Katherine Appelbe's head-up baserunning play allowed the winning run to come home Tuesday against BU (Photo: Mike Slade).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Hits were hard to come by Tuesday at Soldiers Field, but the Harvard softball team produced a pair of runs late in the game to slide by local rival Boston University, 2-1, in a non-conference contest. The win ups Harvard's record to 12-17 while BU dips to 11-20-1 on the year.
It was a battle of the pitchers through the first few innings, with Harvard's Morgan Groom and BU's Lauren Hynes trading scoreless frames. Stephanie Regan started the game for Harvard with a sharp single through the right side in the bottom of the first, and Haley Davis followed with a single three batters later, but Harvard was unable to come up with the early run. Groom mowed through the BU lineup through the first three innings, allowing the first hit of the afternoon in the top of the fourth to Hynes. A pop-up and a pair of fly outs ended the threat for the Terriers.
Jamie Halula took over in the circle for the hosts in the circle in the top of the fifth and promptly sat the guests down in order. Jessica Ferri led off the Harvard fifth with an infield single, but was stranded at first when the next three batters made outs. The speedy Jayme Mask reached on an infield single in the top of the sixth and swiped her 19th base of the season on the next pitch. Hynes hit a grounder in the next at-bat that was mishandled by the Crimson, allowing the pitcher to reach and Mask to score all the way from second with the game's first run.
Harvard finally managed to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth where Kasey Lange led off with a ringing double to the right-centerfield gap. Davis was next up for Harvard and roped a ball almost exactly where Lange hit it, trading places with the Harvard slugger and knotting the score at 1-1 with no outs. Katherine Lantz laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved Davis over to third, and when pinch-runner Katherine Appelbe was caught in an intentional rundown on the next pitch, Davis crossed the plate with the winning run when the BU shortstop threw the ball past the first baseman on the pickoff play.
A leadoff single in the top of the seventh gave the guests a glimmer of hope, but two quick outs put the Crimson back in control and catcher Alyssa Siegmann gunned down Kendra Meadows trying to steal third for the final out of the game.
Davis had the lone multi-hit showing for either team and also recorded the only RBI of the game. Groom went four innings and allowed just one hit, while Halula picked up the win in a three-inning relief appearance. Hynes struck out five batters and surrendered three hits in the loss.
The Crimson returns to Ivy League action this weekend when it takes on archrival Yale in a pair of Ancient Eight doubleheaders Friday and Saturday at Soldiers Field.