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Softball Falls to Monmouth and UC Riverside on Thursday

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By Mark Washburn

RIVERSIDE, CALIF.  –  The Dartmouth softball team allowed a pair of game-winning grand slams on Thursday, as they fell to Monmouth, 6-5 and UC Riverside, 6-5, at Amy S. Harrison Field.

The Big Green had comfortable leads in both games, but surrendered a 4-0 lead against Monmouth and a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh against the Highlanders.

Freshman starter Ashley Sissel pitched a gem, not allowing a single run over five innings against the Hawks with seven strikeouts. Sophomore Alex Jarvis (1-1) was dealt the loss after she allowed the four-run homer in the fourth inning.

After scoring in the first and second innings, the Big Green held a four-run advantage. Sophomore Katie McEachern gave Dartmouth (7-10) a 1-0 lead with an RBI double to left center that scored classmate Kelsey Miller, who reached first after she was hit by a pitch.

The Big Green added three more runs in the following inning on an RBI by junior Kristen Rumley and two RBI by Miller who singled down the right field line. 

In the fourth, Monmouth scored five times to take a 5-4 lead off an RBI single and then a grand slam. The Hawks added an insurance run in the seventh on a double to left field.

The Big Green loaded the bases in the seventh with a single by Miller, a double by McEachern and a walk by freshman Karen Chaw. Senior Kara Curosh was credited with an RBI groundout. Junior Rhiannon Saucedo drew a walk to reload the bases, but sophomore Morgan McCalmon grounded into a double play to end the game.

Dartmouth once again took a lead in the second game of the day, as they struck first against the Highlanders in the third. Rumley’s single up the middle scored sophomore Brianna Lohmann who walked. UC Riverside tied the game in the bottom of the third.

Dartmouth added single runs in the fifth and sixth inning and tacked on two more in the seventh to take a 5-1 lead.  Lohmann began the fifth with a solo home run and then Chaw went yard in the sixth. In the seventh, junior Megan Averitt scored on a throwing error by the left fielder after McEachern sent a long single into the outfield.

In the UC Riverside seventh, the Highlanders loaded the bases with one out and scored a run on a single to left center and then ended the game with a walk-off grand slam by Haley Harris.

The Big Green will begin the LMU Invitational II on Friday afternoon meeting Bethune-Cookman at 12 p.m. and Canisius at 2 p.m.