Sophomore Kaitlyn Schiffhauer had three hits and five RBIs in Harvard's 15-1 win over Detroit Mercy.
MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. – Harvard softball split a pair of games to open the 2017 season, following a tough 1-0 loss to Manhattan with a resounding 15-1, 5-inning win over Detroit Mercy on the first day of the EMU Madeira Beach Invitational. Harvard's win over the Titans was the first in program history, as the game was the first meeting between the two teams. Harvard pitching allowed just six hits in 12 innings of work. Harvard will continue play at the Madeira Beach Recreation Complex tomorrow with games against Stony Brook (4 p.m.) and Loyola (Ill.) (6:30 p.m.).
The Harvard softball team suffered a narrow 1-0 loss to Manhattan (1-0) in its season opener. The Jaspers managed just two hits off of Harvard starter Taylor Cabe in four innings, but scored an unearned run in the first inning to take an early lead.
The Crimson threatened in the bottom of the first inning, as Elizabeth Shively roped a two-out double to right center in her first at-bat of the season, but Harvard failed to score. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Crimson had runners on first and second base with two outs after a leadoff walk from sophomore Erin Lockhart, followed by a two-out single by sophomore Kaitlyn Schiffhauer, but Harvard was once again held off the scoreboard.
Sophomore pitcher Kathleen Duncan was excellent in relief of Cabe, allowing one hit in three innings of work, striking out three batters to give the Crimson a chance to win. But Harvard was retired in order in the sixth and seventh innings.
Harvard 15, Detroit Mercy 1 (5 innings)
Harvard (1-1) bounced back against Detroit Mercy (3-4) with a 15-1 win over the Titans, as the Crimson scored 15 runs on 13 hits in four innings. Schiffhauer went 3-for-3 with a career high five RBIs, including her first career home run.
Schiffhauer's big hit broke the game open, giving Harvard an 8-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Reigning Ivy League batting champion Maddy Kaplan (3-for-3, three RBIs, two runs scored) helped Harvard build the lead early with a two-run single in the bottom of the second inning to cap off a four-run frame for the Crimson.
Harvard put the game far out of reach with seven runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, with big hits coming from Morgan Macchiarulo and Schiffhauer. With two runs already in, Macchiarulo's two-run double to right field put Harvard up 12-1. Schiffhauer capped off her big game with a double that plated two more runs. Sophomore Nicki Nishizawa added a two-out single to round out the scoring for Harvard.
Sophomore Rhianna Rich also had a great day at the plate, with three hits, an RBI and a run scored.
In the circle, sophomore Sarah Smith pitched five strong innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out five batters for her first win of the year.