In the second weekend of a 12-game stint in sunny California, the Harvard softball team went 2-3 at the Cal State Northridge tournament.
The Crimson struggled to score runs at first, losing the first three contests and never scoring more than two runs in any game. But on the last day of the tournament, the squad finally clicked offensively, heading into Ivy League play on a two-game winning streak.
HARVARD 7, UNIVERSITY OF THE PACIFIC 1
In its final matchup of the tournament, the Crimson avenged the previous day’s 4-2 loss to the Tigers. After getting out to an early two-run lead, the Harvard offense exploded in the top of the fifth inning for five runs and never looked back.
The upperclassmen showed up offensively, putting the team on their backs and contributing to seven runs. Captains Kasey Lange and Shelbi Olson, and junior Katherine Lantz each had two hits, including a three-run home run in the fifth by Lantz.
Freshman pitcher Taylor Cabe pitched a complete game to improve to 3-6 on the season, giving up only one run on four hits. The win was her first of the road trip.
HARVARD 8, CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD 2
In the first game Saturday, the Crimson also showed up to beat a Cal State Bakersfield team to which it had lost the day before. After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, Lange launched a two-run homer to right field to give Harvard a lead that it would never relinquish.
Lange, the all-time long ball record holder for Harvard, had two goners on the day, also stepping into another two-run shot in the sixth. Both times, she drove in her co-captain Olson.
Junior Laura Ricciardone pitched six strong to earn the win, moving to 5-5 on the season, before handing off the ball to Cabe, who held Bakersfield in the last frame.
“The last day in California, our team really figured out what we were struggling with and came out with two solid wins,” said Ricciardone.
CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD 2, HARVARD 1 (8 INNINGS)