April 27, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. - The Holy Cross softball team dropped a doubleheader to Harvard this afternoon on Senior Day at Freshman Field by scores of 5-1 and 6-1 in non-conference action. The Crusaders are now 9-31 overall, while the Crimson improve to 20-21.
The first three innings of the first game went scoreless before the Crimson scored five runs in the top of the fourth to take control of the game. Rachel Murray, Bailey Vertovez, Danielle Kerper and Jade Reichling each hit RBI singles, while Lauren Brown drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to left field. The Crusaders scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the sixth when freshman Natalie Cruz (Manalapan, N.J.) led off the inning with a single through the left side. Then with two outs, Cruz stole second base and scored when the ball sailed into the outfield.
Harvard's Shelly Madick earned the win pitching four innings, while allowing no runs on three hits and striking out six. Senior Marsha Babcock (Ridgefield, Conn.) took the loss as she gave up five runs with four earned in four innings on seven hits, while junior Lindsey MacNeil (Plymouth, N.H.) pitched the last three scoreless innings allowing only two hits.
In the second game, the Crimson scored one run in the first, three in the second and one in the third to take a 5-0 lead after three. In the top of the seventh, Harvard added a run for a 6-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning, sophomore Erica McKeever (Brookfield, Conn.) broke up a no-hitter when she singled in senior Heather Johnson (Wrentham, Mass.) from third base.
Amanda Watkins earned a complete game win as she only allowed one hit, while junior Sheena Stangler (Bremerton, Wash.) took the loss.
Between games Holy Cross honored its four seniors, Babcock, Nicole Dessingue (Schaghticoke, N.Y.), Megan Lally (Lake Forest, Calif.) and Johnson for their hard work and dedication on and off the field.
Babcock is in her first season on the softball team and has had an immediate impact on the mound. She leads the team in wins, appearances and ERA. She is ranked fifth in the Patriot League in ERA and sixth in opposing batting average. Babcock was named the Holiday Inn Express Crusader of the Week on April 17 for her outstanding performance the previous week as she earned the win in the 5-1 victory at Siena and only allowed two earned runs in 11 innings against Lehigh.
Dessingue has been a key part of Holy Cross softball for the last four years as she is a four-year starter for the Crusaders. Last season she hit 11 doubles which is the third-highest single season total in school history. Her 28 career doubles is currently third all-time at Holy Cross. As a freshman Dessingue had a tremendous season as she was named first team All-Patriot League. She has also excelled in the classroom as she has been selected to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll every season.
A four-year starter, Lally has left her mark on the softball program. She set the school-record for career home runs when she hit her 10th career homer in the 4-3 victory over Wagner on April 10 in Florida. She currently has 11 career home runs. This season, Lally has hit 12 doubles which are tied for second all-time for a single-season, while her 30 career doubles are also second all-time at Holy Cross. Her .571 slugging percentage this season is currently a single-season record. Megan earned a spot on the 2005 Patriot League Academic Roll.
Johnson has been a leader on and off the field for the Crusaders as demonstrated by her being selected the 2006 team captain. She has made 69 career starts for the Crusaders and has played in 90 games. She only made one error in each of the last three seasons. Johnson has earned a spot on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll every season and spends a lot of time volunteering for numerous groups and organizations. She was the only student-athlete of the 42 total softball players named to the Patriot League honor roll last year to earn a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
The Crusaders will return to action on Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30, when they travel to Hamilton, N.Y, to face Patriot League opponent Colgate in a four-game series. Saturday's doubleheader is set to start at 1:00 p.m., while Sunday's will begin at noon.