Rhianna Rich has scored 18 times this season, second-most on the Crimson roster (Fran Ruchalski).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Riding a five-game win streak, the Harvard softball team (16-13, 6-2 Ivy) will host Maine (15-13) Thursday for a single game at 3 p.m. before heading to Connecticut this weekend for a four-game series at Yale (11-21, 4-4 Ivy).
Fans can watch Thursday's game against the Black Bears on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Last Time Out
Taking on Columbia and Penn at Soldiers Field last weekend, the Crimson swept doubleheaders from the Lions and Quakers to improve to 6-2 in the Ancient Eight. Harvard opened the weekend with its second-straight shutout victory, blanking Columbia 8-0 in five innings before edging out a 4-3 victory in game two.
Game one on Saturday against Penn featured an exciting finish in extra innings as Giana Panariellodrove in the game-winning run with a single to right field as part of an 11-10 triumph. Game two proved much shorter, as Harvard racked up the runs as part of a 10-2 win in five frames.
The eight Ivy League teams completed inter-division play last weekend, with Harvard going 6-2 against South Division foes. That record is good for second in the North Division standings, trailing Dartmouth's mark of 8-0. Brown stands at 5-3, while Yale is 4-4.
.500 or Better
Harvard's 4-0 weekend against Columbia and Penn was powered by an offensive explosion that saw five starters hit .500 or better. Sophomore Maddy Kaplan led the way with a .583 average (7-for-12) and seven RBI. Freshman Rhianna Rich had the most hits with eight, batting .533 over the weekend, while accumulating a team-high 11 total bases. Giana Panariello, Meagan Lantz andElizabeth Shively each hit .500 over the four-game span with Lantz matching Kaplan's seven RBI.
Keep the Runs Coming
Harvard is averaging an Ivy League-best 4.97 runs per game this season. A pair of rookies in Lantz and Rich have accounted for 26 and 18 runs, respectively, to lead the team. Zoe Galindo (15), Kaplan (14), Haley Davis (11) and Panariello (11) have also scored at least 10 times.
Double or Nothing
Harvard's hitters have racked up 52 doubles, good for a 1.79 per game average. That mark is second-best in the Ivy League and the seventh-highest in the country. Brown leads the conference with a 1.81 per game average, while Oregon leads the nation at 2.03.
Sit 'Em Down
Senior pitcher Morgan Groom continues to rack up the strikeouts, sending 13 batters back to the dugout last weekend, bringing her season total to 61. Averaging 7.4 per seven innings, Groom paces the Ivy League and ranks 65th in the nation.
Follow the Leader
Who holds the top statistical marks for the Crimson this year?
The Black Bears are coming off an impressive weekend sweep of UMass Lowell, shutting out the River Hawks in all three games and outscoring its America East foe, 27-0. Maine opened the series with an 8-0 victory and went on to post wins of 6-0 and 13-0 to improve to 15-13 overall and 4-1 in conference.
Sophomore pitcher Molly Flowers tossed her second no-hitter of the season in the first game of the series, striking out 11 to collect America East pitcher of the Week accolades. Flowers leads America East with an opponent batting average of .176 and 91 strikeouts.
Senior catcher Janelle Bouchard has the top batting average among qualified players, hitting at a .402 clip with 22 RBI. Freshman Alyssa Derrick's 29 RBI leads the Black Bears, while sophomore Erika Leonard has swiped a team-high 165 bases.
Harvard leads the all-time series against Maine, 9-8, with the most recent meeting coming in 2012 when the Crimson picked up a 3-2 win in Northridge, California.
After dropping two games to Princeton, each by one run in extra innings, Yale bounced back with a doubleheader sweep of Cornell last weekend. The Bulldogs carry an 11-21 overall record with two games at Quinnipiac Wednesday night before hosting Harvard Saturday and Sunday at DeWitt Family Field.
Freshman Terra Jerpbak has been counted on heavily in the circle and at the plate for the Bulldogs. Jerpbak is second on the Yale squad with 77.2 innings pitched and a 4.06 ERA, while matching junior Lindsay Efflandt for the team-lead with four wins. At the plate she is hitting .340 in 50 at bats. Senior infielder Brittany Labbadia leads the Bulldogs with 32 hits and is second with 13 RBI. Sophomore Allison Skinner has driven in 16 runs.
The Crimson have had a stronghold on the all-times series, posting a 65-19 record against its archrival. Harvard won the first three games of last year's series, extending its win streak to 25-straight games before Yale took the series finale, 3-1.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a third season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Use the Social Stream on GoCrimson.com to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all four platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.
To keep up with Harvard softball on twitter, follow here.