ATHENS, Ga. – A season in which Harvard softball captured its seventh Ivy League tile and first since 2012, the Crimson's 23-18 season came to close following a 10-1 loss to California (35-20) in the NCAA Regionals on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, Harvard became the first team eliminated from the Athens regional, while the Golden Bears move to face Northwestern, who fell to No. 7 Georgia in the first game of the day.
"Getting to this point – ending your season in the NCAA Tournament – is a special accomplishment," says Head Coach Jenny Allard. There are only 64 teams that get to go on in their seasons, and for us to have the season we had, and then really work this hard this week to up our game."
The California offense was not cooled down by an hour and 20-minute weather delay, scoring four quick runs over the first two innings against Crimson starter junior right-hander Sarah Smith. But Harvard was not going to back down.
Junior center fielder Kaitlyn Schiffhauer, who posted a .500 batting average in the NCAA regionals, opened the bottom of the third roping a double into the right center field gap. Moments later, Schiffhauer came in to score the Crimson's first run on base hit into right off the bat of junior shortstop Rhianna Rich.
However, it was all the Crimson was able to muster as Golden Bear starter Kamalani Dung settled down and retired the next nine Harvard batters in order to avoid elimination for California.
- Junior center fielder Kaitlyn Schiffhauer went 1-for-2 at the plate with a double to lead the Crimson with a .500 batting average (2-for-4) on the week.
- Junior shortstop Rhianna Rich went 1-for-2 with an RBI single to right field in the third.
- Junior third baseman Erin Lockhart went 1-for-5 in the series with an RBI triple against No. 7 Georgia.