The Princeton softball team picked up two-straight wins against the visiting Crimson this past Saturday (May 3) to capture the Ivy League’s best-of-three championship series and the subsequent NCAA bid. For Harvard, the losses denied the club its second-consecutive title to end Harvard’s 2008 campaign at 25-22 (14-6 Ivy). Princeton, which began the season 3-17 before assembling a pair of eight-game win streaks over March and April, also closes out its regular season at 25-22 (18-2 Ivy).
The Tigers tallied two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to overpower the Crimson in game one, 4-2, before capturing the second game, 5-1, on the strength of a four-run first-inning effort.
Harvard freshman Ellen Macadam paced her team with three hits in the series, including a home run in the opening game. Junior Hayley Bock also blasted a homer in game one, while sophomores Jennifer Francis and Melissa Schellberg tallied two hits each on the afternoon for the Crimson.
After Harvard forged a 2-0 lead in the opening game, Princeton battled back in the bottom of the third to knot the score at 2-2. Though both teams threatened with deep hits throughout the contest, it was the Tigers that managed back-to-back doubles to right center field to score a pair of runs and set up the final tally, 4-2.
Princeton opened game two in efficient fashion, pounding out four hits and four runs in the first inning. Solid pitching marked the rest of the game, with Kristen Schaus of Princeton narrowly coming out on top. Facing 24 batters, Schaus struck out eight Crimson players and gave up four hits, while Harvard’s Shelly Madick retired six of 29 Tigers, and surrendered eight hits
In the top of the seventh, Princeton added a tally to take a 5-0 lead. Harvard, however, avoided the shutout in the bottom of the frame when Schellberg hammered a double to center field. The sophomore later scored on a sacrifice fly by senior Danielle Kerper to set up the eventual tally, 5-1. The contest was the final one for Harvard seniors Kerper, Madick, and Amanda Watkins.
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