Softball Faces Stiff West Coast Competition at SDSU Tournament

Coming off of an impressive defeat of No. 23 Louisiana State at the Purple and Gold Challenge, the Harvard women’s softball team (11-11) traveled to San Diego to take part in the San Diego Classic II tournament held Mar. 15-17. Though the Crimson went a disappointing 2-3 on the trip, the team used the early losses as teaching points to help spark its previously dormant offense, picking up a pair of wins as Harvard prepared for the second half of its west coast swing and the start of its Ivy League play.

SAN DIEGO STATE 3, HARVARD 0

In its final game at San Diego State (24-9), Harvard got a second look at the home team after suffering a 10-6 loss two days prior. By the fifth inning, Harvard had gone 17 straight innings without allowing a run in the tournament.

The Crimson defense then cracked, as freshman pitcher Taylor Cabe allowed two earned runs. The freshman received little support from the bats, as Harvard’s offense was stymied on the afternoon. Despite only allowing four hits, Cabe suffered the loss and dropped to 2-4 on the season.

While Katherine Lantz and Catherine Callaway each recorded two hits, the rest of the Crimson’s offense struggled. Despite having scored 24 runs in the past three games, Harvard couldn’t cross home plate.

The Crimson managed only six hits in the game, and two homeruns from SDSU proved to be the difference on the day.

HARVARD 6, TEXAS-TECH 0

In its second-to-last game of the tournament, Harvard drew Texas Tech (27-9), its opponent from the 2012 NCAA Regional Tournament in Seattle.

Though the Red Raiders had already played twice as many games as the Crimson this year, Harvard still managed to come together and find some team chemistry in San Diego. With a Texas Tech team hungry for revenge, the Crimson delivered a convincing performance and a repeat of the result from two years ago.

“We were coming off of two losses the day before…and we have a history with Texas Tech,” pitcher Laura Ricciardone said. “It’s always competitive when we play them, so the team was really excited to have a very competitive opponent.”

On no days rest, Ricciardone returned to the circle and continued her dominance from the mound. The junior posted the complete-game shutout to improve to 4-3 on the year.

“Our defense was incredible and stayed on point,” Ricciardone said. “Our offense made some good adjustments, and we were firing on all cylinders.

Allowing only three hits and no walks, Ricciardone was able to compile a streak of 13 scoreless innings in less than 24 hours. After junior Adrienne Hume put Harvard on the board in the first inning with a single to center, the Crimson hung onto the narrow lead until the fifth inning.

Harvard’s offensive juggernaut then burst for five runs, thanks to RBIs from Shelbi Olson and Kasey Lange. Hume then added her second RBI of the day, and Savannah Bradley then followed suit by driving in two runs on her own.

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