Softball sweeps weekend matchups, improves to 7-1 Ivy

by Daniel Lee | 4/8/15 6:01pm

The softball team won all four games in doubleheaders against Princeton University and Cornell University this past weekend, breaking .500 for the first time since late February and improving their record against Ivy League schools to 7-1.

Coming off her no-hitter last Saturday against Columbia University, Kristen Rumley ’15 went out and pitched her third and fourth consecutive shutouts against Princeton and Cornell.

In the first game against Princeton on Friday, Rumley allowed four hits, walked one and struck out seven. The only time she came across any trouble was when the Tigers’ catcher, Skye Jerpbak, led the fifth inning with a walk, advanced to second on a passed ball and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice. With no outs, Rumley would induce groundballs from the next two batters she faced and struck out Tigers center fielder Rachel Rendina to end the inning unscathed.

Her battery mate, Kathy Dzienkowski ’16, nailed two runners stealing second, while Karen Chaw ’17 and Katie McEachern ’16 hit two-run home runs in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.

Morgan McCalmon ’16 took the mound for the Big Green in the second game against Princeton. She immediately went to work, striking out the side in the top of the first after allowing one hit to start off the inning. She allowed three hits and walked one in four innings while striking out six Tigers. The Big Green’s offense was unstoppable yet again as McEachern, Lourlin Lara ’18 and Maddie Damore ’17 led the bottom of the first with three consecutive hits. Damore scored McEachern, and Rumley hit a two-run single to score Lara and Damore. Damore hit a three-run homerun, and Chaw followed with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to bring Dartmouth’s lead to 8-0. Ashley Sissel ’17 finished off the Tigers in the top of the fifth, recording a strikeout of her own.

Rumley returned to the mound against Cornell and completed her fourth consecutive shutout, recording nine strikeouts, nine hits and zero walks. The defense prevented a bases-loaded situation in the top of the second as the Bears’ center fielder was called out on her attempt to score from second on a single. When batters reached scoring position in the second to sixth innings, Rumley was able to get out of the jams with either the help of the defense or by striking her way out.

In Rumley’s last four starts, she has pitched 26 scoreless innings and allowed only 15 hits, bringing her ERA to a mere 2.56.

Given her remarkable consistency in her previous starts, it is almost expected of Rumley to pitch a shutout or a complete game. She also helped her cause by hitting a solo home run to put Dartmouth on the board 1-0 in the bottom of the second.

“The offense putting as much runs as they did [these past four games], it makes the pitcher’s job so much easier,” Rumley said. “Also, knowing that we had a stellar defense behind us today just makes pitching so much easy. [Defense] was a team goal and it turned out really well.”

The offense exploded, as it has in the past several games, for 42 hits and 31 runs over the four games.

“Everyone knows that we need to score runs, so however we can we’re getting on base and we’re hitting each other and it’s showing on the scoreboard,” Damore said.

Chaw attributed much of the team’s offensive success to leadoff hitter McEachern.

“It’s really nice having [McEachern] in leadoff because she’s a great bat and you don’t want her to get on with a hit, but you can’t exactly walk her so she gets on either way,” Chaw said.

The final game of the weekend on Saturday against Cornell turned out to be a slugfest, with both teams combining for 25 hits and 25 runs.

Big Green starting pitcher McCalmon had a rough start, allowing two home runs against Cornell’s leadoff hitter, Karlie Mellott, one of which came on the third pitch of the game. The defense was unable to support her as Cornell scored four unearned runs in the fourth inning, which resulted in her replacement by Rumley.

The Big Green’s offense had no problem getting on the board in the bottom of the first. After Lara legged out an infield single and Damore induced a walk, Chaw hit a three-run home run to put the Big Green up 3-1. Dartmouth then scored three runs in the first, three runs in the second, six runs in the fourth and three runs in the fifth.

It is evident that the team is not the same as it was during the start of the season. With the incredible success in recent weeks they have been impossible to defeat, mainly because of the deadly combination of unhittable pitching and hot hitting. Now, with 13 games left in the season — 12 of which are against Yale, Brown and Harvard Universities — all eyes are on the Big Green to see if they can extend their success against the remaining Ivy League schools. They will try to extend their six-game win streak and will head to New Haven, Connecticut, to play doubleheaders against Yale on Saturday and Sunday.