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Softball Drops 3-2 Final to Long Beach State, Downs Miami (Ohio), 7-2

Katherine Appelbe was one of three Harvard players to drive in two runs against Miami (Ohio) (Harvard Athletic Communications).

SAN DIEGO, Calif. –
Day 2 at the San Diego Classic II brought similar results for the Harvard softball team, as the Crimson fell in a tight, 3-2, contest with Long Beach State before slugging its way past Miami (Ohio), 7-2, Saturday on its annual spring break trip. Harvard's record moves to 5-8 heading into the final day of competition at the event.

The 49ers got off to a hot start in Game 1, blasting back-to-back homeruns with one out in the first to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Harvard starter Jamie Halula settled in nicely after the rocky first, holding Long Beach State without a run for the remainder of the game and scattering three hits. The Crimson hitters had good at-bats, picking up a hit each in the second, third and fourth innings, but Harvard was unable to cut into the LBSU lead.

Harvard was finally able to get on the board in the top of the sixth when Zoe Galindo led off with a single and Kasey Lange picked up a base hit after two Crimson batters went down via strikeout. Katherine Lantz got the big hit for Harvard, driving a single through the middle that brought home Galindo and Lange to make it a one-run game. Emily Gusse was next up, but couldn't plate the tying run as Harvard suffered its third strikeout of the frame. A seventh-inning double play killed the Harvard hopes after the leadoff batter reach, and the 49ers sealed the 3-2 win with one final strikeout.

Lantz led the Harvard offense with a 3-for-3 performance from the plate, driving in both Harvard runs and accounting for half of the team's hits.  Halula went the distance for the Crimson, allowing three runs and five hits while fanning a pair of LBSU batters.

The first inning and a half of Game 2 went by without incident and Harvard took a 1-0 lead in the second thanks to solid execution. Gusse was the first batter of the inning and poked a single to left field, and advanced to second on a Jessica Ferri sacrifice bunt. After a groundout that did not allow Gusse to advance, Adrienne Hume knocked a single to left, bringing home Gusse for the 1-0 lead. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Red Hawks came back with two of their own in the third, taking advantage of an error by the Crimson and a timely RBI double.

Miami (Ohio) held tight to the 2-1 lead through the top of the fifth, but Harvard recaptured the lead for good in the bottom of the frame. After Hume was hit by a pitch and Katherine Appelbe reached base via error, Andrea Del Conte knocked a single that brought two runs in, swinging the lead back to Harvard, 3-2. Lantz was the next player up for Harvard and the sophomore pounded a two-run homer to stretch the lead to 5-2. Appelbe was responsible for two more runs in the next inning, picking up a two-run single to cap the 7-2 Harvard victory.

Rookie Morgan Groom continued to show poise in the circle for Harvard, going the distance against the Red Hawks to pick up her second win of the season. Groom scattered three hits in seven innings of work, fanned three batters and didn't allow an earned run on the day. Seven different Harvard players collected hits against Miami (Ohio), with Del Conte, Lantz and Appelbe picking up a pair of RBI each in the game.

Harvard finishes it stay at the San Diego Classic II Sunday with a game against San Diego.