Allard Collects Career Win No. 500, Softball Downs Columbia, 7-2, 6-2

Allard Collects Career Win No. 500, Softball Downs Columbia, 7-2, 6-2

Jenny Allard secured her 500th career victory Sunday with a sweep of Columbia (Harvard Athletic Communications).

The Harvard softball team extended its winning streak to seven games, and head coach Jenny Allard collected wins No. 499 and 500 for her career, as the Crimson swept Columbia, 7-2 and 6-2, Sunday in an Ivy doubleheader. The Crimson ups its record to 16-11 on the year and improves to 3-0 in Ivy League action.

The Crimson let one inning go by before putting its foot on the gas in Game 1, bringing in seven runs between the second and third innings to grab a commanding lead. Katherine Lantz led off the second with a double to deep left center, but the next two batters made out. Catherine Callaway delivered a two-out single through the right side to bring home Lantz and Andrea Del Conte followed with an infield single to put two runners on. Shelbi Olson brought them both home, driving a two-run double to left for a 3-0 lead after two.

A walk, single and a steal put runners on second and third with no outs to start the third, and pinch runner Alyssa Siegmann crossed the plate when Katherine Appelbe reached on a fielder's choice. A double steal was executed to perfection in the next at-bat as Appelbe swiped second and Lantz came home before the return throw could make it to the plate. Callaway smoked a double down the left field line to plate Appelbe and the seventh run crossed when Adrienne Hume singled to center to bring home Callaway.

Laura Ricciardone did well to pitch around the occasional Columbia base hit, and just two unearned runs came home in the top of the fifth on a Kayla Shimoda two-run double to center. She finished with seven strikeouts on the day and allowed just six hits and one walk. The Crimson collected nine hits in the game, including multi-hit games from Lantz, Callaway and Del Conte.

The Lions controlled the game from the outset in the second contest of the day, leading off the game with three straight hits to take a 1-0 lead before recording an out. Rookie pitcher Taylor Cabe settled down to limit the damage in the first, escaping the inning with just a 1-0 deficit. The Harvard offense sputtered through the first four innings of play, unable to string hits together and allowing the guests to hold a 1-0 lead. Nicole Borchard roped a one-out double to left with one out in the fifth and came home on a Liz Caggiano sacrifice fly to push the score to 2-0.

Harvard finally broke through against pitcher Emily Kenyon as Shelbi Olson led off the fifth with a strong single to center and Kasey Lange was intentionally walked to put two on with one out. Lantz battled through a gutsy at-bat, fouling off a handful of pitches before smashing a double to left center that brought home two runs to tie the score. Emily Gusse turned on the first offering from relief pitcher Kayla Maloney, plating Lantz with an RBI single for the go-ahead run. Callaway padded the lead with a two-run double to left, giving the hosts a 5-2 lead after five full frames. Ricciardone was strong in relief, keeping the Lions off the board through the final frames, and Lantz poked another RBI double in the sixth to bring home Harvard's sixth and final run.

Lantz led the team with a pair of doubles and three RBI in Game 2, while Callaway contributed a pair of RBI. Cabe, Ricciardone and Morgan Groom combined for seven K's in the circle for Harvard.

The Crimson will step back out of league action Tuesday for a doubleheader at Rhode Island, beginning at 3 p.m.