Harvard is one of two undefeated team remaining in the Ivy League (Gil Talbot).
It will be a full slate of Ivy League games coming up for the Harvard softball team, with a makeup doubleheader at Princeton scheduled for Thursday and a pair of North Division twinbills slated for Saturday and Sunday. The games against the Tigers were originally scheduled for March 28, but the teams snuck in just four innings before rain suspended the action.
Last Time Out
Harvard extended its winning streak to a program-record tying 12 games with a four-game sweep of Brown last weekend at Soldiers Field. A three-run bottom of the first got things started in the right direction for Harvard in Game 1, leading to a 4-1 victory to open the series. Emily Gusse's two-run triple highlighted a three-run third frame in Game 2, en route to a 4-0 win to close out Day 1. Katherine Lantz drove a three-run homer in the first inning of Sunday's opener to power Harvard to a 6-4 victory, and home runs from Kasey Lange, Adrienne Hume and Gusse sparked a 5-2 final for Harvard to close out the series.
At 7-0, the Crimson is one of two undefeated teams in league play heading into Thursday. To watch highlights from Harvard's Ivy League action this season, click here.
Where We Left Off…
The Crimson and Tigers were tied up at 0-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning when the game was suspended. Harvard's aggressive base running did not phase the host Tigers, as two Crimson runners were caught trying to steal, with one ending a potential threat in the third inning. Adrienne Hume was seeing the ball well with a pair of hits in her two at-bats, while Laura Ricciardone was on cruise control, scattering two hits and fanning to batters in three innings of work.
There is plenty of parity in the Ivy League South Division this season and the Tigers have done well to hang with defending league champ Penn, sitting just a half a game back at 6-4 in Ancient Eight play. After dropping a pair of games to Dartmouth to open its Ivy slate, Princeton split with Yale and then took two from Brown to reach .500 in league play. The Tigers dropped the first game of a four-game series against Columbia last weekend, but took the final three to push their Ivy win total to six.
Like Brown, Yale is having a tough time finding "W's" in its 2014 campaign, entering the Harvard series with a 1-11 league record, its lone win coming against the Tigers. Yale faces off against Sacred Heart Wednesday night, hoping to improve on its 5-27 overall record. The Bulldogs have battled hard at home this season, posting a 2-4 record in New Haven, and keeping all team within three runs or less in its four losses.
Senior Tori Balta has provided a spark to the Yale offense, leading the team with 33 hits, a .367 batting average and 11 stolen bases. She has also cross the plate a team-high 11 times and leads the squad with nine doubles. Sophomore Lauren Delgadillo has been the power supply, driving in a team-best 12 runs and standing tied with junior Hannah Brennan for the team lead in home runs with two. Rookie Lindsay Efflandt has seen the most work of any Yale pitcher this year, and leads the team with a 3.08 earned-run average and 29 strikeouts.
Harvard In The Ivies
Even though the Crimson has played just seven Ivy League games, the fewest of any team in the league, it still stands among the league leaders in many categories in Ivy games. Harvard has the highest runs-per-game average in the league (5.71) and also leads the Ancient Eight in doubles per game (2.0) and steals (21). The Crimson has the lowest team ERA at 1.29, one of just two teams with an ERA below two, and is a close second behind Dartmouth in strikeouts per game (6.86).
Kasey Lange ranks among the league's best in a number of categories: runs scored (2nd, 24), hits (4th, 36), RBI (2nd, 24) and doubles (2nd, 10). Laura Ricciardone holds the league's second best in-conference ERA at 1.90 and is also second in wins (11) and innings pitched (103.1).
The Crimson continues its lengthy Ivy road stretch when it heads to Ithaca, N.Y., to take on Cornell in a doubleheader April 22, originally scheduled for March 29.