ORLANDO, Fla. – The Harvard softball team (2-3) concluded its three-day trip at the Citrus Classic to begin the season with a heartbreaking loss to Louisville, 4-3, on Sunday morning.
Louisville (10-4), who received four votes in the latest NCAA Division I softball rankings, was quick to jump on the scoreboard. The Cardinals pushed a run across the plate in the bottom of the second inning, but the Crimson responded and put up a crooked number three, a half inning later.
Centerfield Kaitlyn Schiffhauer welcomed the new Cardinal pitcher, Danielle Watson, into the game working a lead-off walk to turn the lineup back over to the top. Shortstop Rhianna Rich lined a base-hit back where it came from, before second baseman Meagan Lantz drove in the first run with a bunt single.
Moments later, the Crimson struck again. Lantz swiped second, while Rich came in the back-door to score the second run a throwing error by the catcher. Two batters later, third baseman Erin Lockhart drove in Lantz with the third Harvard run, reaching on a fielder's choice.
The Cardinals climbed back into the game, pulling to within one run of the lead, 3-2, before winning the ballgame in the bottom of the seventh, taking advantage of a Crimson miscue.
Junior pitcher Kathleen Duncan took the loss after tossing 4.2 innings allowing just one unearned run on two hits.
- Junior shortstop Rhianna Rich went 2-4 with a run scored from the top of the lineup and currently leads the Crimson with seven hits, including three doubles.
- Classmate Meagan Lantz went 1-4 with an RBI to give her the out-right Crimson lead RBI lead (4).
- Freshman Morgan Melito registered her fifth hit of the season – and her career – in the top of the second inning.
Harvard returns to the diamond on Friday, March 2 against Elon and North Carolina at the North Carolina Invitational. First pitch is slated for 2:30 p.m. against Elon.