Softball drops all four games over Ivy opening weekend

by Taylor Malmsheimer | 4/1/12 10:00pm

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Despite several late-game comeback attempts, the softball team went 0-for-4 in its games over the weekend.
by Maggie Rowland and Maggie Rowland / The Dartmouth

The first game against Princeton began as a pitcher's duel with no scoring until the sixth inning. Kristen Rumley '15 tallied the first hit of the game in the third inning with a single to left field but was left stranded on base. In the fourth inning, Hillary Hubert '13 singled to center field but was also left on base.

In the sixth inning, Princeton scored its first run of the game on an RBI single to right field. The Tigers added three more runs after a walk and another single. Hillary Barker '12 relieved Rumley in the circle, but not before Princeton had created a four-run lead.

Kat Hicks '12 began the top of the seventh inning with a leadoff single for Dartmouth and Morgan Wharton '13 smashed a double to right field with just one out. The rest of the lineup, however, could not bring the runners in as the Big Green fell to the Tigers, 4-0.

Princeton junior Alex Peyton opened the second game with a two-run home run in the first inning. Dartmouth responded with hits in the second and third innings but could not score a run.

In the sixth inning, the momentum finally started to turn. With Dartmouth trailing 5-0, Britta McOmber '14 and Rumley walked with no outs. Hicks smashed an RBI double and Hubert followed with a hard single to shortstop. Rumley scored Dartmouth's second run on a Tigers' fielder's choice. A pop-up ended the rally with the Big Green still trailing 5-2.

Dartmouth threatened in the top of the seventh but was not able to complete the comeback. Rumley recorded the loss in the first game and Barker took the loss in the second game. Hubert had a team-high three hits on the day.

"We kind of got ourselves into a hole early," head coach Rachel Hanson said. "The girls did battle and showed a lot of heart, but we need to come out strong from the start. Once we learn how to do that we should be good."

On Saturday, Cornell started the scoring in the first game with a home run to left field in the bottom of the second inning. Dartmouth responded in the top of the third when Kara Curosh '14 reached on an error and scored on Rumley's single to left field. The inning ended with the score tied 1-1.

Cornell scored three runs in the fifth inning, jumping out to a 4-1 lead. In the top of the seventh, the Big Green got a run closer on a Noelle Ramirez '13 home run, but it turned out to be too little, too late. Rumley pitched six innings with four strikeouts and allowed four runs on five hits.

In the second game of the day, the Big Green struck first, scoring three runs in the first inning. Curosh began the inning with a double to right field and advanced to third base on a wild pitch. She scored on an RBI single by Meghan Everett '12. With two outs, Ramirez hit a single up the middle to score Hicks. Everett then scored on a Cornell throwing error to give Dartmouth a 3-0 lead.

Cornell responded in the second inning with an opening single followed by a two-run home run to make the score 3-2. In the bottom of the third, Big Red sophomore Jenny Edwards tied the game with Cornell's third home run of the day. With two more home runs in the fourth inning, Cornell pushed its lead to 6-3, forcing Barker to replace Rumley in the pitcher's circle. Despite the change in pitcher, the Big Red added four more runs in the inning, to bring the score to 10-3.

"Cornell is a good hitting team," Hanson said. "That's going to happen sometimes. Our defense needs to play behind [our pitchers]. Overall, our pitching is doing well this year. Kristen is very good for a freshman."

Dartmouth added a run in the top of the sixth inning but did not threaten until the top of the seventh. Barker opened the inning with a double and Rhiannon Saucedo '15 added a single. A throwing error and an RBI groundout by Curosh scored Barker and Saucedo. The Big Green added two more runs but was unable to finish the comeback, dropping the game, 10-8.

Hicks led Dartmouth's offense in the second game, going 2-for-3 with a home run. Ramirez also added two hits.

In three out of its four games over the weekend, the Big Green staged late-game comebacks but was unable to finish to secure a win.

"I think we definitely focused on comebacks in [these] games," Everett said. "We didn't get ahead soon enough, so we're going to work on making a comeback earlier in future games."

Early in the season, the Big Green is still working to refine its style of play and perform well on a consistent basis.

"I think for us, it's not as much about nerves as it is learning the style of softball we want to play consistently," Hanson said. "We're going to keep getting better and better. It's not about where you start, it's about where you finish."

Next week, Dartmouth will play its home opener on its brand new field against the University of Pennsylvania on Friday before taking on Columbia University on Saturday.

"We're really excited about [our home opener]," Hanson said. "We're excited to play on the new field and get back home. We saw good things from all areas this weekend hitting, pitching, defense at different times. Now we just need to put it all together."

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