Harvard took a 3-0 lead in the first inning of a 7-4 win over UC Riverside Friday (Gil Talbot).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The Harvard softball team (4-2) got its 2011 spring break trip started in fine style, downing tournament host UC Riverside (5-15), 7-4, in the Crimson's first game at the UC Riverside tournament. It represents Harvard's second-straight victory after taking down Providence last weekend in Boca Raton, Fla.
Reigning Ivy League Player of the Week Ellen Macadam helped Harvard out to a fast start with a single to center to lead off the game and Ashley Heritage followed with a bunt single. After moving to third on a Whitney Shaw fly out, Macadam came home with Harvard's first run when Heritage swiped second base. Rookie catcher Allison Scott drove in Heritage with an RBI single and Jane Alexander made it 3-0 in the first, plating Kasey Lange with a single to right field.
Rachel Brown, Ivy League Pitcher of the Week for the first week of the season, held the Riverside hitters in check through the first four innings, holding the hosts to three hits and fanning two batters as well. In the top of the fourth, Lange led off with a double to center field and Harvard proceeded to load the bases on another single by Scott. Mari Zumbro stepped up and drove a single to center, plating Lange and Stephanie Regan to stake Harvard to a 5-0 lead after five full innings.
Two more runs came in for Harvard in the top of the sixth as Shaw drove in Heritage with an RBI double to center and Shelbi Olson popped a single up the middle to plate Kassy Shiotani with Harvard's seventh run. Riverside got on the board in the bottom half of the inning, scoring two runs on just one hit and added two more in the bottom of the seventh which proved to be not enough to overtake the Crimson.
Heritage turned in a 3 for 4 day at the plate, scoring a pair of runs and swiping two bases while Lange and Scott collected a pair of hits each. Brown improved to 4-0 on the season with six innings of work, scattering five hits and conceding two runs while fanning five batters. Laura Ricciardone picked up a strikeout in her one inning of work in the circle.
Harvard is back in action tomorrow as it faces St. Louis and North Dakota at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., respectively (Eastern Standard time) at Day 2 of the UCR Tournament.