Softball Takes Three of Four Against Yale

In its 2016 season, Harvard softball went 16-4 in Ivy League play en route to a berth in the Ivy League Championship Series. Entering this weekend, the Crimson had lost five of its eight Ancient Eight matchups.

Returning to Cambridge after an away win at Bryant, Harvard (15-15, 6-6 Ivy) looked to reverse its fortunes as it kicked off its divisional slate with two doubleheaders against Yale (11-24, 5-7). The Crimson managed to do just that, taking three of four from its rival from New Haven.

“It's very important to come out strong in our division,” sophomore third baseman Erin Lockhart said. “The three wins this weekend allowed us to stay in the running, which is huge for us.”

HARVARD 5, YALE 4 (9 innings)

In a nine-inning marathon, Harvard squeaked past the Bulldogs by a 5-4 margin for the second straight game.

In the bottom of the ninth with the score still sitting at 4-4, senior right fielder Maddy Kaplan led off by stroking a single to center field. She immediately stole second to put a runner in scoring position for Lockhart.

With the count full, Lockhart blasted a fastball over the head of Yale right fielder Rachel Paris. Kaplan raced around to score from second without a play at the plate, and the Crimson celebrated its third victory of the weekend in walk-off fashion.

“Erin really came through this weekend when players were on base so the dugout knew she was going to get the job done,” sophomore shortstop Rhianna Rich said.

Senior starter Taylor Cabe’s pitching was crucial to keep Yale off the board in the extra innings victory. The Boiling Springs, S.C. native only allowed one Bulldog to reach base in the two frames, and she recorded five of the six final outs via groundout.

“In those extra innings Taylor Cabe did a great job of managing Yale's offense and limiting their hits,” Rich added.

The Bulldogs forced extra innings by squeezing across a run in its half of the sixth. Paris led off with a triple to right. Cabe was able to induce a flyout and a strikeout to retire the next two batters, but senior first baseman Camille Weisenbach poked a single into right field to knot the game at four apiece.

The top half of Harvard’s lineup once again led the way. Rich and Kaplan recorded three hits and two runs each. Two of Rich’s hits were triples, her fourth and fifth of the season. Lockhart had two hits, including the walk-off double, and she drove in three.

Rebounding from a tough loss the previous day, Cabe stayed on the mound for all nine innings, conceding four runs and striking out four for her fourth win of the year.

HARVARD 5, YALE 4

The Crimson kicked off Sunday’s set of games with a win behind yet another strong performance from sophomore lefthander Katie Duncan. Making her second start in the circle in the four-game set, the Allendale, N.J. native went seven strong innings and allowed two earned runs.

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