Kasey Lange moved into a tie for third on the all-time Harvard home run list with a pair of shots Tuesday (Photo: Mike Slade).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – For the second time in her career, junior Kasey Lange hit two home runs in a single game, but the Harvard softball team stranded 14 runners Tuesday in a 5-3 loss to Providence at Soldiers Field. The Crimson falls to 9-15 on the year despite collecting 13 hits on the day, while Providence improves to 10-17-1.
The sophomore slugger got to work early on the chilly afternoon, giving Harvard a lead in her first at bat. After two quick outs, Lange pummeled a 3-2 pitch deep to the left-centerfield gap that cleared the wall for her seventh home run of the season and a quick 1-0 lead for the hosts. Providence chipped away through the early innings, and posted its first run of the game on a Megan Rollings RBI single in the top of the third. A hit and two errors saw the Crimson load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the frame, but Providence hurler Corinne Clauss worked her way out of the jam with a pair of runners being cut down at home and a strikeout.
Another three-hit inning in the top of the fourth saw the Friars grab a 2-1 lead when Marie Flego singled to left field, bringing a run home. Haley Davis and Alyssa Siegmann knocked back-to-back singles to start the Harvard fourth, and a fielder's choice loaded the bases with no outs for the second straight inning. Stephanie Regan smacked a hard grounder back to Clauss and the pitcher fired home for one out, and the catcher cut down Regan at first for the double play. A groundout in the next at bat let Clauss off the hook for the second straight inning.
Two walks in the Friar fifth proved costly for the Crimson as Kristie Dederick smacked a two-run single through the left side, stretching the visitor lead to 4-1. Lange was the first batter of the bottom of the fifth and the slugger pounded another ball deep to left-center for her second homer of the game, cutting the Providence lead to 4-2. Katherine Lantz and Adrienne Hume singled in the inning, but Harvard was unable to push any more runners across. The bottom of the sixth saw Harvard gain its third bases-loaded, no-outs scenario of the day, and an error by the Providence second baseman on a Lange groundball brought home the third Harvard run, putting the hosts within one.
Stephanie Kiesel gave the guests some much needed insurance in the top of the seventh, ripping a double to the right-centerfield gap that plated the fifth Providence run of the day. Harvard refused to go down without a fight and Davis led off the seventh with a single and Katherine Appelbe followed with a double two batters later. Regan reached on a fielder's choice to third base, loading the bases for the Crimson with one out. No. 2 hitter Shelbi Olson roped a ball up the middle in the ensuing at bat, but Friar shortstop Kelsi Luttrell snared the line drive on a diving effort, and fired to first before Regan could get back for the game-ending double play.
The Crimson totaled 13 hits on the afternoon as Lange, Olson, Davis, Siegmann and Appelbe all had a pair of hits each on the day. Thanks to her pair of shots on the day, Lange now stands tied for third in program history with 25 career home runs. Freshman Jamie Halula shouldered the loss for the Crimson, going four innings and allowing six hits and two earned runs.
Up next, the Crimson welcomes Ivy League South division foes Princeton (Friday) and Cornell (Saturday) for a pair of Ancient Eight doubleheaders this weekend.