FULLERTON, Calif. – The Harvard softball team (5-2) begin its spring break trip with two solid wins against San Diego State (5-4) and Cal St. Fullerton (2-1) on the opening day of the Louisville Slugger Invitational at Anderson Family Field.
Trailing 1-0, in the opening game against the Aztecs, Harvard used a four-run top of the sixth inning to take the lead for good, adding an insurance run in the seventh inning to help Duncan re-entered the game to close it out, going six strong innings with two earned runs allowed.
HARVARD 5, SAN DIEGO STATE 4
A pitcher's duel between Duncan and San Diego State's Erica Romero through the first three scoreless innings gave way in the bottom of the fourth, as the Aztecs broke through with a two-out RBI single to take a 1-0 lead. The Crimson responded in the top of the sixth inning, forcing Romero out of the game after Erin Lockhart (hit by pitch) and Elizabeth Shively (single) reached base with one out in the frame.
Olivia Giaquinto greeted Marissa Moreno with a single to load the bases, then Catherine Callaway came up with the big hit, doubling home two runs to put Harvard ahead. Alexa Altchek added a two-out RBI single, before another run crossed the plate on a San Diego State error to make it 4-1 in favor of the Crimson.
The Aztecs responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth before Duncan re-entered the game, stranding a runner on second with no one out by retiring three straight hitters. Shively added an RBI groundout in the top of the seventh for an insurance run that Harvard would need, as Duncan induced a game-ending foul-out with the tying run on third base.
HARVARD 2, CAL ST. FULLERTON 1
In the second game against host Cal St. Fullerton, Taylor Cabe went 5 1/3 strong innings, allowing one run on five hits and striking out three to earn the win. Erin Lockhart provided all the offense Harvard would need, hitting a two-out, two-run home run in the top of the first inning to put the Crimson ahead 2-0.
After surrendering a first inning run, Cabe shut the door until running into trouble in the bottom of the sixth inning. With runners on first and second and one out, Smith came into the game and got the next two outs, before closing out the game with a 1-2-3 seventh inning, including back-to-back strikeouts to give Harvard the win.