While many Brown students made their way to the Main Green for the Spring Weekend concerts, the softball team hit the road for one of its toughest tests of the season. Bruno (11-19, 5-1 Ivy) salvaged a single win in a four-game set at conference-leading Dartmouth.
While a 1-3 weekend is not typically positive, Bruno’s 9-0 win Saturday afternoon was impressive considering that Dartmouth (21-14, 14-2) lost only one of its first 12 Ivy games and had yet to fall at home. The Big Green handled the Bears in a 6-1 game Saturday morning and bounced back from its first home loss to sweep Sunday’s doubleheader by scores of 4-0 and 6-0.
“I am overall very proud of the way the team played,” said Katie Orona ’18. “We competed with one of the top teams in the Ivy League and showed we can hold our own against them.”
The weekend’s opening match was a pitcher’s duel for the first five innings. Leah Nakashima ’17 breezed through the first five frames in the circle, allowing just three hits and one run. A home run from Trista Chavez ’15 had Bruno knotted at one until the wheels fell off in the bottom of the sixth. Two hit-by-pitches, three hits and three Bruno errors combined to hand Dartmouth five runs that would decide the game.
The stagnant Bruno offense found its stride in the third inning of game two. The Bears broke out for an incredible eight runs in the top of the third inning — more runs than either team could manage in any other game over the weekend. Eleven of the first 12 Bears to step to the plate in the inning notched hits, and the fireworks came from Yeram Park ’18 and Julia Schoenewald ’17. Park plated the first two runs of the inning with a double, and Schoenewald followed her with a resounding home run. When the dust had lifted, the Bears had smacked 11 hits in one inning — three more than the team managed in two games combined on Sunday.
To make the offensive onslaught all the more impressive, it came against Dartmouth hurler Morgan McCalmon, who had lost only one of her first eight decisions. Orona took advantage of the sizable lead to throw a gem and even her record at 7-7. Orona allowed just two hits and a walk in her shutout of the Big Green.
Unfortunately for the Bears, the offense had exhausted its strength on Saturday afternoon and went cold Sunday.
Jessica Cherness ’15 surrendered four runs in a hard-fought complete game Sunday morning, but Rumley outdueled her with a four-hit shutout. Chavez picked up a pair of hits, but the Bears advanced a runner to third only once.
Orona had her stuff working again in the weekend finale. She kept the game close until Dartmouth shortstop Katie McEachern deposited a pitch over the left field fence for a grand slam. McEachern leads the Big Green in homers from the leadoff spot, and her slam effectively won the game for Dartmouth. McCalmon rebounded from her disappointing effort Saturday to stifle the Bears in a complete game shutout Sunday.
Bruno will start a critical series against Yale Saturday in the season’s final weekend. The Bulldogs are the only team standing between the Bears and the bottom of the conference.
“Yale is a good team, and I look forward to taking the positive things we did this weekend against Dartmouth and carrying that over into this weekend,” Orona said.