Taking the field for the first time this season, the Harvard softball team went 2-3 at the Florida Atlantic Classic.
The Crimson—fielding a young team—picked up wins against Ball State (8-5) and host Florida Atlantic (6-10), but it fell at the hands of Michigan State (9-7), Eastern Michigan (4-5), and Jacksonville (11-4).
Harvard used the weekend to test different lineups and combinations, as the team played together for the first time with the new freshman class.
Sophomore pitcher Gabrielle Ruiz started three of the five games, and freshmen Jamie Halula and Morgan Groom got one start each and pitched in relief.
“I think what we did a good job of was reading scouting reports and trying to match pitchers to lineups,” Crimson coach Jenny Allard said. “[Against Michigan State] we knew a lefty-lefty matchup would be really effective. We ended up starting Gabby, which worked out really well for us because she kept us in the game.”
MICHIGAN STATE 1, HARVARD 0
The Crimson was held to only two hits in seven innings and was unable to score after singles by sophomore second baseman Katherine Lantz in the fourth and sophomore left fielder Andrea Del Conte in the seventh.
“I think the biggest thing we need to work on is becoming more of an offensive powerhouse,” said junior co-captain and right fielder Shelbi Olson. “We have good batters, but we just need to string more hits together. It’s something that will come with time.”
Ruiz took her first loss of the season after allowing three hits in 2.1 innings of work. The Spartans’ only run came in the second, when sophomore catcher Ellie Stoffer reached on a fielding error and was singled home by freshman shortstop Destinee Luna.
HARVARD 3, FLORIDA ATLANTIC 2
Harvard held the lead for most of the game after putting the first run on the board in the bottom of the third. Del Conte singled and stole second, and she was doubled home by third baseman Kasey Lange.
The Owls came back with two in the fourth after Ruiz gave up back-to-back doubles to sophomore designated hitter Laura Mann and junior shortstop Shelby Knox.
After falling behind, 2-1, the Crimson responded with a pair in the fifth and both teams went scoreless for the remainder of the game. After a leadoff single, designated player Haley Davis advanced to second on a sacrifice and scored on a single by Lantz.
Lantz moved to second on an intentional walk and came home on a Stephanie Regan single.
Ruiz picked up her second win in as many starts, allowing four hits in her first career complete game.