Freshman Meagan Lantz hit her first two home runs as a Crimson student-athlete Sunday (Fran Ruchalski).
LOS ANGELES – Harvard softball (7-5) continued action in Los Angeles at the Loyola Marymount Tournament Sunday, losing a close battle with Monmouth, 6-5, but responding with a thumping of Fairleigh Dickinson, 6-1. The win over the Knights featured Taylor Cabe earning her third win of the weekend and freshman Meagan Lantz hitting her first two collegiate home runs.
Monmouth 6, Harvard 5
The Hawks (7-6) plated two runs in the bottom of the seventh to come from behind and take a 6-5 decision over the Crimson Sunday afternoon.
Freshman Nicki Nishizawa made her first start for Harvard, tossing 5.1 innings, striking out two while allowing four runs on six hits. Sydney Underhill earned the win for Monmouth, allowing just two hits and no runs in four innings of relief.
The offenses were active early with Harvard scoring at least one run in each of the first three frames and Monmouth bringing home three in the bottom of the first. Harvard started the scoring in the first half inning when Rhianna Rich raced home on a Savannah Bradley ground out.
Monmouth's trio of runs in the bottom of the first gave it a 3-1 lead. Emma Hill accounted for the first run on an error and then Ashalynn Umiamaka drove in the next two runs with a single back up the middle.
Harvard's offense fired back with three runs of its own in the top of the second to take the lead back at 4-3. Catherine Callaway led off with a single up the middle and then Elizabeth Shively walked to give Harvard two base runners with no outs. A sacrifice bunt from Erin Lockhart moved the runners up a base to bring Haley Davis to the plate. Davis cleared the bases with one swing, launching her first homer of the season over the wall in right center.
Nishizawa kept the Hawks off the scoreboard in the bottom half and then Harvard tacked on another run in the third. Callaway again singled, but this time it came with Maddy Kaplan on second, driving her in with two outs.
Monmouth got one run back in the fifth inning off a Justene Reyes solo shot. The Hawks completed the comeback in the bottom of the seventh getting the tying run off a fielder's choice. The game-winning run was scored by Jasmine Higa who advanced to third on a passed ball and then scored on a throwing error.
Harvard 6, Fairleigh Dickinson 1
Lantz jacked her first two collegiate home runs, driving in four runs to power Harvard past Fairleigh Dickinson (1-8), 6-1. Cabe collected her third victory of the weekend in the circle for the Crimson, shutting out the Knights for five innings and allowing just two hits.
Harvard scored its six runs in two, three-run spurts in the bottom of the second and fourth innings. Morgan Macchiarulo started the scoring in the second, singling to left to plate Davis. That set the stage for Lantz's first long ball of the afternoon, sending a shot over the right center wall for two more Crimson runs.
After Cabe shut down the Knights in the third, posting two strikeouts, Harvard continued its scoring in the fourth with a David RBI single to score Dallas Hogan. Lantz extended the Harvard lead to 6-0 when she drove another pitch out of the stadium for another two-run blast.
FDU scored its lone run of the game on a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth, but Cabe and reliever Kathleen Duncan staved off any momentum the Knights attempted to put together.
Harvard and FDU will meet again Tuesday March 15 at 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST). The game scheduled for Monday, March 14 versus the Knights (originally postponed from Friday) has been cancelled.