Softball Outlasts Bethune Cookman, Defeated by Fairleigh Dickinson at LMU Muscle Milk Invitational

Laura Ricciardone pitched all eight innings in the win over BCU (Gil Talbot).

LOS ANGELES – Harvard softball (5-11) opened the LMU Muscle Milk Invitational with an eight-inning, 2-1 victory over Bethune-Cookman Thursday, but was defeated in its second game of the day by Fairleigh Dickinson, 3-0.

Harvard 2, Bethune-Cookman 1 (8 innings)
Laura Ricciardone improved to 3-4 this season, allowing just five hits and one run, going the entire eight frames for the 2-1 win over Bethune-Cookman (6-21). Katherine Appelbe and Adrienne Hume collected Harvard's two RBI.

Ricciardone and BCU starting pitcher Sabrina Anguiano limited the opposing batters through the first three innings, with Harvard's hurler recording two of her four strikeouts in the game.

Harvard broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth when Hume singled home Andrea Del Conte. Del Conte reached safely on her own single to right and then put herself in scoring position with a steal. Hume then sent a 2-1 pitch to right field and Del Conte raced home.

BCU came right back in the top of the fifth, with Mariah Davis' groundout to second scoring Wanda Darby.

The game headed to extra innings with neither team finding its way around the bases. Ricciardone was lights out getting the Wildcats in order in each of the final three innings. In the bottom of the eighth, the Crimson played small ball with Maddy Kaplan bunt sacrificing Melissa Lacro over to third with no outs. In the next at bat, Appelbe reached safely on an error by the BCU shortstop and Lacro sped home for the game-winning run.

The win is the second in extra innings for Harvard this season.

A three-run fifth inning for Fairleigh Dickinson (3-4) was all the scoring in game two Thursday, as the Knights topped Harvard, 3-0.

Megan Reiner pitched a complete-game shutout, allowing just three hits to move to 3-2. Morgan Groom dropped to 1-1 on the year, with FDU scoring three runs on just four hits.

Offense was hard to come by for both teams in the first four innings, but one swing of the bat in the bottom of the fifth for FDU gave it a 3-0 lead. With runners on second and third with two outs, Madelaine Wilen homered over the left field wall.

Harvard struggled to make a dent in the lead throughout, but the defense did a good job of limiting FDU to just its three runs. The Knights put a runner on third in both the sixth and seventh inning, but Harvard ended each of those innings to end the threat.

Rematches against both BCU and FDU await the Crimson Friday. The first game against the Wildcats is set for noon, with the second game against FDU slated for 2 p.m.