The Harvard softball team may be five weeks deep into its schedule, but the real season has just begun.
The Crimson (18-10, 4-0 Ivy) opened conference play on the road this weekend and didn’t waste any time asserting itself as the favorite to defend its Ivy League North title.
With strong pitching from junior Rachel Brown and freshman Laura Ricciardone and a combined 13 RBI from co-captain Ellen Macadam and rookie Kasey Lange, Harvard swept its four-game set with South Division foes Penn (10-11, 2-2) and Columbia (8-19, 0-4).
The Crimson recorded 2-1 and 10-0 victories over the Quakers on Saturday before turning in matching 4-2 wins over the Lions yesterday.
“It was a great weekend to open the Ivies,” junior Whitney Shaw said. “We just did a great job of sticking with the other teams and working inning to inning and making sure we came up with the results.”
HARVARD 4, COLUMBIA 2
In its weekend finale, Macadam made sure Harvard got off on the right foot, putting the second pitch of the game over the left-field fence en route to a 4-2 Crimson win.
“Ellen’s a veteran, and she came out really poised and came out really focused,” Harvard coach Jenny Allard said. “She battled every at-bat—I thought she was one of our toughest outs all weekend.”
Macadam’s solo shot gave the Crimson an early 1-0 lead, an advantage that the squad doubled in the fourth. Lange led off the inning with a double and came around to score on freshman Alison Scott’s double to left center.
Lange then made the lead 4-0 in the top of the fifth, driving in Macadam and co-captain Emily Henderson with a single to right.
Ricciardone held Columbia scoreless until the seventh but couldn’t quite hold on for her second shutout of the weekend.
Alison Lam scored the Lions’ first run on a fielding error, and Jennifer Bergeron drove in a second run with a single. But that was as close as Columbia got, as Ricciardone got Karen Tulig to hit into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
HARVARD 4, COLUMBIA 2
In yesterday’s opener, Lange’s third-inning grand slam provided all the offense the Crimson and pitcher Brown would need in a 4-2 win at CU Softball Stadium.
Lange’s bomb to center field plated sophomore Ashley Heritage, Macadam, and sophomore Stephanie Regan, who had reached base on three straight Columbia errors.