Softball Wins Three of Five Spring Break Contests

Two extra-inning games bookended the the Harvard women’s softball team’s final set of spring break games in California. Although the Crimson (7-12) split the extra-inning duels, the team earned a 3-2 record over the three-day stretch, winning the opener and sweeping its two contests on the second day.


After retiring three consecutive Toreros hitters in the bottom of the seventh, senior Laura Ricciardone hoped for some offensive support in extra innings to win her second complete, extra-inning game in three days. But the Crimson’s bats went silent and two defensive errors behind Ricciardone in the bottom of the tenth gave San Diego (21-14) the win.

“We need a few other people to match [Laura’s] competitiveness on the field and we will score some runs before seven innings,” Harvard coach Jenny Allard said. “She gave her heart on that field and we need a couple people to step up offensively and we’ll win some more games.”

Toreros freshman Paige von Sprecken held the Crimson to just two hits over ten innings. When Harvard threatened with a runner just 60 feet from home and no outs in the top of the tenth, von Sprecken sent the next three batters down in order to set San Diego up for the win.



The Crimson broke a one-all tie in the third inning and piled on runs in the fourth and fifth to take a decisive 7-3 win over the Knights (3-5). Harvard had 15 hits in the game, with senior shortstop Emily Gusse and freshman left fielder Maddy Kaplan each going 3-for-4.

Sophomore Taylor Cabe pitched three shutout innings in relief to preserve the Crimson’s lead.

“A lot of things started to come together,” Gusse said. “We started to put our our defense and our hitting and our pitching all together at once and got a lot better results.”


A three-run home run off the bat of Gusse gave the Crimson an early 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning. But Harvard saw that lead disappear when the Wildcats (6-22) scored four runs off of Cabe in the bottom half of the inning.

Trailing 4-3 in the fourth inning, the Crimson responded with four runs of their own to retake the lead. Sophomore second baseman Giana Panariello capped off the inning with a base-clearing double.

After Cabe gave up six hits and four runs in the first two innings, sophomore Morgan Groom came on in relief and held Bethune-Cookman to no runs over five innings of work.


The Crimson couldn’t generate any offense against Fairleigh Dickinson senior Megan Reiner, who surrendered just three hits in seven innings of work.

Groom and Cabe combined for six shutout innings, but Fairleigh Dickinson’s three-run fifth proved enough to give Reiner and the Knights the win.

“This trip kind of taught us that we have to figure out how to put things together to push just one or two runs across when things aren’t working as well offensively,” Gusse said. “In order for us to be successful in Ivies, we are going to have to figure out how to strategically just be able to manufacture just a few runs.”


With the score locked at one in the eighth inning, Coach Allard put in freshman Melissa Lacro to pinch run. Lacro advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an error by the Wildcats shortstop to give the Crimson its first extra-inning win of the season.

Harvard also took advantage of small ball to score its first run in the fourth inning. After hitting a single through the right side, senior left fielder Andrea Del Conte stole second to get into scoring position and scored on a single by senior first baseman Adrienne Hume.

Ricciardone came out on top in the pitcher’s duel giving up just five hits and one run in eight innings.


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