CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior shortstop Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.) roped two doubles in two games at Harvard to match the Quinnipiac softball all-time record but the team fell twice to the Crimson, 9-4 and 11-6 in five innings due to darkness. Alba's two doubles give her 11 for the season and 43 for her career as she now shares the program's top-spot with Sarah Collins '06. Quinnipiac drops to 14-26 on the season while Harvard's record improves to 18-17.
Alba was one of the offensive catalysts for the Bobcats on the afternoon as she hit an RBI double in each game of the doubleheader. Freshman Courtney Solt (Boyertown, Pa.) impressed with her sixth three-hit game of the season in game one and followed with a 2-for-3 outing in game two as she now leads the team with 15 multi-hit games this season. Senior Bridget Figmic (Stratford, Conn.) and sophomore Brittney Cyr (Southington, Conn.) also put forth solid days at the plate with a combined three hits each in the two games combined. Finally, senior Kortney Kesses (Woodbridge, Conn.) homered in game one, her third of the season.
Harvard's Emily Gusse helped the Crimson jump out to an early 2-0 lead in game one as she singled home two runs in the bottom of the first. Freshman starter Nicole Gubellini (Salem, N.H.) settled down in the second as she had runners on second and third but induced a fly out and groundout to end the inning and keep the deficit at two runs.
Quinnipiac's momentum carried over into the third as they tied the score on Kesses' leadoff home run and Cyr later scored on one of Alba's two RBI doubles on the afternoon.
The Crimson plated two runs in their half of the fourth to retake the lead but the Bobcats answered right back with a run of their own in the top of the fifth. Solt was the catalyst as she slapped her first career triple out to right center and scored as senior Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) made the right play with a groundout to the right side of the infield that allowed Solt to score easily from third and make it 4-3.
Gubellini shutdown the Crimson hitters in the fifth but couldn't find her location in the sixth as Harvard scored five runs on three walks and three hits allowed in the inning. Zoe Galindo led off the inning with a triple and scored on a throwing error but the Bobcats would get the next two outs to nearly escape the inning with just one run allowed. The Crimson however had other ideas as a single and two walks loaded the bases. Junior Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) then came on for Gubellini and couldn't work out of the inning as she walked in a run and then Katherine Lantz hit a bases-clearing triple to break the game open at 9-3.
Quinnipiac wouldn't go away quietly in game one as Alfiere led off with a single and then Cyr later knocked her own infield single and Solt drove in Alfiere on a single to left, her third hit of the game. With two runners on and one out, the Bobcats had a chance down five runs but a lineout double play ended any such hope as Harvard won game one, 9-4.
Game two started much more favorably for the Bobcats as Solt was driven in on Alba's 43rd career double to make it 1-0 early. The Crimson took advantage of some more control problems from Bobcat pitchers as they plated four runs in the second on just one hit. Four walks and three wild pitches helped done in the Bobcats and the big hit in the inning was a two-run single from Shelbi Olson to push Harvard ahead, 4-1.
Three Crimson extra-base hits helped lead to four runs and open up the game as they took a 8-1 lead. The Bobcats once again wouldn't go away without a fight as two runs came across in the top of the fourth. Figmic started the inning with a single to right and then Kesses reached on a Crimson throwing error. Cyr later singled and helped manufacture a run as she forced a throw down to second trying to steal second which allowed Kesses to come in from home. Solt then followed up with an RBI single to left field and close the gap to 8-3.
Freshman Sydney Robey (Glenmoore, Pa.) did well to escape a jam in the fourth as the bases were loaded with no one out. The rookie pitcher struck out the next batter and then forced out a home on a fielder's choice out at home from the third baseman Kesses. With the bases still loaded and two outs, Robey finished off her impressive inning inducing a comeback groundout back to the mound for the third out in the inning.
Quinnipiac came through with three more runs in the top of fifth with two coming on one play in which the Crimson third baseman muffed a throw to first base. The third run of the inning came across on a Kesses RBI groundout and made the score, 9-6.
With darkness looming, the Crimson scored two in the bottom of the fifth to put the game in hand as Harvard won in five innings, 11-6, with the decision called due to darkness.
The Bobcats will look to continue their six-game NEC winning streak on Saturday as they take on Fairleigh Dickinson at home starting at 1:00 pm.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com