Softball Splits First Ivy League Series of the Year at Columbia

Softball Splits First Ivy League Series of the Year at Columbia

Giana Panariello had all three Crimson RBI in game one at Columbia (Gil Talbot).

NEW YORK – Harvard softball (8-13, 1-1 Ivy) began the Ivy League portion of its schedule Friday afternoon in the Big Apple, splitting a doubleheader at Columbia (4-13, 1-1 Ivy). The Crimson took the edge in the opener, 3-2, but was defeated in the second game, 3-0.

Harvard 3, Columbia 2
Laura Ricciardone went the full seven innings striking out five, while Maddy Kaplan, Andrea Del Conte and Giana Panariello each had two hits to lead the Crimson past the Lions in the series opener. Panariello provided all three RBI for Harvard in the 3-2 victory.

Columbia was first on the board, plating a run in the bottom of the first inning. Lead-off hitter Alix Cook scored from second on a Kerry Cook double to right center.

The next three frames passed with limited scoring opportunities.  Harvard had the only base runners during that stretch when Del Conte and Kaplan singled in the third, but were stranded on base.

Panariello provided the tying run in the top of the fifth, slamming her first career home run with one out. She gave Harvard the lead in the next inning with a clutch two-out double. Catherine Callaway opened the inning with a double of her own and advanced to third on a passed ball. The bases became loaded for Harvard when Alexa Altchek reached on an error and Jillian Leslie was hit by a pitch. Two batters later, with two outs, Panariello ripped a shot down the right field line to bring home Callaway and Altchek, giving Harvard a 3-1 lead.

Columbia would get one run back in the bottom of the sixth on a Taylor Troutt RBI single, but Ricciardone would close out the win in the seventh, getting three straight ground outs. The win improved Ricciardone's record in the circle to 4-4 on the year.

Columbia 3, Harvard 0
Tessa Kroll gave up just two hits to the Crimson and Columbia provided a run in the bottom portion of the fourth, fifth and six innings to support her in picking up the 3-0 win. Morgan Groom pitched a strong four innings for Harvard, striking out six and allowing just two earned runs, but suffered the loss.

Following a lead-off single by Kaplan to start the game, offense was not existent from both teams until the fourth inning. Columbia scored its first run in the bottom half of the inning when A. Cook tagged up on a Tonia Wu sacrifice fly to left field.

Jackie Li provided the second RBI in the fifth inning on an infield single that scored Olivia Parker.  Troutt drove in the Lions' final run in the sixth inning with a double to center. Kroll ended the Crimson's final chance in the top of the seventh when she induced a double play ground ball to seal the victory.

Next up for the Crimson is a doubleheader at Penn set for Sunday in Philadelphia at 12:30 p.m. Please note, this doubleheader was originally scheduled for March 28 but was changed to the 29.