Harvard moved to 5-1 in Ivy League play with the sweep of Columbia (Harvard Athletic Communications).
Head Coach Jenny Allard Postgame Comments
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Pitchers Rachel Brown and Laura Ricciardone posted complete-game shutouts and the Crimson banged out 22 hits in two games as the Harvard softball team swept South Division foe Columbia, 8-0 (6) and 4-0, Friday at Soldiers Field. The win pushes Harvard to 17-9 overall and 5-1 in conference action while the Lions slip to 7-22 and 1-5 in Ivy play.
Jane Alexander led off the bottom of the first with a screaming triple down the right field line and Kasey Lange quickly brought her in two batters later with a single through the right side. Stephanie Regan reached on a fielder's choice, Whitney Shaw walked and Katherine Appelbe reached on an error to load the bases with two outs, and Allison Scott came through, plating two with an RBI single up the middle. Katherine Lantz followed suit in the next at-bat, giving Harvard a 4-0 lead after just one inning.
The Crimson tacked on another in the second when Lange missed a home run by a matter of feet, lifting a double off the left-center field wall and coming home on a Regan RBI single. Brown kept the Columbia hitters off balance, allowing only one hit in the game; a Christie Taylor single in the second inning. Harvard continued to threaten through the middle innings but finally put up three runs in the sixth to cut the game short.
Harvard loaded the bases with one out on a pair of singles and an error and pinch hitter Jessica Ferri plated Harvard's sixth run with an RBI single to left. Rookie Emily Gusse was the next batter and she took matters into her own hands, blasting a double that just evaded the Columbia right fielder and brought home two more runs to invoke the eight-run rule. Lange and Scott both went 3 for 3 from the plate while Regan collected three hits in a 3 for 4 showing. Brown earned her 10th win of the season, striking out five in six innings of work and allowing just the one hit.
Game 2 stayed scoreless through the first four and a half innings as Ricciardone and Columbia's Brooke Darling traded scoreless frames. A Scott single and a Shaw walk gave Harvard runners on first and second with one out in the fifth and Lantz picked up her second RBI single of the day to give Harvard a 1-0 lead. On the next pitch, Lantz stole second and Ferri, the pinch-runner at third, came home on the throw to give the Crimson a 2-0 edge. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases for Shelbi Olson, who smacked a two-run single through the middle to put Harvard in front 4-0 after 5. Columbia managed just one hit in the final two innings, allowing the Crimson to pick up its second shutout victory of the day.
Ricciardone went all seven innings and scattered three hits while fanning three to record her seventh win of the season. Olson and Lantz both went 1 for 3 while Olson drove in a pair and Lantz picked up a single RBI. On the day, Harvard outhit the Lions 22-4.
Up next for Harvard is a showdown with South Division front-running Penn. The Crimson will host the Quakers in a doubleheader tomorrow at Soldiers Field beginning at 12:30 p.m.