Sports

Softball: Brown breaks up losing streak against Harvard

Bears hope to carry momentum into their final five games after winning a close game

By
Sports Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Though pitcher Sarah Ropiak ’16, pictured above, went winless on the mound, the team was able to pick up a much-needed win against Ivy-foe Harvard to break a double-digit losing streak.

The Bears dropped three games to the Harvard in a four-game series at home over the weekend, but earned a big win after a seventh inning rally in the weekend’s final game.

Harvard (21-18, 11-5 Ivy) beat out the Bears (8-25, 2-14) on the first day of the series, shutting out Bruno 4-0 in the first game. Harvard was led in the second game by Crimson pitcher Jamie Halula, who allowed only one run and three hits in Brown’s 3-1 loss.

On the second day of the series, Bruno brought the heat. During the bottom of the third in the first game, the Bears took a 2-0 lead over the Crimson. A sacrifice bunt by Danielle Palms ’14 and a single by Janet Leung ’16 put Emma Blake ’15 in position to score on third base.

Harvard pitcher Morgan Groom gave Bruno an easy first run of the afternoon, walking co-captain Stephanie Thompson ’13 to bring Blake home. Sarah Ropiak ’16 later hit a single up the middle that brought Thompson home for Brown’s second run.

The Crimson paid Bruno back in kind in the top of the fourth. Harvard’s first two base runners were brought home on a single by Katherine Appelbe.

A two-run homer by Haley Davis put Harvard at a comfortable 4-2 lead, which it maintained until the seventh inning. After a triple and a single from the Crimson’s Zoe Galindo and Kasey Lange, respectively, Harvard took the game.

Harvard kept up its momentum through the beginning of the afternoon’s second game. The Crimson scored three runs in the first two innings, but Brown rallied during the bottom of the fourth when Molly Ann Mecca ’16 brought Leung home on a walk to narrow the gap.

In an action-packed final inning, Harvard increased its lead by a run, but Bruno made a comeback to take the game 5-4.

In the top of the seventh, Shelbi Olson bumped Harvard’s score up to four with a bunt single.

With Bruno trailing by three points in the bottom of the seventh, it seemed Harvard would finish the weekend with four more wins tacked on to its record.

With a hit and an error by Harvard’s second baseman, Jamie Pospishil ’16 brought in the first run of the bottom of the seventh. Thompson and Trista Chavez ’15 tied up the score with consecutive walks with the bases loaded. Palms sealed the deal for Brown on a wild pitch, bringing in a final runner for Bruno.

“Our whole team contributed to the win,” Leung said. “Our coach subbed in a lot of players to pinch hit or pinch run. It was a team effort and a team win.”

Despite the team’s shaky weekend, the win against Harvard is significant, especially for the team’s seniors.

“As freshmen, we really didn’t know how big of a deal it is to beat Harvard,” Mecca said.

“This was the second game (the seniors) won out of the last 16 we played against Harvard,” Leung added. “It was a big win for them, especially winning in the bottom of the seventh.”

Brown will close its season with a home game against Bryant Wednesday and a four-part series against Yale this weekend, starting in New Haven and then returning to Providence.

“We just want to bring our momentum from our win this weekend to Yale,” Leung said. “Hopefully, we can finish the season off strong and get those four wins.”

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