Making up for a rained-out appointment with Holy Cross originally scheduled for March 17, the Harvard softball team hosted the Crusaders this past Tuesday afternoon (April 10) for a chilly doubleheader. And although the elements spared the Crimson and Crusaders this time around, one can imagine the visitors would have preferred the Blizzard of ’07 to the pair of shutouts served up by the Crimson.
Things looked competitive enough in the opening contest, as the struggling Crusaders (2-26) gave up just four hits en route to a 3-0 loss against the Harvard bats. Game two, however, was an entirely different story, as the Crimson fell into a serious groove with a dozen runs over two monster innings to pull away with a 12-0 victory.
Following three scoreless stanzas, freshman Jennifer Francis and sophomore Bailey Vertovez commenced a seven-run onslaught following a Holy Cross error with the bases loaded. On the next at bat, junior Danielle Kerper bashed a double to left field to plate senior Julia Kidder, giving the hosts a 3-0 edge. With one out, Harvard managed four more runs, including a three-run homer by senior Susie Winkeller — her third of the season.
Up 7-0, the Crimson tacked on five morruns in the bottom of the fourth when Winkeller managed an RBI single with the bases reloaded. Freshman Melissa Schellberg followed suit, ripping a single down the middle to score two teammates. Holy Cross momentarily stopped the bleeding with an out at second, but the Crimson served up two RBI singles to close out the rally before the inning’s end.
On the mound, junior Shelly Madick struck out 14 batters and gave up just two hits and three walks in game one. Freshman Dana Roberts, meanwhile, surrendered one hit and two walks in the second contest.
In individual news, freshman Lauren Murphy was recently named Ivy League Rookie of the Week after tallying three home runs against Princeton and Cornell last weekend. Murphy — managing a .357 hitting average on the season — now has 10 home runs to pace the Ancient Eight.
Harvard, which improves to 15-11 with the wins (4-4 in the Ivies for a first-place showing in the North Division), continues nonleague play with another doubleheader opposite Providence this afternoon (April 12). The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.