CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- The Harvard softball team (22-17, 15-5 Ivy) clinched its fourth-straight appearance to the Ivy League playoffs during a sweep on the day against Cornell (10-35, 5-15 Ivy). The Crimson took the first contest, 8-0, in a five-inning fashion before picking up another eight runs on the scoreboard during its 8-4 senior game victory in game two.
Game 1, W; 8-0
Early in the game, senior Katie Duncan retired the side, while ending back-to-back innings with standing strikeouts in the first and second. Harvard capitalized on the momentum from Duncan as first-year Trina Hoang began the soon-to-be offensive onslaught with a single up the middle. She then stole second in the bottom of the third as Rhianna Rich followed with a single through the right before collecting a stolen base of her own. Fellow senior Kaitlyn Schiffhauer tabbed the game's first RBI as she drove in Hoang and Rich with a double down the left field line, 2-0.
After a walk from Erin Lockhart, Harvard saw four RBI singles from Elizabeth Shively, Megan Welsh, Teagan Shaw and Rich to exit the third with a commanding 8-0 mark. Duncan and the rest of her defense continued to shutout the Big Red for the remaining two innings in order to force the run rule in effect.
Game 2, W; 8-4
Despite an early Cornell lead, the Crimson rallied back to overcome a three-run deficit, and capture an 8-4 thrilling win. With the victory the Crimson will, at minimum, share the Ivy League regular season title alongside Columbia, but holds the tiebreaker.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Harvard chipped away and registered its first run of the game off a Morgan Melito single to second, which brought in an awaiting Shively. Harvard resumed where it left off a Teagan Shaw reached base on a walk before Rich and Lockhart found themselves on base. Now with bases-loaded, the left-handed batter Kaitlyn Schiffhauer struck the ball to the left center field gap, which cleared the bases and used her speed to pick up the RBI triple.
With the momentum caused by Schiffhauer's hit, Elizabeth Shively drove in Meagan Lantz on a single to left field for the one-run cushion over the Big Red, 5-4. Harvard sealed the victory with three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, before single-season record holder in saves, Alissa Hiener, retired the side.
- Senior Kaitlyn Schiffhauer catapulted the Crimson's offensive efforts as she registered a .500 batting average, five RBI's, two runs and a walk on the day.
- Katie Duncan tallied her second shutout of the season in addition to six strikeouts and just nine hits.
- Alissa Hiener broke the single-season saves record, with her three-up-three down inning in the top of the seventh, collecting her sixth of the year.
- The Crimson will head to its fourth-straight Ivy League playoff appearance. The Class of 2019 marks this first time in program history a group has been able to do so.
The Crimson concludes its regular season as it eyes the outright title as Ivy League champions with the 2:30 p.m. series conclusion against Cornell tomorrow, May 5. Broadcast will air on ESPN+.