Softball Drops Three of Four in South Carolina
After opening the season 2-3, the Harvard softball team dropped three games this weekend, going 1-3 in its second tournament of the season, the Winthrop Adidas Invitational in Rock Hill, S.C.. Runs were at a premium during the weekend, and the Crimson (3-6) found itself playing catch-up for most of the competition.
“I think our offense needs to develop a sense of urgency,” sophomore infielder Katie Lantz said. “[We need to] work on scoring first, scoring more runs, and stringing together more hits.”
WINTHROP 5, HARVARD 4
The weekend finale pitted Harvard against Winthrop. In a back-and-forth game, with multiple lead changes, the Crimson ultimately fell in the bottom of the seventh on a walk-off home run, giving freshman Morgan Groom her second loss of the season. With the loss, Harvard failed to at least split a day’s worth of games for the first time this season.
Harvard only had three extra base hits all weekend, two of which were home runs by junior infielder Kasey Lange.
That said, the 1-3 weekend easily could have been a 3-1 weekend in many of the player’s minds, with the difference coming down to a few plays.
“The pitchers had some great moments, definitely had some good games [and] the infield was a force for the team,” Lantz said. “I thought that we had some close games that we could have won.”
The Crimson have played just two weekends this season, so many of the players are still stiff from the cold Cambridge winters where they are forced to practice inside the bubble on the football field. Many teams, such as Winthrop, have played as many as 22 games already.
‘The more we play the better we do,” Olson said. “Just that confidence knowing that no matter what pitch the pitcher pitches we can succeed [will make the difference].”
WESTERN ILL. 9, HARVARD 1
Against Western Illinois, Harvard fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first inning on a two-out home run. After scoring one run in the first to cut the deficit in half, the Crimson failed to produce another hit, going down 9-1.
“There were definitely moments of greatness,” junior captain Shelbi Olson said. “We just need to bring it together.… We definitely weren’t happy with our performance overall.”
HARVARD 5, N.C. A&T 1
After barely falling to Delaware State, Harvard rebounded by topping North Carolina A&T. The Crimson sent Groom to the mound against the Bulldogs. After falling behind 1-0 by surrendering two doubles in the second inning, Groom settled down to complete the game and strike out eight in a 5-1 victory.
It was Groom’s first victory pitching for the team. Lange hit a three-run home run to give the Crimson the lead for good.
DELAWARE ST. 5, HARVARD 4
In its first game in the Winthrop Adidas Invitational, the Crimson fell behind, 4-1, to Delaware State during the first inning. Although it clawed back to tie the game in the top of the seventh, Harvard was foiled by a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the inning. Lange hit a solo home run for the Crimson in the loss.
Next weekend, in its final weekend tournament trip of the season, the Crimson will travel to California for the San Diego Classic II. Harvard will face some of the best competition it will see all season, including Long Beach State and San Jose St. Many of the players are from California, so there is definitely an excitement to play in front of a home-state crowd.
“California is great because the majority of our team is from out west, so we always have a lot of fans,” Lantz said.
—Staff writer Jacob Lynch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.