Softball Sweeps Opening Day of Series at Yale

Softball Sweeps Opening Day of Series at Yale

Giana Panariello had RBIs in both games Saturday as Harvard improved to 8-2 in the Ivy League (Gil Talbot). 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Harvard softball (19-13, 8-2 Ivy) needed extra innings and a late-game rally, but it procured a pair of victories on the first day of its weekend series at Yale (11-25-4-6 Ivy) Saturday. The Crimson scored twice in the eighth inning to take the opener, 2-0, and then posted three runs in the fifth frame of the second game to win game two, 5-4.

Saturday's victories extended Harvard's current win streak to eight games with another doubleheader on the docket at Yale beginning Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

Harvard 2, Yale 0 (8 inn.)
A pitcher's duel and defense battle ensued in the series opener with Harvard's Morgan Groom picking up her sixth win of the year, tossing a five-hit shutout over all eight innings. Her run support in the eighth inning came via RBI doubles by Rhianna Rich and Giana Panariello.

Lindsey Efflandt did her best to keep the Bulldogs in the game, allowing seven hits through the entire, but her offense continued to be shut down by Groom and her two runs allowed dropped her record to 4-11.

Yale had two opportunities to get on the board in the sixth and seventh when base runners reached third base. Groom induced a groundout to end the sixth and got a pop up and ground out to third to end the seventh.

In the top of the eighth, Haley Davis led off with a single and then scored in the next at bat when Panariello ripped a double to deep center. Zoe Galindo's sacrifice bunt moved Panariello to third next and Rich ensured she scored with a double of her own out to center.

Yale had one base runner reach safely on a single in the bottle half of the inning, but Groom recorded her fifth strikeout and the Harvard defense did the rest to close out the game.

Harvard 5, Yale 4
Game two Saturday featured another Harvard pitcher throwing a complete game to earn the win, as Taylor Cabe improved to 11-3 with an assist to her offense as it put up three runs in the fifth to rally from a two-run deficit for the 5-4 victory.

Yale put up a run in each of the first four innings, but only led 4-2 heading to the fifth because of RBI by Panariello and Davis in the top of the fourth. Harvard showcased its speed in the fourth as Catherine Callaway led off with a triple and came in to score two batters later when Panariello legged out her own three-bagger.

It was the long ball that completed the comeback for Harvard in the next inning. The second batter of the inning, Rich, launched her second homer of the season to cut the gap to one. Fellow freshman Meagan Lantz flipped the score in Harvard's favor when her sixth of the season went over the centerfield wall and also scored Kaitlyn Schiffhauer. The two RBI brought her season total to a team-best 31.

Cabe and Harvard's defense locked down for the final three Yale turns at the dish, including a three-up, three-down stretch in the seventh to cap the sweep.