ORLANDO, Fla. – The Harvard softball team (2-2) dropped back to .500 on the season with losses to Duke (9-4) and No. 23 Kentucky (8-3) at the Citrus Classic on Saturday evening.
Junior second baseman Meagan Lantz went one-for-two with an RBI double against the Wildcats and game two. Senior rightfielder Maddy Kaplan went two-for-six on the day against the Blue Devils and Wildcats.
GAME 1: Duke 5, Harvard 0
Duke wasted little time its second game of the day, jumping on the Crimson starter Kathleen Duncan for two runs in the top of the first inning. It was all the Blue Devils needed, as Duke pitching limited Harvard to just four hits while striking out three Crimson hitters.
The Crimson looked poised to break up the shut-out bid in the bottom of the third. Junior shortstop Rhianna Rich lined an opposite field, two-out single through the left side, then got herself into scoring position swiping second. However, Duke pitcher Katherine Huey was able to get Kaplan to fly out to end the threat.
Despite taking the loss allowing four earned runs to drop her back to 2-1, Duncan retired five Blue Devils by way of the strikeout.
GAME 2: No. 23 Kentucky 9, Harvard 3
Harvard drew first blood in its second game of the day against No. 23 Kentucky, taking advantage of a Wildcat error to push across a pair of runs in the top of the first.
Rich began the night-cap reaching, first on an error by the third baseman, then moved into scoring position on a ground out. With one out, Lantz brought home Rich with the first run of the game with a double, before advancing 60 feet on the throw. Moments later, the southeastern Florida native scored the second Crimson run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of third baseman Erin Lockhart.
Kentucky got one run back in the home half of the frame, but the Crimson maintained a lead on the Wildcats for the first three and a half innings.
Harvard increased its lead back to two runs in the top of the fourth. Junior centerfielder Kaitlyn Schffhauer rocketed a two-out double into center field to bring home freshman left fielder Aubree Muse to take the 3-1 lead.
But it was all they would get. The second time through the batting order, the Wildcats finally got to Duncan. Batting around in the bottom of the fourth Kentucky put up a crooked number four and went on to score eight unanswered runs.
Harvard closes out its three days in the Sunshine State tomorrow morning against Louisville at 9 a.m. The game will be streamed on FloSoftball.