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Softball Splits at Brown and Snaps Ivy Streak on Sunday

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By John and Matt Risley

PROVIDENCE, R.I.  –   The Dartmouth softball team will need to start a new streak if they want to advance to the Ivy League Championship Series and represent the North Division, as the Big Green’s 16-game winning streak was snapped in the second game of a doubleheader at Brown on Sunday afternoon.

After taking the third of the four-game series, 6-2, the Big Green allowed three runs in the bottom of the fifth and suffered a 3-1 deficit. Brown also snapped a streak of its own, deflating its 28-game losing streak.

Dartmouth (26-14, 15-1 Ivy) now sits in second place with Harvard (27-11, 13-0 Ivy) jumping the Big Green in the North standings. The Crimson still have to make-up three games before the end of the season. Harvard meets Cornell on Tuesday and then will begin a home-and-home doubleheader series with the Big Green next weekend. Harvard also has to complete the final inning against Penn after the game was called due to darkness in early April at Soldiers Field. 

In the opener, junior Kristen Rumley tossed six innings and allowed just two runs on five hits and fanned 11 batters. Freshman Ashley Sissel completed the game with two strikeouts in the seventh. The Big Green scored single runs in the first and third innings and then added four runs on a grand slam by freshman Chloe Madill in the fourth. After Madill’s base-clearing homer, neither side scored again.

Jessica Cherness dropped to 1-13 on the season and allowed six runs on four hits but issued six walks. Leah Nakashima finished the game for the Bears inside the circle and didn’t allow a run in four innings. She would become the catalyst in aiding the Bears victory in game two. 

Freshman Karen Chaw provided the run for the Big Green in the first frame with a sacrifice fly. In the third, sophomore Morgan McCalmon doubled to left center and then scored on an RBI single through the right side by classmate Kelsey Miller.

Brown tied the game in the third on three hits.  Janet Leung singled to the outfield and drove home both runners to knot the score at two.

In the Dartmouth fourth, freshman Maddie Damore walked on eight pitches, junior Megan Averitt successfully bunted to the pitcher and then senior Kara Curosh drew another eight-pitch walk. With the bases loaded, Madill sent an 0-1 pitch over the center field wall for her first collegiate grand slam.

In the nightcap, offense was at a minimum until the fifth inning. McCalmon and Nakashima were spectacular inside the circle allowing just three hits combined through four frames.  In the fifth, Curosh singled to left field and scored Damore who reached on an error to give Dartmouth a 1-0 edge.

Brown's Christine Andrews tied the game on a 3-2 pitch and sent the ball over the left center wall for a home run.  Kelsey Williams reached on an error during the next at bat and then moved to second after a fly out and a pop out. With two outs and Williams at second, Danielle Palms singled and scored Williams and then moved over to second on the throw home. Leading 2-1, the Bears added an insurance run after Rumley replaced McCalmon and threw a wild pitch advancing Palms, who then scored on a single by Nakashima.

Nakashima hit sophomore Katie McEachern to begin the sixth, but then retired the remaining six batters to claim the victory.  The complete game was just her second win of the season. McCalmon lost for just the fourth time and is now 8-4. She allowed three runs in 4.2 innings. In Rumley’s 1.1 innings of relief work, she allowed two hits with three strikeouts.

Dartmouth will conclude the regular season at Harvard on Saturday at 2 p.m. Both sides will then head to Hanover for another doubleheader on Sunday, also at 2 p.m. All four games can be seen live on the Ivy League Digital Network in HD.