Softball breaks records with four back-to-back home runs

by Caitlyn McGovern and Evan Griffith | 4/23/18 2:05am

Dartmouth’s softball team is having a great season so far. The team currently stands at 10-5 in the Ivy League, good for second place in the conference behind Harvard University who sits at 13-5. Last weekend, the softball team not only added another win to its total, but did so while breaking an Ivy League record and earning recognition from the national media. 

On Saturday, Apr. 14, Dartmouth softball defeated Cornell University 8-4 in the first match of a three-game series in a game that was marked by high winds. Dartmouth would jump out to a 4-0 lead at the bottom of the third inning, with two outs off of four individual, back-to-back home runs from Morgan Martinelli ’19, Schae Nelson ’21, Micah Schroder ’20 and Taylor Ward ’19. This feat not only gave the team momentum to take down Cornell, it also broke an Ivy League record for the most consecutive home runs hit in one game. Dartmouth would tie the NCAA record as well, joining South Dakota State University, who broke the record in 2016. 

When asked about what was going through her mind when she hit the first home run of the inning, Schroder said, “Not much … It was a tight game, I believe, when I hit it, so I was just excited to put a run up on the board.” 

Schroder also thought that her first home run gave the team a bit of confidence and energy. 

“Our offense typically needs a spark sometimes, so I think me and Mo [Martinelli] hitting back-to-back home runs gave Schae and Taylor more confidence going into their at bats, just that they thought they could do it too,” she said. 

Nelson agreed that the team’s energy propelled the players forward to give them their offensive explosion. 

“Honestly I would say, with our team mentality … whenever our team is really excited to play and we’re really hyped, I’m able to perform my best and just have fun and be able to play the game that I love,” Nelson said. Dartmouth’s momentum carried on to the next two games as well as the team went on to win its second game on Saturday against Cornell 7-2. The third and final game of the series ended in a 10-0 victory in five innings after the game was postponed to Tuesday due to inclement weather. 

The media also picked up on Dartmouth breaking the Ivy League record. The day after the third game, the bottom of the third inning was featured on SportsCenter’s daily Top 10 plays. When asked about seeing the team on the show, Nelson said that she watched the clip and people reached out to her about it.

“I really liked it … it was a great thing to experience,” Nelson said.

Schroder said that she found out about the clip from her friends texting her about it. 

“I did get to watch the clip,” Schroder said. “It was kind of weird being on SportsCenter because I grew up watching SportsCenter and the Top 10  plays with my brother every week, and also I had a lot of old friends reach out to me and say that they saw me on SportsCenter. I didn’t even know that we had made the SportsCenter Top 10 until all of these people were texting me. It’s a really cool feeling, because you grow up watching this show and then you’re on it.”

While a high moment for the team last weekend, the team didn’t do much in the way of celebrating such a feat. 

“I think that we were just so into the game and the fact that we had just put up four runs and we were now leading the game, so we were just more excited about that than celebrating back-to-back home runs,” Schroder said. 

Nelson also emphasized the importance of playing for the team when asked about how breaking the record felt in the moment. 

“I think [breaking the record] is pretty great,” Nelson said. “Honestly, I was just playing for the team so I wasn’t really thinking about myself, but I think it’s pretty amazing that we were able to highlight our team as a whole.”

Dartmouth is still very much in the hunt when it comes to winning this year’s Ivy League title, something the team is looking forward to as it finishes the rest of the regular season.

“I think we have a great chance of winning that and we’re going to do everything we can to win that title,” Nelson said.

Dartmouth hosts Yale University this upcoming weekend for a three-game series and Brown University the weekend after that to close out the regular season.