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Big Green Earn Two Wins on Second Day at USF Invitational

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Kara Curosh     By Dartmouth

CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Dartmouth softball team won both of its games in the second day of action at the South Florida Invitational. The Big Green defeated Northeastern foe, Hartford, 11-7 and closed the day with a 2-1 win over Iona, who defeated the Big Green, 1-0, on Friday (March 16).

"The team recovered well, from a very up-and-down first game," said head coach Rachel Hanson. "Fortunately, our bats came up big in that game. The second game we were much sharper. It was nice to see the team respond to adversity and rebound for a strong showing against Iona."

Dartmouth's bats were on fire to start the day against the Hawks. The teams exchanged runs in the first inning but the Big Green bats exploded for seven runs in the second inning, jumping ahead, 8-1.

Hartford responded and with six runs and made it a one-run, 8-7, game. The Big Green started to pull away in the bottom of the fourth inning and made it a three-run game, 10-7, and then sealed the win with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Freshman Rachel Hein (Olathe, Kan.) in her second appearance this season, picked up her first collegiate win against the Hawks.

The Big Green's second game against the Gaels was very similar to the first game they played on Friday afternoon. Both teams had good pitching and it wasn't until the third inning that the Big Green got on the board.

After a strikeout and a ground out to open the inning and give the Big Green two outs, Iona's pitcher Alyssa Maiese walked freshman leftfielder Megan Averitt (Alameda, Calif.) and Kat Hicks (Templeton, Calif.) to give the Big Green two base runners.

Third baseman Noelle Ramirez (Pompton Plains, N.J.) came up with an RBI single in Dartmouth's next at bat which advanced Averitt around the bases to put the Big Green up, 1-0, early. 

The Gaels managed to tie things up in the top of the fourth. Maiese opened the inning with a single to shortstop.  Eileen McCann got on base in the next at bat on an error from Dartmouth pitcher Evan Gray (Edmond, Okla.) and the Gaels got on the board with an RBI single from Katie Jansson who singled to centerfield to drive Maiese home.

The Big Green wouldn't be down for long as Hillary Barker (Duvall, Wash.) rounded the bases for her second run of the season. Baker opened the bottom of fourth inning with a single to right field and after another walk from the Gaels, moved to second base and went home on a single from Meghan Everett (Flemington, N.J.) giving the Big Green the 2-1 lead.

The teams couldn't push anyone around the bases in the fifth but in the sixth inning Averitt showcased her diving abilities, making a great diving catch for the second consecutive day and forcing the second out of the inning.  Pitcher Evan Gray (Edmond, Okla.) went 1-2-3 in the seventh for her first win of the season.

Curosh, Baker and Everett each went 1-of-3 from the plate against the Gaels.  Curosh extended her hitting steak to seven games with hits in both games. Gray, in her first appearance of the season, tossed 7.0 innings of work allowing just one run and fanning five.

Dartmouth closes action at the 2012 South Florida Invitational on Sunday (March 18) when they take on pair of teams from the Sunshine State in North Florida and Florida A&M. First pitch against North Florida is at 11:15 a.m., and the game with Florida A&M starts at 1:30 p.m.