Softball Downed by North Dakota, Tops Eastern Kentucky at Eagle Classic

Softball Downed by North Dakota, Tops Eastern Kentucky at Eagle Classic

Taylor Cabe had five strikeouts in the win over EKU Sunday (Fran Ruchalski).

STATESBORO, Ga. – The Harvard softball team (4-4) wrapped up its final day at the Eagle Classic Sunday, opening the day with a loss, but ended on a good note with a 5-2 triumph in a rematch with Eastern Kentucky.

The Crimson's next 12 games will take place in California as it heads out on its spring break trip beginning Friday at the Loyola Marymount Tournament in Los Angeles. Harvard will play Fairleigh Dickinson in its opener March 11.

North Dakota 3, Harvard 1
The Crimson scored the first run of the contest in the bottom of the first, but that would be its only tally as North Dakota scored runs in the second, third and fourth to capture a 3-1 win Sunday morning.

First baseman Savannah Bradley accounted for Harvard's lone RBI. Fighting Hawks pitcher Kaylin VanDomelen went the distance, giving up just three hits to go with 12 strikeouts to earn the win. Harvard's Sarah Smith tossed five solid innings of relief, giving up six hits, but suffered the loss.

Harvard started the game strong, as Rhianna Rich and Zoe Galindo both recorded infield singles and then stole a base to give put runners on second and third with no outs. Two batters later, Bradley grounded out to the shortstop with Rich speeding home on the play to give Harvard the early 1-0 lead.

The lead was short-lived as a Taylor Hansen was hit by a pitch to lead off the second and then scored on a Mary Martin double. Harvard went three-up, three-down in the bottom of the second before UND took the lead in the third. Shelby Hard scored on a Hansen ground out to make it 2-1. Another tough inning at the plate for Harvard in the bottom half gave way to the fourth where Rachael Waynick homered a solo shot to center for a UND insurance run. The 3-1 score would hold through the remainder of the game.

Harvard 5, Eastern Ky. 2
Led by an outstanding complete game performance in the circle from Taylor Cabe, the Crimson closed out play in Georgia with a 5-2 victory in its second meeting of the tournament against Eastern Kentucky. Cabe allowed just five hits and one walk while striking out five to improve to 3-1 on the year.

Bradley drove in a trio of runs with a long ball in the third to lead the Harvard scoring charge, while Rich and Haley Davis each had two hits.

The first two innings passed without a run for either side, but the Harvard offense awoke in the top of the third. Rich singled and Galindo reached on a fielder's choice play to give Harvard two base runners to begin the inning. Following an Alexa Altchek sacrifice bunt, Bradley stood in and cranked the ball over the left field wall to put Harvard up 3-0.

Paige Murphy got one run back for the Colonels in the bottom of the frame with a RBI single up the middle. The fourth inning passed without change to the scoreboard before both teams again sent runners across the plate in the fifth. Harvard led off with walks by Bradley and Giana Panariello, setting the stage for a two-run single by Elizabeth Shively to extend Harvard's lead to 5-1. EKU's Krislyn Campos did her best to spark her team, providing a RBI double in the bottom of the inning, but Cabe closed the frame with a strikeout of Murphy and shut down the Colonels the rest of the way.