HANOVER, N.H. – Sophomore Katie McEachern broke a 1-0 deficit early in Game 1 with a two-run homer to aid the Dartmouth softball team to a 5-1 win over Penn, but the Quakers rallied to stay alive in the nightcap to force a decisive Game 3 on Sunday with a 5-3 win.
With the split on Saturday, the series moves to a one-game winner-take-all situation on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Dartmouth Softball Park. It is the fourth time in eight Ivy League Softball Championship Series that a deciding game has been needed. For the second consecutive season Dartmouth and Penn will need a championship clinching third game to decide The Johnson-Crowley Trophy winner. The host team has won all seven previous series. The Ivy League Digital Network will have live coverage of the final game.
Junior Kristen Rumley pitched a gem in the opener, allowing one run on one hit over five innings for her 16th win of the season. The Big Green scored twice in the third and then added three more insurance runs in the sixth for the four-run win.
In the second frame, Penn picked up its only hit and run of the contest with an RBI double to center field by Alexis Sargent after a walk was issued to Leah Allen.
Dartmouth took the lead in the following inning, on McEachern’s line drive homer to left-center after freshman Chloe Madill was hit by a pitch to lead off the third.
Pitching took over until the sixth, when the Big Green scored three times on four hits. Sophomore Brianna Lohmann pinch-hit to lead off the stanza and singled to right field and then moved to second on a passed ball. Rumley, who had been replaced by sophomore Morgan McCalmon inside the circle, helped the cause with an RBI single to left-center and plated Lohmann for the 3-1 advantage. Dartmouth scored two more time in the frame with a run-scoring double to right-center by freshman Maddie Damore and then on a sacrifice foul out by senior Kara Curosh.
McCalmon earned the save after pitched the final two innings scoreless. Penn’s Alexis Borden was dealt her ninth loss of the season after she allowed 10 hits on five runs (three earned) with seven strikeouts.
Needing one more win to capture its first Ivy League Championship, the Big Green allowed three runs to the Quakers in the first stanza, but then tied the game with two runs in the second and one in the third. Freshman Karen Chaw provided a spark with a two-run blast over the left-center wall. In the third, the designated visiting team tied the contest three-all on a shot to right field by McEachern that scored junior Megan Averitt who doubled to begin the frame down the left field line.
Penn regained the lead in the bottom of the inning on a pair of doubles by Kanani Datan and Allen. In the fourth, Sydney Turchin knocked a hard double to left-center and scored pinch runner Lainey Dorris.
In the seventh, Dartmouth threatened as Chaw was a mere inch away from her second homer of the series, but Datan robbed her at the top of the wall.
Borden completed her second complete game of the day; this time she allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits with three strikeouts. She retired 10 consecutive Dartmouth hitters from the end of the third until Chaw’s near homer. The Big Green did put a runner in scoring position in the seventh, as Rumley reached on an error by Turchin in left field. Borden retired the side with a pair of groundouts to force the one-game series finale on Sunday.
McCalmon suffered her fifth defeat of the year after giving up five runs on six hits over 3.2 innings. Rumley relieved her and allowed one hit over the final 2.1 frames.