green batters collected 41 hits, hit six doubles, stole seven bases and launched six home runs to combine for a potent offensive performance. In the past 12 games that Dartmouth has played against Ivy League schools, it has outscored them 91-20.

Much of the credit goes to leadoff hitter McEachern who has a .568 conference batting average and a .660 conference on base percentage. The team’s aggressive approach and collective ability to get hits comes from its confidence in being able to handle any opposing pitcher, McEachern said.

“Our team has shown this weekend that all it takes is to get one hit, and we use each other’s energy to multiply it out and everyone starts getting hits,” McEachern said. “The momentum we gain after getting one hit is incredible.”

The team’s strong chemistry has led to a high level of performance from its freshmen class throughout the season. Bird hit a towering RBI double in both the first and fourth games of the weekend, and number-two hitter Lara has averaged a solid .307 batting average and is a perfect 7-7 in stolen bases throughout the season.

“For me and the rest of the ’18s, we really look up to the upperclassmen, and they do a great job of leading by example, so we try to mold ourselves to be more like them,” Lara said.

The combination of quick learning, great pitching and unstoppable offense leaves the opposing team with very little opportunity to win against the Big Green.

The team will host Brown University this weekend in hopes of extending its 10-game win streak to 14 with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 18th and another on Sunday, April 19th.