Morgan Groom went four innings against Cal State Bakersfield Friday (Gil Talbot).
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – In its second day at the Cal State Northridge Tournament, the Harvard softball team played two tight contests, dropping a 4-2 final to Pacific in the first game of the day and getting outlasted by Cal State Bakersfield, 2-1 (8), in Game 2. The pair of losses pushes Harvard's record to 9-11 on the season.
The long ball proved to do the Crimson in against Pacific in the first game of the day, as a pair of homers was all the Tigers needed on the day. Pacific picked up a one-out single in its first at-bat and Bailey O'Mara blasted a shot down the right field line to gain a 2-0 edge just three batters into the contest. Harvard's first hit came courtesy of Adrienne Hume, a single up the middle, but the Crimson wasn't able to get runs across until the bottom of the fourth. Kasey Lange was hit by a pitch with two outs in the frame and Hume drew a walk to give Harvard two runners on. Rookie Jillian Leslie came up big with a single through the middle, allowing Lange to come home for Harvard's first run. Leslie took off for second in the next at-bat, and an errant throw from the Pacific catcher gave Hume safe passage home, knotting the score at 2-2.
Laura Ricciardone kept the Tigers at bay in the fifth despite a pair of singles in the inning, but O'Mara delivered the crushing blow, pounding her second two-run homer of the game, this one to left field, in the sixth inning to put the Tigers up for good. Harvard managed just one hit between the sixth and seventh innings, unable to mount a comeback in the 4-2 loss.
Hume ended the game 2 for 2 from the plate with a run scored, while Leslie and Katherine Appelbe also had hits for the Crimson. Ricciardone was tagged with the loss, going the distance and surrendering four runs while picking up three strikeouts in the game.
The second game saw both teams struggle to mount much offense through the first 3.5 innings, as the teams combined for just three hits and no runs over that span. The Roadrunners would be the first to break through, however, recording multiple hits in an inning for the first time in the game in the fourth. A leadoff single put a runner on, and a second single three batters later brought the runner home for a 1-0 lead.
The Crimson had a response in the next half inning, plating the tying run in a similar fashion. Shelbi Olson led off the frame with an infield single and Lindsey Hagberg reached base after getting hit by a pitch. The runners moved over on a sacrifice groundout, and Jillian Leslie delivered an RBI single to the shortstop, knotting the game at 1-1. Harvard nearly took the lead in the top of the seventh and eighth, but the go-ahead run was cut down at third base for the final out of the seventh and Zoe Galindo was thrown out at home in the extra frame. The Roadrunners clinched the narrow victory in the bottom of the frame when the winning run came home on a Harvard error.
The Crimson wraps up its west coast trip Saturday with rematches against Bakersfield and Pacific.