Softball Drops Low-Scoring Affair to Rhode Island
After losing four of five games in the San Diego State Classic II, Harvard softball (9-11) limped back to Cambridge to kick off play in the Northeast against the University of Rhode Island (8-10).
The return to New England was not kind to Harvard, as Rhode Island emerged victorious, 4-2, in a low-scoring affair in Kingston, R.I.
“Midweek games are mental challenges,” captain Zoe Galindo said. “[W]e now know we can do better with facing them in the future.”
Despite solid outings from junior Taylor Cabe and freshman Kathleen Duncan in the circle, Harvard could not get anything going offensively against URI starter Becca Rogers.
The freshman, who is emerging as the ace of the Rhode Island staff, limited Harvard to two runs on six hits in a complete-game performance. The righthander struck out six and only allowed one free pass.
The game started off as a pitchers’ duel between Cabe and Rogers, but in the bottom of the fourth, URI strung together four hits to plate three runs.
A double and a bunt single put runners in scoring position for URI, and it capitalized with a pair of RBI singles and a sacrifice fly. Cabe managed to strand runners on first and second to escape the inning but not before URI jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
Harvard found itself trailing, 4-0, after a home run by URI junior Jenna Cubello in the bottom of the fifth.
However, the leadoff solo shot was the only run that the Rams managed against Duncan, who took over in the fifth. After a single, a walk, and a fielder’s choice, Duncan was able to escape the jam, stranding two runners in scoring position.
Harvard began a comeback in the next half inning, but Rogers managed to finish the game without surrendering the lead.
Despite two errors by Cubello at shortstop in the top of the seventh, Harvard only managed to push one runner across the plate.
After the errors, freshman Meagan Lantz doubled to drive in sophomore Dallas Hogan and advance freshman Rhianna Rich to third base. Down two runs with two runners in scoring position and two outs, senior Haley Davis grounded to short, but this time Cubello handled the ball cleanly and threw across the diamond for the final out of the game.
Rich, who leads the team with 26 hits through 20 games, had a rare off day at the plate. The El Segundo, Calif. native went hitless in four at bats in the leadoff spot.
Lantz and junior Savannah Bradley combined for four of Harvard’s six hits and drove in both of the team’s runs. Bradley homered for the second time this season in the sixth inning.
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