Softball Closes Weekend Series Against Yale with a Sunday Split

Harvard's eight seniors were honored before Sunday's doubleheader (Harvard Athletic Communications).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard and Yale continued its weekend softball series Sunday at Soldiers Field, with the Crimson (20-19, 11-5 Ivy) capturing the first game, 6-4, but the Bulldogs (9-20, 3-11 Ivy) were able to escape with the victory in the finale late in the afternoon, 3-1.

Harvard honored the eight members of its Class of 2015 prior to the start of the game and photos from the ceremony can be found below.

Five games remain in the regular season for the Crimson. On Tuesday, Harvard hosts Bryant in its last out-of-conference game at 4 p.m., before ending the campaign with a home-and-home series with Dartmouth. The Big Green will enter next weekend with a three-game lead on the Crimson in the North Division standings after sweeping Brown Sunday.

Harvard 6, Yale 4
Morgan Groom improved to 4-3 for Harvard, pitching a five-hit complete game, allowing three earned runs, while sitting down five Bulldogs. Haley Davis went 1-for-2 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored to lead the Crimson offense.

The Bulldogs took the game's first lead in the top of the opening frame when Camille Weisenbach doubled down the right field line to score Sydney Glover.

Harvard grabbed the lead in the bottom of the second frame, plating four runs, all with two outs. In what should have been the third out of the inning, Katherine Appelbe reached first safely when Yale catcher Sarah Onorato threw the ball by her first baseman on the throw down after Appelbe swung at strike three in the dirt.

The gaffe proved costly for Yale, as Adrienne Hume stood into the batter's box and ripped a triple to left field, scoring Davis and Appelbe. Zoe Galindo extended the lead to 3-0 when she singled to left center in the next at bat to bring in Hume. Lead-off hitter Katherine Lantz kept the scoring going, launching a double over the left fielder to score Galindo and make it 4-0 Harvard.

Yale was able to cut the Crimson lead to just one run top of the third on Lauren Delgadillo's two-run homer with two outs.

Innings four and five passed quickly with strong pitching keeping batters off balance, but Harvard got back on track with two crucial runs in the bottom of the sixth. With pinch-runner Dallas Hogan on first, Davis slammed a double to deep center field, bringing in the fast freshman to make it a 5-3 Harvard lead. Catherine Callaway tacked on one more run to the Crimson's count, driving a hard single through the right side to bring home Davis.

Those runs proved important in the top of the seventh when Yale's Allison Skinner hit an RBI double to right center to make it 6-4. An exceptional play in centerfield though by Zoe Galindo sealed the Harvard win. Galindo raced to her left and then slid at the warning track to catch a deep fly ball off the bat of Weisenbach, ending the game.

Yale 3, Harvard 1
Starting pitchers Laura Ricciardone and Lindsay Efflandt engaged in a terse battle in the series finale. Each went the complete seven innings and allowed just one earned run, but two late errors tilted the final score in favor of the Bulldogs, 3-1.

Both hurlers limited the opposition to two hits through the first three innings, before Harvard got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Facing two outs and a full count, Callaway hit a shot that cast a shadow over the left field line until clearing the outfield wall for her third homer of the season.

Yale evened things up in the top of the fifth when Laina Do knocked a single to center to score pinch-runner Allie Souza with one out.

The sixth frame passed with just one base runner, a Bulldog on a walk, but neither team was able to break the tie.

The top of the seventh was a different story, as Yale went ahead with two unearned runs. With Do on first, Brittany Labbadia hit a grounder back to the right of Ricciardone. After reaching down to grab the ball, Ricciardone quickly made a throw towards first, but the ball skirted past the bag and Do raced around the bases and beat the throw to home plate. A second error on a Glover groundball to third allowed Labbadia to score, extending Yale's lead to 3-1.

Efflandt got the first three batters she saw in the bottom of the seventh out to earn her third victory of the season.