HANOVER, N.H. – The Dartmouth softball team defeated Brown, 5-1 in Game 1 before walking off with a dramatic 4-3 victory in Game 2 at Dartmouth Softball Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Big Green are now 8-21-1 overall, 7-3 in conference play, while the Bears drop to 11-22, 3-7 in Ivy League play.
In Game 1, Dartmouth sent its ace, Breanna Ethridge to the circle where she pitched a gem, surrendering just three hits through seven innings with an impressive eight strikeouts.
The contest quickly became a pitchers’ dual as both hurlers were throwing the ball well. In the top of the first, Ethridge got into a little trouble when she surrendered a walk and hit a batter, but she was able to get out of the inning. The Bears had trouble getting anything going at the dish, as Ethridge had six of her eight strikeouts through 3.5 innings.
In the top of the fifth, Brown threatened by putting two runners on, but they could not get anything across. In the bottom half of the inning, Dartmouth scored the first run of the game when Calista Almer hit an RBI single to center field, platting Claire Bird from second.
The Bears could not respond in the top of the sixth which brought the Big Green back to the dish, where the Dartmouth bats broke the contest open with four runs. Maddie Damore led off with a single up the middle, followed by a bunt single by Karen Chaw. Micah Schroder came in to pinch hit and was walked to load the basses. The next batter, Morgan Martinelli hit a two-RBI single to left field, giving the home team a 3-0 advantage. The Big Green bats were not done when Schroder scored on Bird’s groundout to the shortstop. Dartmouth plated its final run of the inning when Lourlin Lara reached on an error by the second baseman for the 5-0 lead.
Brown had one last chance in the top of the seventh and got its first run of the day when Grayson Metzger hit a one-out solo home run to left field, but this would be as close as the Bears would get. Ethridge was able to settle down after the long ball to get the final two outs and earn her sixth win of the season.
In Game 2, the Big Green sent Morgan Ebow to the circle and supplied her with an early lead in the first inning. Almer led off with a single and stole second for her team-leading 11th stolen base of the season. She eventually scored when Alyssa Jorgensen singled up the middle for the 1-0 lead.
The next three innings would be scoreless as both pitcher’s began to hit their marks. In the top of the fifth, the Bears tied the game when Kaitlin Okimoto hit an RBI single to left field to score Julia Schoenwald.
Brown took the lead for the first time of the afternoon in the top of the sixth with a controversial play at the plate. With the bases loaded, Schoenwald hit an infield single which Dartmouth was able to fire home for the force out, but the umpire said Claire Bird was not touching home plate which gave the Bears a late 2-1 lead.
The Big Green responded in the bottom of the sixth when Chaw hit a solo home run to left field, tying the game 2-2. Dartmouth had a chance to take the lead when when Dyson laid down a bunt with runners at the corners, but the Bears’ defense was able to come up with a big play, getting when Jade Bravo was thrown out at home on a fielder’s choice.
In the top of the seventh, the Bears went ahead again when Raquel Blanchard reached first on a throwing error and Sofia Venegas came around to give Brown a late 3-2 lead.
The Big Green had one last chance at the plate to keep their conference winning streak alive. With one out, Jorgensen got aboard with a single to left field. This brought up Damore who launched her team-leading fifth homerun of the season into left field for the two-run walk off blast.
Dartmouth and Brown will return to Hanover tomorrow to finish the season series with a doubleheader beginning at 12:30 p.m. Both games can be seen live on the Ivy League Digital Network for subscribers.