Softball Starts Season With Victories Over Toledo, Loyola Marymount

Softball Starts Season With Victories Over Toledo, Loyola Marymount

Stephanie Regan went 3-for-3 with an RBI in Harvard's season opener against Toledo Friday (Harvard Athletic Communications).

The Harvard softball team got the jump start to its season that it was looking for, capturing wins in its first two games of the season at the USF Under Armour Invitational Friday. Harvard opened its season with a 2-1 win over Toledo, and followed with a 2-0 shutout of Loyola Marymount in the second game of the day.

The Crimson didn't waste any time scoring its first run of the season, as it plated a runner in the bottom of the first inning against Toledo. Kasey Lange drew a two-out walk and advanced to third when Allison Scott reached on an error. Stephanie Regan ripped a single to the shortstop that allowed Lange to come home for a 1-0 Harvard lead.

Senior Rachel Brown was in her usual fine form, keeping the Toledo bats at bay through the first three innings, and striking out the side in the third. Melissa Rons started the Rockets fourth with a single, and after swiping second, came home on a Lindsey Tobias single, tying the game at 1-1. Harvard had a quick response, however, scoring its second two-out run of the contest when Shelbi Olson singled home Regan in the bottom half of the inning. Brown took care of the rest, allowing just one hit in the final four innings to seal the 2-1 win for the Crimson.

Brown finished with nine strikeouts, scattering three hits, one walk and just the one run. Regan finished the game 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.

Pitching and defense were on display in the second game of the day as sophomore starter Laura Ricciardone rode her fielders to a 2-0 shutout of Loyola Marymount. The Lions' leadoff hitter reached base in the first and second innings, but was erased both times via double plays by the Crimson.

Harvard got on the board in the fourth inning when Lange ripped a two-out single to right-center and stole second during the ensuing at-bat. Scott ripped a single right where Lange had hit hers, and Lange came home on Scott RBI base knock. The Crimson gained an insurance run in a similar fashion to start the seventh inning, when a Jane Alexander single and stolen base turned into a run thanks to an Olson single. Ricciardone allowed just three hits in the game, helping the Crimson move to 2-0 on the young season.

Harvard is back in action at the USF tournament tomorrow when it takes on Western Michigan at 11:30 a.m., and Miami (Ohio) at 4:15 p.m.