The Harvard softball team stayed in contention for an Ivy League Championship Series bid as it tripped up to Providence, R.I., and swept Brown in a three-game weekend series, putting the Crimson second in the Ivy North Division behind only Dartmouth. The three victories extended Harvard’s Ivy win streak to five consecutive games. The Crimson’s away record improved to 7-5 as well.
Following four scoreless innings, Providence scored eight runs on Tuesday afternoon to doom the Crimson, 8-3.
Returning to Cambridge after an away win at Bryant, Harvard (15-15, 6-6 Ivy) looked to reverse its fortunes as it kicked off its divisional slate with two doubleheaders against Yale (11-24, 5-7). The Crimson managed to do just that, taking three of four from its rival from New Haven.
After building a 6-2 lead over Bryant, the visiting Crimson allowed three runs in each of the proceeding innings before holding off the Bulldogs in the seventh to secure the 6-5 victory.
Despite the ups and downs of the weekend, one constant was sophomore shortstop Rhianna Rich, who was named Athlete of the Week. The El Segundo, Calif. native had nine hits in 14 at bats, including two triples.
Harvard softball traveled to Philadelphia and New York to kick off its 2017 Ivy League slate against conference foes Penn and Columbia. A year removed from finishing as the runner-up in the Ancient Eight, the Crimson faltered in its first two conference doubleheaders.
Following a hot start to its 2017 season, the Harvard women’s softball team faltered in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Rainbow Wahine Classic, losing six of its seven contests. All told, Harvard played 12 games in nine days between the Long Beach State Tournament and the tournament in Hawaii.
The Harvard softball team enters 2017 with a chip on its shoulder after coming within one game of winning an Ivy League championship and advancing to the NCAA Regional tournament in 2016.
The game-delaying strip was not the most surprising sight at Harvard Stadium on Saturday, however. Seeing a wave of blue stream onto the field as the clock expired and seeing Harvard players jog back to the locker room was totally unexpected. Cliché time: it kind of felt like an episode of The Twilight Zone.
The legend goes that in 1884, Frederick Plummer, a freshman at the College, cobbled together a pennant adorned with a large “H.” Out of this one fan’s remarkable dedication, a tradition was born.
After staging a fourth-quarter comeback to tie the game at 14, Harvard fell victim to a pair of late touchdowns. Penn emerged with a 27-14 win and prevented the Crimson from clinching a share of the Ivy title.
I know it’s shocking, but Harvard is once again in prime position to claim the throne. A win against Penn would guarantee the Crimson four straight Ivy League titles.
The Lions’ early touchdown-fueled lead was ominous based on its 2016 track record, and sure enough Columbia continued its trend of losing high-scoring games. After a slow start, Harvard steamrolled its way through the third quarter to secure a 28-21 win.
However, in a matchup that seemed destined to be defined by defense, both teams’ offensive attacks shone through as the deciding factors in the Crimson’s 23-21 triumph over the Big Green.
Fueled by last year’s 14-13 defeat at Harvard Stadium, Dartmouth (3-3, 0-3 Ivy) will attempt to bump Harvard down in the standings when the Crimson (5-1, 3-0) visits Hanover, N.H. this weekend.