The Crimson splits the first day of the Carolina Classic with a 4-3 win over, host, North Carolina (Katie Lockhart).
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – After dropping the first game of the Carolina Classic to Elon (10-5), 5-1, Harvard softball (3-4) defeated, host, North Carolina (6-11) in game two, 4-3, on Friday afternoon.
Junior shortstop Rhianna Rich went three-for-seven with a stolen base, and two runs scored on the day from the top of the Crimson lineup. Junior left-hander Kathleen Duncan earned her third win of the season, striking out five Tar Heels in a complete game, 4-3, victory in game two.
Game 2: Harvard 4, North Carolina 3
The Crimson took advantage of a Tar Heel error, pushing across a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first inning. Rich opened the game lining a base-hit back where it came from before moving into scoring position with a steal of second. Two batters later, third baseman Erin Lockhart kept the inning alive reaching on an error, setting the stage for freshman Morgan Melito. Melito ripped a double into left field to bring home Lockhart with the second run.
North Carolina climbed its way back into the game, scoring once in the bottom of the first to cut the deficit in half. Two innings later, the Tar Heels grabbed another run in the home half of the third to tie the game at two.
The ballgame remained all square at two until the top of the fifth when Harvard made North Carolina pay for another costly defensive miscue. With runners on first and second, Kaplan drove an opposite field single through the left side, then advanced to second on a fielding error by the left fielder. In the back-door came junior centerfielder Kaitlyn Schiffhauer with the go-ahead run to put Harvard on top, 3-2.
Junior second baseman Meagan Lantz provided the Crimson with an insurance run following an infield single that brought home Rich, and extended the lead to, 4-2. It was a much-needed run as the Tar Heels scored once in the bottom of the sixth to close the gap to one. But it was as close as they came.
Game 1: Elon 5, Harvard 1
The first game of the Carolina Classic for the Crimson was scoreless through the first two-and-a-half innings until Elon grabbed a run in the bottom of the third to take the 1-0 lead. However, the lead quickly evaporated a half inning later.
Kaplan opened the top of the fourth with a lead-off walk. She managed to get herself into scoring position with her second steal of the season. Freshman left fielder Alyssa Saldana brought home the veteran outfielder, lining a base-hit through left side to tie the score at one. But it was all the Crimson was able to muster.
Elon answered, scoring once in the bottom of the frame to re-gain the lead, 2-1. After Elon starter Abby Barker retired the side in the order in the top of the fifth, the Phoenix put up a crooked number three in the home-half to take a commanding, 5-1, advantage.
It was more than enough for the Phoenix as Elon's Kenna Quinn came on to retire the side in order in the sixth and seventh.
Harvard returns to the Anderson Stadium diamond tomorrow afternoon against Kansas. First pitch is slated for noon.