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Slugfest Goes Softball’s Way as Harvard Downs Utah State, 8-5

Kasey Lange went 3 for 3 with a pair of RBI in the win against Utah State (Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics).

LOS ANGELES –
After a quintet of low-scoring games to start its Spring Break trip, the Harvard softball team had its best offensive showing of the season, posting nine runs on 14 hits in a 8-5 victory over Utah State on the campus of Loyola Marymount Monday. Harvard moves to 8-3 on the season and ups its winning streak to six games.      

The Crimson scored at least one run each in the first three innings, taking a commanding 6-1 lead after a three-run third. Kasey Lange singled with two outs in the first inning and promptly stole second. Allison Scott followed with a base hit to left center, scoring Lange for the game's first run. Harvard went on to load the bases, but a line drive by Emily Gusse was snared by the third baseman to limit the damage to a single run.

Rookie Camilla Gibson singled to third base with one out in the second inning and, after stealing second, came home on a Jane Alexander single up the middle. Lange followed with a ringing double to left field, allowing Alexander to score all the way from first, giving Harvard a 3-0 lead. A pair of hits and an error in the Utah State third saw the Aggies put their first run on the board, but Harvard responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning.

Whitney Shaw led off with a double and Gusse reached on an error, advancing pinch runner Kassy Shiotani to third. An Ashley Heritage single to the pitcher brought Shiotani home and after Heritage swiped second base, Alexander poked a single through the left side to stretch the lead to 5-1. Lange capped the scoring in the frame with her second double of the contest, scoring pinch-runner Andrea Del Conte for a 6-1 edge.

Utah State picked up a run each in the fourth and fifth innings, but a double by Scott tacked on another run for Harvard in the bottom of the fifth. The Aggies answered back with two of their own in the sixth, but a Del Conte single in the bottom of the sixth pushed the score to 8-5. Rachel Brown struck out the side in the seventh in a relief appearance to seal the three-run win for the Crimson.

Lange finished the day 3 for 3 with two runs scored and a pair of RBI, while Alexander, Scott, Olson and Gibson all finished the game with two hits. Laura Ricciardone logged the win in the circle for Harvard, striking out four in five innings of work.

The Crimson gets the next few days off, and then heads to San Diego for the San Diego Classic II, which begins March 15. Harvard begins the tournament facing host San Diego State Thursday at 7 p.m. (10 p.m. EST).