Taylor Cabe pitched a complete game in the nightcap, picking up the win for Harvard (Gil Talbot).
ITHACA, N.Y. – Harvard softball (11-12) kicked off Ivy League play Friday with a split at Cornell. Despite a five-run fifth inning by the Crimson, the Big Red took the opening game, 8-6, but Harvard bounced back with a 9-1 victory in the second game.
Harvard continues action against the South Division Saturday, challenging Princeton in a twinbill in New Jersey starting at 12:30 p.m.
Cornell 8, Harvard 6
Harvard scored five runs in the top of the fifth, three of those coming off Meagan Lantz's fourth home run of the season, to rally from a 5-0 deficit in the opener against Cornell, but the Big Red responded with three more of its own in the bottom half to knock off the Crimson, 8-6.
Lantz's long ball closed the gap to 5-4 and was followed up by a RBI double from Savannah Bradley. Zoe Galindo and Catherine Callaway each had two hits for Harvard, with Galindo's second, a double that scored Giana Panariello in the sixth accounting for the final Harvard run scored. Sarah Smith pitched well in relief for Harvard, giving up four hits and one run in 3.1 innings of work to keep Harvard in the game after Cornell posted four runs in the first.
Pitcher Meg Parker drove in Cornell's first run of the game with a single back up the middle with one out. Two batters later, Rebecca Kubena doubled home Parker to make it 2-0. Cornell catcher Leanne Iannucci cleared the bases in the next at bat with a shot to center, extending the home team's lead to 4-0.
Jessica Bigbie made it a 5-0 Cornell lead with a RBI single in the fourth before Harvard's rally began in the fifth. The Crimson's first run came when Kaitlyn Schiffhauer sprinted home on a wild pitch. Lantz and Bradley tacked on the additional four runs throughout the rest of the inning.
Cornell's response was immediate in the bottom half of the fifth with Madeline Avery driving home two on a double to right center and Olivia May's RBI single providing an insurance tally. Panariello and Galindo launched back-to-back doubles in the top of the sixth, but 8-6 is as close as Harvard would get as Parker earned her second win of the year for Cornell.
Harvard 9, Cornell 1
Junior pitcher Taylor Cabe tossed a complete-game, five-hitter to shut down the Cornell offense, as Harvard racked up the runs in a 9-1 victory in game two. Harvard's hitters were led by a 3-for-4 effort, with three RBI, by sophomore Maddy Kaplan.
Lantz was also 3-of-4 at the dish, while Jillian Leslie drove in a pair of runs.
Harvard got on the board first in the bottom of the third. Haley Davis led off the inning with a single up the middle. After two quick fly outs for the Crimson, Davis stole second to put herself in scoring position with two outs. Facing a 1-2 count, Maddy Kaplan blasted a pitch through the middle of the infield to bring home Davis.
The Crimson added to its tally with three more runs in the fifth. Galindo knocked in Harvard's second run when her single through the right side of the infield on a 0-2 count scored pinch runner Dallas Hogan. Rhianna Rich followed that with a double out to right to give Harvard runners on second and third. Inspired by Rich's double, Maddy Kaplan stood in a ripped one of her own to left center to double Harvard's lead to 4-0.
Cornell scored its first run in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly, but gave it right back in the sixth when a throwing error allowed Panariello to score.
Harvard opened up the game in the seventh scoring four more runs to push its lead out to 9-1. Catherine Callaway's ground-rule double plated Kaplan to start the scoring. Jillian Leslie drove in two more runs with a single through the left side and Davis capped the inning with a RBI double to right center.