Harvard opens play at the San Diego Classic II Friday against Colorado State (Photo: Mike Slade)
The Harvard softball team hits the road for its annual spring break trip March 15-20 in San Diego, Calif. The Crimson will take part in the San Diego Classic II tournament and will also take on Loyola Marymount in a doubleheader.
About The Crimson
Harvard wings west with a 3-6 record on the year, having competed in tournaments in Florida and South Carolina already this year. A trio of sophomores have sparked the Crimson offense this season, as it ranks within the team's top four in hits. Outfielder Andrea Del Conte has been a major factor for Harvard, leading the team with 10 hits, a .400 batting average and .423 on-base percentage. She is also a perfect 6 for 6 in steals and is second on the team with five runs scored.
Classmates Emily Gusse and Katherine Lantz have seven hits apiece, with Lantz scoring a team-best seven runs in nine games. Gusse also ranks second on the squad with six RBI. Junior slugger Kasey Lange is providing the pop once again for Harvard, bashing a pair of home runs in last weekend's Winthrop Invitational and driving in a team-high seven runs this season.
Harvard has adopted a pitching-by-committee approach in the early going with rookies Morgan Groom and Jamie Halula and sophomore Gabrielle Ruiz seeing nearly equal time in the circle. Groom has been solid in her first collegiate season, hurling 17 innings and posting a 2.47 earned-run average to go along with 17 strikeouts. Each pitcher has a win to their credit, while Halula has the slight edge in strikeouts with 21 in 22 innings pitched.
Last Time Out
The Crimson put together a 1-3 record in a two-day stay at the Winthrop Adidas Invitational last weekend. While the Crimson opened the tournament with a 5-4 loss to Delaware State, it quickly rebounded with a decisive 5-1 win over North Carolina A&T. Groom surrendered back-to-back doubles in the second which resulted in North Carolina A&T taking a 1-0 lead, but it was smooth sailing from that point on. She would surrender just one hit in the final five innings and register eight strikeouts in the complete-game victory. Lange ripped a three-run homer to center in the bottom of the third and drove in her fourth run of the day on an RBI groundout.
On Day 2 of the tournament, Harvard dropped a 9-1 decision to Western Illinois in the first game and narrowly fell to host Winthrop, 5-4, in the event finale. Del Conte and Katherine Appelbe recorded two hits apiece in the loss to the Eagles.
About The San Diego Classic II
Harvard's spring break tournament destination features a large field and some of the top talent in the country. One of 16 teams competing, Harvard opens play Friday against Colorado State and will go on to play San Jose State, Long Beach State, Miami (Ohio) and San Diego. At the 2012 San Diego Classic II, the Crimson went 2-1 before having its final day of competition rained out.
After The Tournament
Following its stay in San Diego, the Crimson will return to the Northeast to take on Syracuse in a pair of games March 23-24. The showdown between the Crimson and Orange is being billed as the "Duel in the Dome," as the games will be played in the Carrier Dome.