There was pressure. Plenty of it, indeed. The pulsing sound of nerves could be heard all over Hanover, New Hampshire.
Four years of building and dreaming were staring a 3-0 deficit in the face in the fifth inning of the Ivy League championship game.
Munster native Kara Curosh dug in for Dartmouth anyway. Adding to the stress was the fact that Curosh knew she hadn't had a hit the entire weekend.
"I made the adjustment," Curosh said. "I made great contact."
The 2010 Munster grad took a rip for the ages. Her two-run homer to left helped spark the Big Green to a 7-3 win over Penn, the program's first Ivy League championship and a first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament.
Curosh will find out on Sunday who Dartmouth will play in the NCAA Regionals.
"The coolest thing was the whole Dartmouth community supported us, the stands were packed," Curosh said. "We were excited for what we did but what we did was important to a lot of other people, too."
When the infielder arrived in New England four years ago it was a foreign culture. The coach who recruited her, Christine Vogt, resigned, making the way for current coach Rachel Hanson. But there was more that was even odder.
"No one there had ever heard of the Region," Curosh laughed. "And everyone there told me I had a funny accent."
The excellent student fit in quite well, with a double major in economics and Italian. She will take a job at a mutual funds firm in Philadelphia after graduation.
Her coach was pumped after the historic homer, which was her second of the year and sixth of her career.
“I am so proud of Kara. She has battled all season long and for her to come up big in that situation was a big pay off. It was simply huge,” Hanson said after the game.
Curosh was recruited as a second baseman but played sparingly as a freshman. She was moved to shortstop, where she played full time as a sophomore and junior. An arm injury moved her back to second this season.
Curosh is hitting .276 with 25 runs and 18 RBIs, none bigger than her last two.
"It's really exciting, the pressure's off," Curosh said. "We want to go and compete and show the Ivy League is a good softball conference."