NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Harvard softball team (9-12, 1-3 Ivy League) dropped a pair of games at Columbia on Sunday afternoon, falling to the Lions, 3-1, and 6-5 in a doubleheader series moved from Saturday.
Freshman Olivia Giaquinto hit her first career home run in game 1 of the doubleheader, and sophomore shortstop Rhianna Rich was the offensive star for Harvard in the second game, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Senior pitcher Taylor Cabe had a strong outing in the circle in game 2 for Harvard, allowing just two hits and striking out four in six innings of work.
Harvard starting pitcher Kathleen Duncan kept Harvard in game 1 of its doubleheader at Columbia early on, throwing three scoreless innings to start, including a strikeout of Madison Gott with two outs and runners on second and third.
The Lions broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning on Alexandra Yule's two-out two-run single to take a 2-0 lead. Cabe replaced Duncan in the bottom of the fifth inning and got the final out of the inning with a runner on second base. Duncan went 4 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits and striking out two.
In the top of the sixth inning, Harvard had the tying run at the plate after Elizabeth Shively's two out double, but Columbia starter Madison Canby induced groundout to end the threat. Columbia added an insurance run on Taylor Troutt's RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Giaquinto hit her first home run of the season in the top of the seventh inning to cut the Columbia lead to two, but the Canby finished the complete game for the Lions.
Harvard got off to a fast start in game 2 of the doubleheader, as five of six Crimson batters reached base to kick off the contest. Shively's RBI fielder's choice plated Rich, who had led off the inning with a single to right.
Columbia responded with a run in the bottom half of the third, but a sacrifice fly by Maddy Kaplan put Harvard back in front in the top half of the second inning.
The Crimson tacked on three more runs in the top of the third inning on run-scoring singles by Melissa Lacro, Kaitlyn Schiffhauer and Rich to take a 5-1 lead. A home run by Columbia's Kerry Cook made it 5-2 in the bottom of the third inning.
Cabe pitched into the seventh inning, allowing just two hits before being replaced by Sarah Smith with no one out and two runners on base. Columbia then plated a run on a single followed by a walk, forcing in a run to make it 5-3. An RBI groundout followed to make it 5-4, before Madison Gott's single gave Columbi the walk-off 6-5 win.
Harvard returns to Soldiers Field to face Boston University on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m..