Entering a four-game weekend against Dartmouth at 5-3 in Ivy League play, the Bears had an opportunity to take on Ivy League frontrunner Dartmouth and claim the top spot themselves with a sweep. But it was the Big Green (22-10, 12-0) who swept the Bears (16-16, 5-7 Ivy), maintaining its perfect Ivy record and sending Bruno to last in the North division.
The Bears found themselves behind early in game one: two batters in, Dartmouth scored and was threatening to score again with a runner on second. But pitcher Katie Orona ’18 set the side down without allowing another runner to reach base, and in the bottom of the inning, the Bears scored two runs of their own to take an early lead.
But the advantage was short-lived and the only lead the Bears would see in the game. Despite scattering nine hits over the game, Bruno scored just the two runs and eventually fell 7-2.
“I don’t think the score reflected how we played,” said outfielder Yeram Park ’18. “We were on their pitchers, but the hits weren’t consecutive so we just couldn’t put runs on the board.”
Looking for redemption in game two, the Bears once again fell behind early, as Dartmouth scored once in the first and twice in the second. As the wind howled and temperatures dropped, the Bears’ bats likewise went cold, as they managed only two hits in the first six innings.
Down by four, Bruno threatened in the bottom of the seventh, as catcher and co-captain Julia Schoenewald ’17 singled to lead off the frame, and third baseman Christina Andrews ’17 singled as well. But after the runners advanced on a groundout, Andrews was cut down at the plate attempting to score from second on a single from Sofia Venegas ’19, effectively ending the threat.
Once again, the final score did not indicate the team’s effort during the game, Park said.
“We were never really out of it,” she added. “We didn’t hit terribly — we hit pretty well. But we just couldn’t put any runs on the board. The score definitely should have been much closer.”
With Orona on the mound again for Sunday afternoon’s game, the Bears looked to take back the series and earn a split. But Dartmouth again took an early lead, scoring a run in the first on a pair of doubles and another in the third.
The Bears pulled within a run in the fifth on an RBI double from Park, but managed just the one run against Dartmouth’s Morgan McCalmon, who, with the win, is 14-3 with a 2.47 earned run average.
Orona went the distance in the loss, pitching seven innings and allowing two runs, only one earned. Her record fell to 8-7, despite a 2.56 ERA.
The Bears continued hitting in game four, but luck was not on their side. Dartmouth scored a run in the bottom of the second when a ground ball ticked off the edge of the glove of co-captain Janet Leung ’16 and into left field. The Big Green added another in the fourth on a well-placed infield groundout.
Moments later, a hard grounder snuck past Andrews’ glove, scoring two and putting Dartmouth ahead 4-0.
The Bears added a run in the bottom of the inning, but after moving two runners into scoring position with one out, failed to capitalize and stranded the pair. After pitcher Gina Chieffallo ’17 entered and held Dartmouth scoreless in the fifth, the Bears nearly struck again in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Park sent a line drive down the right field line that appeared to ricochet off the foul pole for a home run, but the first base umpire called it foul. Amid outcry from the stands and Brown coaches, the umpires convened to discuss the call, but ultimately stuck to the original ruling. One pitch later, Park struck out.
The Bears were not done yet; the next two runners reached base, bringing up Schoenewald. But Bruno’s fortunes had not reversed. Schoenewald’s line drive to deep center field was caught, and the inning ended without a run.
The Bears pushed across another run in the seventh, but the rally fell short, finishing the game at 4-2. Despite 17 hits on the day, Bruno managed just three runs total.
“We’ve been hitting very very well,” Chieffallo said. “We’re just hitting to them. That’s all.”
Head Coach Katie Flynn echoed her players’ sentiment.
“There’s only two teams in the country that have hit Morgan McCalmon as well as we do, and that’s (No. 7) Oklahoma and Oklahoma State,” she said. “I felt really good about what our offense did — we just couldn’t get that next hit.”
The Bears now enter the home stretch of their schedule and will play four games against Harvard next weekend after a Wednesday game against Providence.
“We’ll play PC midweek to get ready for next weekend,” Flynn said. “Harvard is always a rivalry match for us — we get up and get excited. We compete, we compete so hard, and that’s all I can ask.”
Against Harvard, “I expect to play hard,” Chieffallo said. “If we keep playing our game, there’s no stopping us.”