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Softball Salvages Split At Lehigh With 1-0 Win, 2-0 Loss

Shelbi Olson scored the lone run for Harvard in a 1-0, nine-inning win Sunday at Lehigh (Harvard Athletic Communications).

BETHLEHEM, Pa. –
Each team recorded a shutout victory on the day as the Harvard softball team split its second doubleheader in as many days with Lehigh Sunday at Kaufman Field. Harvard fell, 2-0, in the first game of the day and posted a lone run in extra innings to capture Game 2, 1-0.  

Lehigh ace Rebecca Bliss was on point in the first game of the day, limiting the Crimson to just three hits and no runs. Lehigh nearly took the lead in its first at-bat as Rosie Roessel tripled to left field but was gunned down at home trying to score on the play. Camilla Gibson got Harvard's first hit of the day with a single to third in the third inning and Mari Zumbro collected a hit in the fifth with a single through the right side.

The Lehigh fifth was where Harvard ran into some trouble as a leadoff single turned into the game's first run, thanks to a sacrifice bunt and an RBI single to center field. Jennifer Colquhoun followed with a double to left center, driving in Lehigh's second run and the final tally of the game. Jane Alexander led off the Harvard seventh with a single, but Bliss retired the next three hitters for the win. Rachel Brown went the distance for Harvard and absorbed just her second loss of the season, surrendering two runs on six hits to with nine strikeouts.

For the second-straight day, Laura Ricciardone found herself in a pitcher's duel as neither team was able to bring a run home through seven full innings. Harvard's best chance came in the top of the fifth when Emily Gusse and Andrea Del Conte posted back-to-back singles, but a pop out and a strike out left them stranded. Ricciardone worked methodically through the Lehigh lineup, not allowing more than one hit in an inning until the bottom of the seventh.

In the top of the ninth, Shelbi Olson led off with a double down the left field line and moved to third on a Whitney Shaw sacrifice bunt. Emily Gusse slapped a ball on the ground to second, but Olson scampered home on the RBI groundout for the game's only run. Lehigh led off the bottom of the inning with back-to-back singles, but a timely 4-6-3 double play got Harvard one out away, and Ricciardone induced a ground ball to first for the final out.

Ricciardone pitched all nine innings for the Crimson, scattering eight hits and striking out two without surrendering a walk. Olson finished the game 1 for 3 with the only run scored and also picked up a steal in the win.   

Harvard is back in action Thursday in its home opener as it welcomes Bryant to Soldiers Field for a single game beginning at 4 p.m.