BOSTON, Mass.—After road trips to Florida and California, Harvard softball may have been spoiled by warmer spring climates over spring break.
The team’s return to Massachusetts was hardly comfortable. Taking on Boston University in their annual cross-river matchup, the teams battled both cold weather and harsh winds at BU Softball Field, and Harvard (9-8) was forced to adjust to softball back in the Northeast.
But it didn’t miss a beat, coming out victorious over the Terriers in a close 2-1 victory yesterday afternoon.
The Crimson was able to jump on BU early after junior infielder Whitney Shaw drove in Stephanie Regan with an infield single.
But though Harvard got eight hits throughout the game, it struggled to put them together after the first, stranding eight runners on base over the course of the afternoon.
“That’s been our struggle and is our focus for the next week and a half and continuing through the season,” Allard said. “We’re hitting the ball well, we’re swinging at good pitches, [and] we’re having quality at bats, but we just need to figure out a lineup that is going to score a ton of runs.”
In the meantime freshman Laura Ricciardone was keeping the Terrier hitters in check.
Ricciardone pitched three scoreless innings before allowing BU to score its only run of the game in the fourth inning. The tying run came when junior Kayla Kruper scored off a ground out by freshman Megan Volpano to bring BU even. Kruper had pinch ran for teammate Brittany Clendenny, whom Ricciardone had walked.
The Terriers threatened in the third inning and again in the fourth, but freshman third baseman Kasey Lange prevented the potential go-ahead runs.
In the third, with one out and a runner 60 feet away, Lange fielded a ground ball and decided to throw home for the out rather than get the easier force out at first.
“I heard the third base coach tell the girl to go, so I just thought instantly to throw home because I knew [the run] would tie the game,” Lange said.
During the fourth inning, after the Terriers scored on a ground out, the Crimson caught BU freshman Amy Ekart in a rundown between third and home.
As Ekart broke for home, Lange ran her down and leaped to tag her right before she could score.
“I knew that she was the go-ahead run, and we didn’t want to fall behind, so I went after her,” Lange said. “I knew she was faster than me, so I dove at her to make the tag.”
It was Lange that came up big for the Crimson once again, this time with her bat.