HANOVER, N.H. – Saturday welcomed sunny skies and warmer temperatures as the Dartmouth softball team hosted Columbia in a doubleheader for its first home game of the season. In game one the Big Green fought back to win 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh, but fell 3-2 in the second game splitting the day.
Junior Morgan Martinelli led the way in game one, hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to take the 2-0 lead and then coming back to hit the single RBI needed to take the win in the end of the game.
Dartmouth moves to 9-13 on the season with a 3-2 Ivy League mark, while the Lions fall to 11-13 and remain in first place with a 5-3 conference record.
“I thought our pitchers did a really nice job today,” said head coach Shannon Doepking. “I thought our pitchers gave us a chance in both games and offensively we did a really nice job fighting back in that first game. The second game, we just need to be better, better at making adjustments and not doing the same thing over and over. Once we can do that I think we are going to be a tough team because of the fact that our pitchers are doing such a nice job holding us in games and giving us that chance.”
Senior Breanna Ethridge got the start today in game one and pitched 5.2 innings where she struck out six of the 23 batters faced, allowed three hits, two runs and two walks.
The home team held its 2-0 lead until Columbia found a chance to score in the top of the fourth, when Taylor Troutt hit a double to left field batting in her teammate who was on second. Dartmouth was unable to get any across in the fifth or sixth innings, as the road team’s Troutt struck again with another double RBI in the top of the sixth, tying it up.
The Lions came out fighting again in the seventh inning, scoring two runs off a single from Maria Pagane who had runners on second and third, creating the chance to take the win if the Big Green were unable to take the runs back.
Dartmouth had another idea in mind, as McKenna Gray led off the inning with a double, followed by a double RBI from Schae Nelson. With Nelson on second and no outs, Tiffany Dyson doubled to left field batting in the freshman and tying up the game yet again. As Calista Almer hit the fourth double of the inning, putting a runner on second and third with one out, Martinelli came up to bat, hitting a single to the shortstop as Dyson was able to outrun the throw to the catcher and take the win.
Freshman Heather Turner came in to pitch the final 1.1 innings and grabbed the win, allowing two runs off three hits with two errors.
Game two of the afternoon had a seemingly similar start, with the game tied late, as the road team was able to take the win in the end. In the first inning, Taylor Ward singled up the middle, batting in Martinelli who was on second after advancing on a wild pitch, taking the 1-0 lead, which the home team would hold until the third.
Columbia scored its first run of the game on a sacrifice fly from Alex Yule, who batted in the designated hitter Bonnie Schipper and tied it up 1-1. The Big Green responded in the bottom of the third, when Gray hit a sac fly herself to left field with the bases loaded, earning the RBI as Almer scored, taking back the lead 2-1.
The Lions scored another run in the fifth making it 2-2 while the home team was unable to get any across in the bottom of the inning. Dartmouth brought in three pinch hitters in the sixth inning, as Abby Shipley and Tessa Grossman attempted to load up the bases before Shipley was tagged out at second base and a pop up from Dyson closed the inning.
That was the closest the Big Green would get to taking the win in the second game, but will have another shot at it tomorrow afternoon.
Freshman Shelby Wilkison started on the mound in game two and finished with 4.2 innings pitched with seven strike outs in the 20 batters faced, with four hits, two runs, two walks and one error. Turner returned to close out the game, tossing 2.1 innings allowing five hits, one run, one error and striking out one.