Meagan Lantz drove in five of Harvard's 10 runs Thursday (Fran Ruchalski).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Freshman third baseman Meagan Lantz drove in five runs in the first three innings, leading the Harvard softball team (17-13) to a 10-7 victory on a sunny Thursday afternoon at Soldiers Field.
Fellow rookie Sarah Smith worked the first 3.1 innings of the game in the circle for the Crimson, collecting her second win of the year before giving way to junior Taylor Cabe who closed out the final 3.2 with five strikeouts. Maine used four pitchers in the game, but starter Molly Flowers suffered the loss and fell to 8-7 on the season.
The Harvard offense stormed out of the gate with Maddy Kaplan doubling to left center in the second at bat of the bottom of the first. Lantz's first two RBI came next when she roped her team-best fifth homer down the left field line.
Smith worked a quick top of the second, getting an assist from her catcher, Elizabeth Shively, who threw out Rachel Harvey attempting to steal second, to bring the offense back to the plate up 2-0. Errors proved costly for Maine, as Lantz drove in her third run on an infield hit botched by the pitcher and then two more runs scored on a Catherine Callaway hit that troubled the shortstop. All three Harvard runs came with two outs in the inning.
Rachel Carlson gave Maine a jolt of life in the top of third when her single up the middle scored two of her teammates. Harvard fired right back, though, scoring three more runs in the bottom to take an 8-2 lead. Freshman Rhianna Rich knocked a RBI base hit that stayed fair down the left field line and two batters later Lantz struck again with a drive back up the middle to plate Rich and Zoe Galindo.
The Black Bears strung together a rally of runs in the fourth, tallying five total, closing the gap to 8-7, but Cabe shut them down the rest of the way and Harvard tacked on a run in the bottom of the fifth and sixth for insurance. Kaitlyn Schiffhauer's fourth RBI of the season brought home Giana Panariello in the fifth, while Erin Lockhart's second RBI plated pinch-runner Dallas Hogan in the sixth.
Harvard begins North Division play in the Ivy League this weekend with a four-game series at Yale Saturday and Sunday. First pitch both days is set for 12:30 p.m.