Spring Break Trip Offers Tough Tests For Harvard Softball

Spring Break Trip Offers Tough Tests For Harvard Softball

Harvard will play 11 games in nine days during its spring break trip (Photo courtesy: NCAA).

The Particulars
The Harvard softball team embarks on its annual spring break trip to California, playing 11 games over the course of nine days. The Crimson will take part in two tournaments, beginning with the Northridge Classic and ending with the San Diego Classic II.

A Look At The Schedule
Harvard begins its California trip with a game against tournament host Cal State Northridge March 9. Harvard takes on Cal State Bakersfield and Northridge the following day and wraps up the first tournament of the trip with games against Oregon State and Maine. The Crimson takes on Utah State in a single game in Los Angeles March 12, before a two-day break in game action. The San Diego State tournament begins with a game against the tournament host March 15. UNLV and Long Beach State will face the Crimson March 16, and Harvard will round out its trip with games against Cal State Bakersfield and San Diego the following day.

Last Time Out
Harvard compiled a 2-3 record at the South Florida Under Armour Invitational in its first weekend of action. Rachel Brown allowed one run and fanned nine hitters in the season-opening win against Toledo, and Laura Ricciardone followed with a three-hit shutout in a 2-0 win over Loyola Marymount. Harvard ended the tournament with close losses to Western Michigan (3-1), Miami (Ohio) (2-1) and South Florida (4-2).

Early Ivy Honors
In the first round of the 2012 Ivy League weekly awards, Rachel Brown and Kasey Lange captured Pitcher and Player of the Week, respectively. Brown posted a 1-1 record in her first weekend of action, pitching 18 innings with 21 strikeouts and a 0.78 earned-run average. Lange led all Harvard hitters at the USF tournament with eight hits, including a triple and a home run, and also drove in a pair of runs against the Bulls in the tournament finale. It represents Brown's ninth Pitcher of the Week honor in her career and Lange's third Player of the Week nod.

Last Year in California
The Crimson tallied five wins on its spring break trip last season, finishing with a 5-6 record and keeping every loss within three runs. Harvard rattled off three straight wins to start the trip, downing UC Riverside (7-4), St. Louis (2-1) and North Dakota (6-1). The Crimson went on to defeat Loyola Marymount, 4-1, and capped the trip with a 1-0 win over San Diego at the San Diego Classic II tournament. In the game against San Diego, Rachel Brown fired a one-hit shutout, surrendering her first hit in the seventh inning and striking out 15 batters.

When They Get Back
Harvard will have to acclimate to the Northeast weather quickly upon returning home, as the Crimson hosts Quinnipiac in a doubleheader March 22 at Soldiers Field. Game 1 is slated to begin at 3 p.m.