Softball Splits Final Games of California Tournament, Defeating Longwood 3-2 on Lockhart's HR

Softball Splits Final Games of California Tournament, Defeating Longwood 3-2 on Lockhart's HR

Erin Lockhart hit her second home run of the season to help Harvard earn its fifth straight win (3-2) against Longwood.

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- 
The Harvard softball team (7-3) split its final two games of the Louisville Slugger Invitational, defeating Longwood in the first game of the day, 3-2, before falling to San Diego State, 6-1, snapping a five-game winning streak.

Sophomore third baseman Erin Lockhart came up with the big hit, keying a three-run third inning for the Crimson with a two-run home run. Earlier in the inning Rhianna Rich delivered a run-scoring single to help Harvard build a 3-0 lead.

The early run support helped freshman pitcher Olivia Giaquinto, who did not allow a hit through the first 3 2/3 innings. She escaped trouble after a Longwood run-scoring triple, retiring Kaylynn Batten with a strikeout.

In the top of the fifth inning, sophomore pitcher Kathleen Duncan came into the game with two runners on and one out and retired the next two batters on infield pop-ups to help Harvard hold its 3-1 lead. She escaped another jam in the top of the sixth with one run home for Longwood, inducing two straight groundouts with two runners on base to keep Harvard in front by one run. Duncan then earned the save in the seventh to help the Crimson to its fifth straight win.

Lockhart reached base three times, walking twice and hitting her second home run of the season. 

Harvard suffered its only loss of the California tournament to San Diego State this afternoon, as the Aztecs broke open a tie game (1-1) with four runs in the top of the sixth inning. Rich (2-for-3, RBI) and senior second baseman Giana Panariello (2-for-3, run scored) each had two hits to lead the Harvard offense.

Senior pitcher Taylor Cabe and San Diego State pitcher Erica Romero were locked into a pitcher's duel after Cabe surrendered a first inning run to give San Diego State an early 1-0 lead. Cabe allowed just three hits over the next four innings, while Romero worked out jams in the first and third innings after Harvard put two runners on in each frame to keep the Crimson off the board.
Harvard broke through in the bottom of the fifth inning with Alexa Altchek reaching on a walk, and Panariello recording her second hit of the game with a single to right field. With two outs in the inning, Rich singled home Panariello to tie the game at 1-1.

The Aztecs got their big hit in the next inning as Jenavee Peres hit a grand slam to put San Diego State up for good.

Harvard heads to Hawaii for seven games as part of the Rainbow Wahine Classic, hosted by the University of Hawaii. The Crimson will open the event with a game against UConn on Tuesday (March 14) at 9:30 p.m. ET.