Softball Storms Past Rhode Island With Offensive Outburst

Whitney Shaw drove in seven runs in two games against Rhode Island Tuesday (Harvard Athletic Communications).

Whitney Shaw Postgame Interview

The Harvard softball team put on a hitting display in its home opener, racking up 25 runs in two five-inning games and downing Rhode Island, 15-7 and 10-0, Tuesday at Soldiers Field. The Crimson moves to 14-10 on the season with the doubleheader sweep.    

Harvard took control early in Game 1 as Kasey Lange drove in Ellen Macadam and Allison Scott drove in Lange for a 2-0 lead after one. Rhode Island managed a run in the top of the second but Harvard answered with five more in the bottom half of the inning. Stephanie Regan plated Kassy Shiotani on a fielder's choice and Emily Henderson scored on a Lange RBI single. Whitney Shaw roped the first of two doubles in the game, driving in two more runs and Shiotani finished the scoring in the inning with an RBI single to the pitcher, scoring Mariel Sena.

After a quick top of the third, thanks to two strikeouts by Rachel Brown, Harvard blew the game open in the bottom of the inning, putting up eight runs on six hits and three Rhode Island errors. Shaw connected on her second two-RBI double of the game and Shiotani drove in another pair with a single between short and third. Olivia Piccione launched an opposite field two-run homer with two outs, the first of her career, and Macadam made it back-to-back bombs with her fourth round-tripper of the year. Rhode Island made it interesting with a pair of runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth, but the deficit was too great and Harvard took the opener, 15-7, in five innings.

Shaw led the Crimson with four RBI in the game, posting a pair of two-RBI doubles, while Shiotani finished 3 for 3 from the plate with three RBI and two runs scored. Macadam also went 3 for 3 and scored three runs and Lange ended Game 1 with two hits, two runs scored and two RBI. Brown earned the win for Harvard, her 10th of the season, striking out nine batters in four innings if work.

It was more of the same for Harvard in Game 2, as Shaw drove in Lange with an RBI single in the first to take a 1-0 lead. Harvard plated five runs on four hits in the third to stretch its lead to 6-0. Scott drove in Lange with an RBI single through the left side and after Shaw stole home on a double-steal, Mari Zumbro brought home two more with a solid single through the middle.

After Lange walked with one out in the fourth, Shaw roped a two-run homerun to left for an 8-0 Harvard lead and a passed ball and an RBI single by Jessica Ferri allowed Harvard to reach 10 runs and cut the game short again. Shaw finished 2 for 2 from the plate with a pair of runs scored and three RBI. Laura Ricciardone was rock-solid in the circle for Harvard, scattering five hits and combining with Julia Moore, who pitched a scoreless fifth, for the five-inning shutout.

Harvard opens Ivy League play on the road this weekend, beginning with a doubleheader at Penn Friday. Game 1 is slated to start at 2 p.m.