The Ivy League's softball teams have spent the past month playing teams like Bridgewater State and Wheaton, and, for the most part, have all fared well in early-season competition. The only problem is that a win over Bridgewater State only means something because it isn't a loss to Bridgewater State.
In its snow-shortened season. Harvard has compiled a 4-3 record and the squad still has no idea where it stands in the Ivies. But by late Sunday evening, the Crimson will have to met each of its six league opponents in the Ivy League championships taking place all weekend long at Webster Field And I do mean all weekend long.
Tournament officials have scheduled games for 10 a.m. noon 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. both days, and each team gets only one two-hour break during the weekend.
Any game which has gone five innings and sees one team leading by 10 or more runs will be called. But if two squads are engaged in a nailbiter, the following contests will have to start late. As Harvard Coach John Wentzell pointed out, it's a good thing Daylight Savings Time starts this weekend.
The 10 run, five-inning rule may go into effect when Cornell and Dartmouth play one of the other five competitors, all of whom have an excellent chance at taking the Ivy crown. The teams from Hanover and Ithaca still compete at the club level, and Cornell, appearing in its first tourney ever, receives such little financial support that its players must camp out in the Harvard Houses.
For the varsity teams, pitching--not housing--is the primary concern.
"There are no real outstanding pitchers in the Ivy League." Brown Coach Phil Pincince said as he watched his squad practice at Webster yesterday afternoon. "All of the really good ones take scholarships and go somewhere else."
Close the Door
Pincince may be right, but few of his fellow coaches would consider his pitching staff a problem. Tracy Dickerman has thrown 72 innings for the Bruins and recently held a potent University of Connecticut lineup to three runs.
"She can't pitch every game, but in the important ones, she can just come in a little late and shut the door," Wentzell said.
As stellar as Dickerman has been, Princeton's staff worries opposing coaches even more. The Tigers' top hurler received the All-Ivy laurels at her position last season, and she has another solid pitcher backing her up. Princeton placed second behind UPenn at the 1981 tourney, and the two teams will square off in a 4 p.m. Sunday contest.
Harvard, seeded third, will go with seniors Val Romero and Ellen Jakovic and freshman Inga Larson on the mound.