Softball team ends 28-game losing streak

With win over Dartmouth, previously 15-0 in conference, Bears earn first Ivy win

Senior Staff Writer
Monday, April 21, 2014

Corner infielder Trista Chavez ’16 waits for the pitch. She had hits in three of the Bears’ four games against Dartmouth this weekend, including one in the win that would snap the Bears’ historic 28-game losing streak. In Ivy play this season, Chavez is hitting an impressive .326/.380/.457 in 16 games.

The softball team dropped three of its four games against Dartmouth this weekend, but in the final game of the four-game set, it beat the first-place Big Green to end a 28-game losing streak.

The first three games of the series were disappointments, as the Bears (3-31, 1-15 Ivy) lost by a combined score of 17-3. They were facing Dartmouth (26-14, 15-1), a juggernaut that entered the final game of the series 15-0 in the Ivy League and riding a 16-game winning streak.

Dartmouth’s strength and consistency made the eventual outcome unlikely, but the Bears overcame the odds to defeat the Big Green 3-1.

Leah Nakashima ’17 (W, 2-10) was the hero for Bruno, twirling seven innings and allowing just one run on four hits and a walk, striking out two. Nakashima has been arguably the best pitcher on the team this season, posting a 4.32 ERA, the lowest among any pitcher with more than two starts.

The Bears’ offense did not deliver a barrage of hits, but it made its few base knocks count. Five hits — coupled with a Dartmouth error — allowed Bruno to score just enough runs to back Nakashima up.

After a scoreless start, Dartmouth took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth off an RBI single that drove in a runner on base due to a Brown error. But in the home half, Christina Andrews ’17 led off with a solo home run to knot the score. Andrews has been far and away the Bears’ best hitter this season, leading the team in home runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

With the score even, the Bears could have been complacent and simply counted their blessings for being tied with the conference’s top team. But they stayed hungry and went for more. Kelsey Williams ’14 reached on an error, and with two outs, was driven in by a Danielle Palms ’14 single that gave Bruno the 2-1 advantage. A wild pitch moved Palms to third, and Nakashima’s first hit of the season in seven at-bats tallied an insurance run for the Bears.

Nakashima locked down the Big Green from there, allowing no hits over the game’s final two innings to secure the win for Bruno.

Brown’s losing streak was monstrous, a 28-game black hole during which it was outscored 156-39, or by more than four runs per game. And while this season remains a lost one for Bruno, it will at least avoid the ignominy of a winless conference slate.