FULLERTON, Calif.- On the second day of the Easton Invitational, the Harvard softball team (6-6) was edged out in two close contests against the College of Charleston (13-12) and Iowa State (16-9). Harvard moves to a .500 on the season.
College of Charleston; L, 9-8
In the first contest of the day, the College of Charleston jumped out to a 3-0 lead after collecting a three-run home run from Chandler Sparkman, but the Crimson defense kept them scoreless until fifth inning, allowing for Harvard offensive attack. In the bottom of the third, Isabelle Haugh lead-off with a center field single shortly followed by a short-ball single to second. With bases loaded after a sacrifice bunt from Kaitlyn Schiffhauer and a Teagan Shaw walk, Meagan Lantz sent one back to centerfield for an RBI sacrifice fly. Rhianna Rich capitalized on the catcher's error after advancing to third on the fly to bring Harvard within one.
After a combination of an Elizabeth Shively walk and a Megan Welsh double, Haugh dropped the bunt to bring in another Crimson run for a tie ball game before Rich and Schiffhauer extended the lead. Despite a strong defense the Cougars fought back to 9-7 score after runs in the fifth and sixth. In a final offensive push in during the bottom of the seventh, Erin Lockhart singled to the middle bringing in Melito who reached base with a double and crossed the plate on a throwing error from the Cougars. Ultimately, Harvard fell 9-8.
Iowa State; L, 7-5
Rounding out the day against midwest foe Iowa State, scoring began with the Cyclones in the top of third for a 4-0 lead. Down to two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Meagan Lantz gave the Crimson life after launching the ball over the left-field wall for a mini Crimson rally. Not to be outdone, Morgan Melito crossed home plate after a repeat left field home run to bring Harvard within two.
Tallying three more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning from single, walk, single and double combination from Melito, Lantz, Kaitlin Lampson and Trina Hoang the Crimson trailed by one with six more outs left in the game. Although a spark of life in the sixth, Harvard could not match the one-run per inning Iowa State put up through the final three innings.
- In the first contest of the day senior Rhianna Rich went three-for-four with two RBI's.
- Senior Megan Lantz tallied a .667 batting average and a homerun against Iowa State.
On the final day of the Easton Invitational the Crimson will take on DePaul at 12 p.m. EST followed by a 2 p.m. contest against Long Beach State, tomorrow March 17.