Rich, Kaplan Key Softball's Doubleheader Sweep of Cornell, 8-3, 9-5

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard softball team (11-12, 3-3 Ivy League) earned a doubleheader sweep against Cornell (6-16, 1-6 Ivy League), completing its first home games of the season at Soldiers Field with 8-3 and 9-5 wins over the Big Red. Sophomore shortstop Rhianna Rich had five hits on the afternoon with three RBIs and three runs scored, including two triples, and junior outfielder Maddy Kaplan added five hits and two RBIs to lead the Harvard offense.

Senior pitcher Taylor Cabe (6 IP, 2 ER, 4K) and sophomore pitcher Kathleen Duncan (7 IP, 4 ER, 5K) each picked up wins for the Crimson.

The Crimson will take on Princeton in a doubleheader tomorrow beginning at 12:30 p.m. Both games will air on the Ivy League Digital Network.

Harvard's bats put game 1 of the doubleheader against Cornell out of reach early. In the bottom of the first inning, the Crimson loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter. Kaitlyn Schiffhauer's well-struck single followed by a bases-loaded walk from Catherine Callaway helped Harvard take a 2-0 lead.

The Crimson tacked on four runs in the bottom of the second inning, as catcher Elizabeth Shively drove in two runs with an opposite field triple for the big hit in the inning. Sophomore Erin Lockhart doubled home Shively from third, then two batters later, Dallas Hogan plated Lockhart on a bunt and run play with a well-placed bunt down the third base line to make it 6-0.

Meanwhile, Cabe worked out of bases-loaded jams in the second and third innings, and went six strong innings, scattering nine hits and striking out four, allowing two earned runs. Harvard tacked on insurance runs on Lockhart's RBI single in the third inning, and Kaplan's infield single in the fourth inning. Freshman Olivia Giaquinto closed out the game, inducing a fly out from Cornell's Sarah Murray with the bases loaded, as Harvard sealed an 8-3 win.

Two big innings for Harvard – a five-run third inning and a four-run sixth inning - helped the Crimson rally from an early 4-0 deficit to earn a 9-5 win over Cornell.

In the top of the first inning, a two-out single by Cornell's Madeline Avery with runners on 2nd and 3rd gave the Big Red a 2-0 lead. Cornell added two more runs with another two-out rally in the top of the third inning, recording three straight hits (single, double, single) to make it 4-0.

Harvard answered quickly with a big inning, as Rich drove in two runs with a triple to the gap in left center with a run already home in the inning to make it 4-3. Kaplan's double to left tied the game at 4-4, then an RBI groundout by Erin Lockhart put Harvard in front.

Cornell tied the game on another two-out hit, a single by Bridgette Rooney in the top of the fourth inning.

But Harvard's big sixth inning sealed the win. With the bases loaded and two outs, and Cornell's Cora Guenes on in relief, a wild pitch plated Lockhart from third base to make it 6-5 Harvard. Giana Panariello's drove in two runs with a single to right center, and Rich added her second triple of the day to make it 9-5 Harvard.