Andrea Del Conte had a hit in each game Sunday (Envision Sports Media).
MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. – The Harvard softball team (2-3) concluded play at the 2015 EMU Madeira Beach Spring Invitational Sunday, dropping its opener to Texas State (9-7), 9-2, before falling in a heartbreaking, extra-inning game to Robert Morris (6-3), 2-1.
Texas State 9, Harvard 2
The Bobcats jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning en route to a 9-2 victory in Harvard's first game Sunday.
Texas State got on the board with a two-RBI single to left center by Kendall Wiley, with Sara Rupp, Kimberlin Naivar and Ariel Ortiz kicking in their own RBI to give the Bobcats a 6-0 advantage after just the first half inning.
Harvard chipped away at the Texas State lead with Haley Davis driving in Katherine Appelbe with a sacrifice fly to center in the third and Zoe Galindo coming in to score on an error in the fifth, but it would be the only runs of the contest for the Crimson.
The Bobcats added two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to bring the final score to 9-2. Taylor Webb earned her second win of the season in the circle for Texas State, while Laura Ricciardone took the loss for Harvard. Morgan Groom came on in relief for the Crimson, tossing 4.1 scoreless innings and striking out four.
Robert Morris 2, Harvard 1 (8 innings)
A pitcher's duel in Harvard's final game in Madeira Beach saw the Crimson and Colonials go seven innings without a run. In the top of the eighth, Harvard plated the game's first run, but Robert Morris responded with two of its own on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the frame to clinch the 2-1 win.
In the top of the eighth, Dallas Hogan took her spot at second to begin the frame. Robert Morris starting pitcher Nicole Sleith was able to sit down the first two Crimson batters, bringing Appelbe to the dish. The senior proceeded to rip a 1-0 pitch down the left field line to bring in Hogan to put Harvard on top.
Alexis Schwartzmiller started the bottom of the eighth with a pop out foul behind the plate. Lauren Hackett then stood in for the Colonials and sent the first pitch she saw over the wall in left center for the walk-off two-run long ball that Robert Morris needed for the victory.
Harvard starting pitcher Taylor Cabe suffered her first loss of the season in the effort. The sophomore tossed the entire 7.1 innings, striking out six, while allowing just four hits. Sleith improved to 4-2 for the Colonials, giving up three hits and striking out nine. Appelbe, Andrea Del Conte and Melissa Lacro notched the Crimson's three hits.
The Crimson head to Rock Hill, South Carolina next weekend for a four-game set at the Winthrop Invitational. Harvard will face the host Eagles to begin the tournament on February 28, before taking on Maryland-Eastern Shore. On March 1, the Crimson will do battle with Hartford and Wagner.