Softball drops three of four to open new home stadium

by Taylor Malmsheimer | 4/8/12 10:00pm

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The Dartmouth softball team won its first-ever game at Dartmouth Softball Park before dropping the next three.
by Nathan Yeo / The Dartmouth

Friday's first game was a pitcher's duel, with Kristen Rumley '15 leading the way for the Big Green, posting a two-hit shutout. In seven innings of work, Rumley struck out 10 Quakers and allowed just one walk.

"Kristen has been doing great," Dartmouth coach Rachel Hanson said. "Especially as a freshman, she has great composure."

Rumley leads the team with a 2.56 ERA on the season.

Dartmouth had three hits in the first game, the biggest of which a solo home run by Hillary Barker '12 in the third inning that secured the Big Green victory. Barker's homer was the first at the the new park.

The Big Green sparked its offense in the second inning with a single off the bat of third baseman Noelle Ramirez '13. Ramirez advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt but was left stranded after two strikeouts ended the inning. After Barker homered in the third, Dartmouth looked like it would expand its lead following a walk by Megan Averitt '15. Averitt advanced to third on a stolen base and passed ball but was left stranded as Penn starter Alexis Borden worked her way out of the jam, striking out Rumley and Kara Curosh '14 before forcing a fly-out from Kat Hicks '12 and ending the threat.

Penn never threatened Dartmouth's one-run lead, putting only one runner on base in the last four innings. Getting a win in its first game on the new field was a highlight for the Big Green.

"It's an awesome feeling for the girls," Hanson said. "It's something they can be proud of, and it's exciting. We're very thankful to the people who helped make [the field] happen."

Hicks praised the grounds crews that were able to make the field playable by Friday.

"It was tremendously exciting playing on our new field," Hicks said. "The crews worked really hard and we really appreciate the effort it took to have the field ready for us in time."

In the second game of the day, Penn tallied eight hits en route to a 6-2 victory. The Quakers got on the board in the second inning as freshman Karina Rios hit an RBI single that gave the Quakers a 1-0 lead after a leadoff single and a Dartmouth error.

Penn used a four-run fourth inning to pull away from the Big Green. The Quakers rallied with two outs, beginning with a home run from junior Samantha Erosa. After the homer, a single, an error and a double led to three more runs and a 5-0 Penn lead.

In the bottom of the sixth, Dartmouth finally got on the board with two runs. Ramirez led off the inning with a single, and a Penn error and a walk by Hillary Hubert '13 loaded the bases. After the Big Green was forced out at home plate twice, Barker hit an RBI single that scored Meghan Everett '12 and Hubert. Hanson said she was satisfied with the split against solid Penn pitching.

"The team really showed a lot of growth," Hanson said. "We're still inconsistent, but we're showing flashes of playing at a high level."

On Saturday, Columbia (9-22, 3-5 Ivy) swept the Big Green by scores of 9-0 and 7-1. Dartmouth struggled to produce timely hitting, scoring just one run despite 11 hits over the course of the two games.

In the first game, the Lions started their offense early, scoring in the first inning on an illegal pitch by Rumley. Columbia followed up with one run in both the second and third innings and a three-run fourth inning.

Dartmouth had a chance to keep the game close in the first inning when Hicks singled to load the bases, but Britta McOmber '14 was thrown out at home and the inning ended after a strikeout.

Columbia secured the win with sophomore Tristin Moone's second home run of the game in the sixth inning. Hicks led the Big Green at the plate, going 2-for-3. Dartmouth used three pitchers in the circle who combined to allow nine runs on eight hits.

Columbia also jumped out to an early lead in the second game. After scoring one run in the first inning, the Lions used a four-run second to take control of the game. Hicks came in to relieve Barker in the circle and put away the first three batters she faced.

"I just wanted to shut them down," Hicks said. "I wanted to change the momentum of the game to our side."

Dartmouth calmed down after the fourth inning, allowing only two more Columbia runs. The Big Green had base runners almost every inning, but could not get anyone across the plate until the sixth inning, when Ramirez smashed a solo home run over the left-center field fence. Ramirez and Averitt led the Big Green offensively, each going 2-for-3.

This weekend Dartmouth travels to Brown University for a four-game series against the Bears beginning on Saturday.

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