CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In a battle of the top two conference teams, the Harvard softball team (25-17, 16-5 Ivy League) topped Columbia, 10-7, today, May 10 in a thrilling game one of the Ivy League Playoff Series. With the win, the Crimson takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series against the Lions.
Katie Duncan, Grace Krantz and Alissa Hiener each split time in the circle for the Crimson in game one. Senior co-captain Duncan started for Harvard, facing 13 batters and retiring three that she faced. First-year Krantz allowed just two hits, while Hiener earned her seventh win of the season.
Offensively, seven Crimson players recorded hits, led by senior co-captain Kaitlyn Schiffhauer with three. Schiffhauer was a consistent dominant presence at the plate, tallying a team-high four RBI's as well.
After Columbia opened the game with a 3-0 lead, the Crimson responded in the bottom of the first with two runs to bring the score within one after Schiffhauer and Elizabeth Shively each recorded RBI's. Harvard's bats came alive in the bottom of the second, as the Crimson tallied four runs to take a 6-3 lead over the Lions.
The Lions rallied back at the top of the third, bringing in four runs of their own to regain the lead at 7-6. After a scoreless bottom of the third, the Crimson's offensive momentum began once more. Shively recorded her second RBI of the day, bringing in Meagan Lantz to tie the game after she doubled to right center field. Then, Trina Hoang added an RBI when she brought in Mackenzie Tyler to regain the Crimson lead at 8-6.
Harvard held Columbia scoreless again at the top of the fifth, before adding two more runs to push its advantage to 10-7. Meagan Welsh opened the inning with a homerun down the right field line, before Schiffhauer recorded her fourth RBI when she brought in Rhianna Rich after singling through the right side.
After another scoreless sixth inning, the Crimson held off the Lions at the top of the seventh to seal the 10-7 victory.
- Alissa Hiener picked up her seventh win of the season for the Crimson, allowing just two runs.
- Kaitlyn Schiffhauer recorded a team-high three hits and four RBI's, while Elizabeth Shively added two.
- Rhianna Rich and Schiffauer each registered a stolen base.
Harvard will face Columbia in game two of the Ivy League Playoff Series tomorrow, May 11. First pitch is set for 1:30 p.m., while game three will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of game two (if necessary). The Crimson will look to clinch its second-straight automatic birth to the NCAA Tournament with one win over the Lions.