Softball Closes Out Carolina Classic with Loss to North Carolina

Softball Closes Out Carolina Classic with Loss to North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Harvard softball (3-6) closed out the Carolina Classic falling to, host, North Carolina (7-13), 6-0, in the consolation game on Sunday afternoon. The Crimson went 1-4 in the tournament, including picking up its first win in program history against the Tar Heels with a 4-3 win Friday evening. 

The Tar Heels were out to avenge their loss on Friday night, jumping on Crimson sophomore starter Alissa Heiner for two runs in the top of the first. Two innings later, North Carolina added to its lead, scoring once against Harvard reliever Olivia Giaquinto in the top of the third.

Giaquinto did her best to keep Harvard in the ballgame. Over 3.1 innings of solid relief, the homerun to Tar Heels' right fielder Kristina Burkhardt was the only hit and run Giaquinto allowed. 

Trailing by three in the bottom of the fourth, the Crimson appeared poised to jump on the scoreboard. Junior second baseman Meagan Lantz led of the frame with an infield single down the third base line. Freshman first baseman Morgan Melito followed up, launching a towering fly ball into left field, that came inches from closing the Tar Heel lead to one; but she had to settle for a long double. Getting on her horse, Lantz attempted to score from first, but an excellent relay from left field cut her down at the plate. Despite advancing 60 feet on the back end of the play, Melito was stranded at third following a quick pop up and a fly out to right field to keep the Crimson off the scoreboard.

North Carolina scored three more times in the fifth and sixth to increase the lead to 6-0, but Harvard was able to avoid the shutout scoring once in the bottom of the seventh.

After back-to-back hit batters, pinch hitter Nicki Nishizawa worked a one-out walk to load the bases. Two batters later senior left fielder Alexa Altchek lined a two-out, single into left field to bring home third baseman Erin Lockhart.

It was all the Crimson would be able to get. Heiner took the loss, dropping her to 0-1 on the season after allowing two runs, only one earned, on two hits.

Harvard Highlights

  • Junior right-hander Olivia Giaquinto tossed 3.1 innings of relief allowing one run on one hit.
  • Freshman Morgan Melito went 1-3 to extend her hitting streaking to three games, and has reached base safely in her last five games.
  • Second baseman Meagan Lantz also went 1-3 to extend her streak to three games.  

What's Next
Harvard faces Southern Utah to open the Loyala Marymount University Invitational on Friday March 9 in Los Angeles, California.