Thanks to Isaac Newton, it is a law of motion that an “object in motion tends to remain in motion.”
This principle, otherwise known as inertia, holds true for Dartmouth softball. The Big Green first started steamrolling Ancient Eight teams back in March, and did not show any signs of stopping last weekend: the North Division Champions kept on rolling all the way to their second straight Ivy League Crown over Penn and an automatic NCAA bid. Riding the high of home field advantage, Dartmouth (25-16, 18-4 Ivy) bested the Quakers (22-20, 13-9) in two games, 2-1 and 1-0, respectively.
In the first game of the series, the Red and Blue came out with their bats ready, jumping onto the scoreboard in the top of the second when sophomore pitcher Alexis Sargent buried a line drive home run deep in left field on the first pitch from Dartmouth’s Kristen Rumley.
Unfortunately for Penn, the fire behind their bats would extinguish quickly – there were no more runs and only three more hits in next five innings of the first game.
Dartmouth, on the other hand, was just getting started. In the bottom of the fourth with the bases loaded, the Big Green’s pinch hitter Madison Smith sent Kelsey Miller home to tie the score. Then, with the score still tied in the bottom of the seventh inning Dartmouth caught a lucky break after a walk-off hit by Alyssa Jorgensen rocketed over the head of Penn junior Sydney Turchin. The Big Green runner on base, Lourlin Lara, was able to storm home base to seal the win for the hosts.
The series of events in the second game was not nearly as dramatic, as Dartmouth took the lead early in the top of the first and held onto it through six scoreless innings, thanks to stellar pitching from junior Alexis Borden. The Yorba Linda, Ca., native held her own in the circle, pitching two complete games and hurling 186 pitches on the weekend.
Although the scores may not show it, the Quakers’ fight on the diamond was valiant considering how effectively Penn shut down Dartmouth’s usually unstoppable offense. In Dartmouth’s 16 Ivy League wins prior to the Championship Series, their average margin of victory was 4.68 runs. Additionally, in the 14 innings played in Hanover this weekend, the Red and Blue kept the Big Green at bay through 12 innings of intense competition.
On the defensive side, Penn stared down Dartmouth’s formidable pitching staff, led by Rumley’s 1.99 season ERA, and did not blink. Rumley and her crew of Big Green hurlers have been a force to be reckoned with in the Ivy League in 2015, holding their opponents scoreless in 10 of their conference wins.
This is not to say that Penn’s one-run performance was great; rather, it is merely at attempt to put the low-scoring games in perspective.
With these two losses, the season is officially over for the Red and Blue. Now it’s time for them to learn the flipside of the law of inertia: objects at rest tend to remain at rest.
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