Whitney Shaw picked up two hits against Western Michigan Saturday (Harvard Athletic Communications).
CLEARWATER, Fla. – After capturing victories in its first two games of the season, the Harvard softball team dropped a pair of close contests in Day 2 of its stay at the USF Under Armour Invitational. The Crimson fell to Western Michigan, 3-1, in the first game of the day, and was outlasted by Miami (Ohio), 2-1 in eight innings, in the afternoon contest.
The Crimson struck first in the game against Western Michigan, plating a run in the top of the third inning. Stephanie Regan lifted a two-out double to left center and Jane Alexander followed with a base hit to right field, plating Regan with the game's first run. Laura Ricciardone kept Western Michigan in check through the first three innings, but the Broncos broke through in the bottom of the fourth, thanks to a trio of singles, a fielder's choice and a hit batsman that saw two WMU runs come across. The Broncos drove in another run in the fifth, and despite a pair of Harvard hits by Alexander and Kasey Lange in the sixth, the Crimson was unable to plate another run.
Ricciardone took the loss for Harvard, surrendering seven hits and striking out four in 4.1 innings of work. Lange, Alexander and Whitney Shaw all finished with a pair of hits for Harvard in the loss.
It was a pitcher's duel in game two against Miami (Ohio) as neither team was able to drive in a run through seven full innings. Senior Rachel Brown was on point, sitting down the Red Hawks in order in four of seven innings and holding Miami without a hit until the sixth inning. Harvard collected a single hit in four of the first seven innings, but was unable to move the runners around, moving the game to extra frames.
Rookie Andrea del Conte was placed on second base to start the eighth inning, and quickly advanced to third on a passed ball. Alexander came up big with one out in the inning, poking a single to center to score Harvard's first run. Lange followed with a single to right but the Crimson was unable to score again, taking a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the inning. A single and a stolen base gave Miami runners on second and third and a wild pitch allowed the Red Hawks to knot the score at 1-1. Brown got the next batter to pop out, but one final Miami single gave the Red Hawks a 2-1 win in extra innings.
Brown took the loss in the circle for Harvard, striking out six batters and allowing just three hits and one walk. Rookie Adrienne Hume collected a pair of hits for Harvard in the loss.
The Crimson wraps up its stay at the USF tournament Sunday when it squares off against the tournament host in a noon game.