CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Junior shortstop Rhianna Rich went six-for-eight at the dish Saturday afternoon to lead Harvard softball (18-12, 11-4 Ivy) to the series sweep of Penn (12-18, 7-8 Ivy), following an 8-7 walk-off win in game one and an 8-2 victory in game two on Saturday afternoon.
Game 1: Harvard 8, Penn, 7 – 8 innings
Harvard began the day putting up three runs in the bottom of the first to take a 3-1 lead, but Penn chipped its way back in the game. Scoring in the first three innings of the contest, the Quakers took a two-run, 5-3, advantage. But the Crimson answered in the home half.
Senior Alexa Altchek opened the bottom of the third with a double into left field before sophomore Olivia Giaquinto helped her own cause launching a two-run shot over the left field fence to tie the game. The Crimson offense was far from done. Harvard scored two more runs on a single up the middle by senior Maddy Kaplan to take the 7-5 lead.
Harvard took the two-run lead into the top the seventh and were three outs away from closing out the game, but Penn had other ideas. Taking advantage of Crimson defensive miscues the Quakers tied the contest at seven to send the game into extra innings.
Junior left-hander Katie Duncan retired the side in order in the top of the eight on three ground balls to set the stage for the Crimson's walk-off win. Rich led off the bottom of the frame ripping a triple to right field, before coming in to score the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly to center field off of Kaplan.
Game 2: Harvard 8, Penn 2
Harvard gave junior right-hander Sarah Smith her fourth win of the season with an 8-2 victory in game two of the twin-bill. Nearly batting around in the bottom of the third, the Crimson put up a crooked number three, to take the 3-0 lead.
The Quakers got one run back in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to two runs, but Crimson offense responded. Harvard pushed across a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth before scoring three times in the sixth.
Smith improved to 4-0 on the season allowing just one run on four hits, while striking out four over the course of four innings. Duncan tossed the final three innings of the ballgame and earned the save, striking out three Quakers, while allowing just one unearned run.
- Junior shortstop Rhianna Rich went six-for-eight at the dish with two doubles, a triple, an RBI, and four runs scored.
- Classmate, left-hander Katie Duncan picked up the win in game one, and the save in game two, after tossing three innings allowing one unearned run on three hits and striking out three.
- Junior right-hander Sarah Smith improved to 4-0 on the season allowing one run on four hits, while striking out four in four innings in game two.
Harvard break from Ivy play hosting Bryant on Tuesday April 17 at 4 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Ivy League Network.