LUBBOCK, Texas - Harvard broke open a one-run game with a five-run fifth inning that propelled the Crimson past Texas Tech, 6-0, Monday afternoon in the final game of the San Diego State Classic at SDSU Softball Stadium.
The loss marked Tech's third-straight loss to close its trip to California. It is the first time this year where the Red Raiders (22-9) have lost three games in a row.
"Harvard has a good club and they always have good pitching," Tech head coach Shanon Hays said. "We hit the ball well just right at them several times. We need to get back to Lubbock and get back on track Wednesday night against North Texas."
Laura Ricciardone (4-3) held the Red Raiders to just four hits, three of which that came off the bat of Kristi Belshe, who finished 3-for-3 with three infield singles.
Lea Hopson provided Tech's only other hit as she followed Belshe with a single in the fourth inning that put two on for the Red Raiders with only one out. Tech stranded both, though, en route to leaving five on for the game.
Ricciardone allowed no free passes and struck out four en route to retiring the Red Raiders in order in four of their seven innings at the plate. It marked the first time Tech had been shutout since falling to Sam Houston State, 2-0, on March 1.
Ricciardone was given an early one-run lead in the first inning off an Adrienne Hume RBI single that landed in shallow center field. Hume finished 2-for-3 with two RBI as she also drove in a run in Harvard's five-run fifth inning.
Hume's single in the first marked the only earned run allowed by the Tech pitching staff as all five runs in the fifth came unearned following a leadoff error by the Red Raiders.
Brittany Talley (8-1) earned her first loss of the season in the circle as the left-hander went four full innings before giving way to Cassie McClure after Harvard had each of its first two hitters reach base in the fifth.
McClure retired the first two batters she faced before Hume and Savannah Bradley knocked back-to-back singles into center field. Bradley's single scored two and forced Hays to turn to Cara Custer to close the final 1.1 innings.The loss dropped Tech to 4-3 in its seven-game trip to California. The Red Raiders continue their busy Spring Break schedule Wednesday night at home with a 6 p.m. doubleheader against North Texas at Rocky Johnson Field.