SANTEE, Calif. – Harvard softball (3-9) challenged Utah State (7-16) in a low scoring affair Sunday afternoon in the final game of the San Diego Classic II for the Crimson. Harvard held the hitting advantage, 7-6, at the end of the game, but the Aggies scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth to escape with a 1-0 victory.
The Crimson had the first scoring chance in the second frame when Emily Gusse singled and Haley Davis reached safely on a throwing error, but Utah St. starting pitcher Noelle Johnson got a strikeout and groundout to get out of the inning.
Taylor Cabe pitched well through three innings for Harvard, posting four strikeouts, while only allowing three hits. Cabe was replaced before the bottom of the fourth, with Laura Ricciardone coming on in relief. Alleyah Armendariz started the inning off with a single to left and advanced to second in the next at bat when Victoria Saucedo singled safely on a bunt. Johnson's sacrifice attempt to advance her teammates went unsuccessful with Armendariz being forced out at third. A walk to Nicole Arata loaded the bases, setting up Kirstyn Namba for a sacrifice RBI on a fielder's choice, plating Saucedo for the only run.
Harvard threatened to tie the game up in the sixth. Katherine Lantz led things off with a single to left and advanced to third on a Gusse ground-rule double to center. A wild pitch gave Lantz an opening to sprint for home, but she was tagged out by the catcher before she could touch home plate. Johnson escaped damage in the inning, getting another groundout to close out the sixth.
The seventh passed without incident and Utah St. claimed the 1-0 win.
Harvard remains in California, but will not play again until Wednesday, March 18 at the LMU Invitational. Up first for the Crimson will be Buffalo and Loyola Marymount. Two games against Bethune-Cookman and Fairleigh Dickinson will follow.