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Crimson, Big Green Face Off

Baseball, Softball and M. Lax All Head North to Dartmouth

By Matthew F. Delmont

This weekend, a lot of people wearing crimson will travel to rural New Hampshire with sticks and bats to do battle with a group of people who call themselves the Big Green.

Although this sounds like the preview for a war between two fashion crazed gangs, it is actually the preface to a big weekend for the Harvard baseball, softball and men's lacrosse teams.

All three Crimson teams will travel to Dartmouth this weekend.

Baseball

The weekend is most important for the baseball team, who can clinch the Red Rolfe Division title with a solid outing.

Harvard (23-11, 14-2 Ivy) currently leads Yale (12-4) by two games and Dartmouth (11-5) by three in the Red Rolfe Division of the Ivies.

The Crimson will play a double-header at Dartmouth tomorrow, before returning with the Big Green to play a twin bill at O'Donnell Field on Sunday.

If the Crimson can manage a spilt in the home-at-home series, it will clinch a second straight division title.

"This is a huge series," junior Aaron Kessler said. "We're coming in with a lot of confidence. Our pitching and hitting have been excellent. We're not expecting to lose."

The stats look good for Harvard, who has won eight straight Ivy League contests and nine of its last 10 games. The Crimson are also 8-0 on the road in league play.

In addition to these team stats, Harvard also has some impressive individual numbers. Junior Andrew Huling is second in league play batting with a .458 average. The Crimson also has the top two hurlers in the Ivies in junior Frank Hogan and sophomore Andrew Duffell.

Hogan is second in the Ivies with a 2.43 ERA, behind Duffell and his league leading 1.62 ERA.

Softball

The softball team will finish its regular season with a double-header tomorrow at Dartmouth. A sweep of the Big Green (6-24, 1-9) would give the Crimson (27-17-1 overall, 6-4) Ivies) a share of second place in the Ivy League with Princeton, behind league champion Brown.

Harvard will look for Ivy League Rookie of the Week Deb Abeles to continue her hot hitting. The fresh-man is hitting .406 in league play and is currently ranked fourth in the league in this category.

Joining Abeles on the list of league leaders are pitchers Tasha Cupp and Heather Brown. The junior pitching duo are ranked fifth and sixth in league play ERA with marks of 1.97 and 2.30 respectively.

The Crimson will also need strong performances from its three seniors, Melissa Kreuder and co-captains Katina Lee and Melissa Reyen, who will be playing in their last regular season game and possibly their final game ever.

However, the Crimson are riding a six-game winning streak and have a good chance of making the ECAC tournament. The field will be announced next week.

"We're looking the best we have all season," Brown said. "We're on a role."

Men's Lacrosse

The men's lacrosse team (7-5, 4-1) will try to rebound from its loss last Sunday to Notre Dame, when it too faces Dartmouth (3-7, 1-4) tomorrow.

The loss to the Fighting Irish probably ended any tournament hopes that the Crimson had, so the game against Dartmouth will be mostly for pride. However, a win would give Harvard sole possession of second place in the league.

Four of the Crimson's five losses have come at the hands of teams ranked in the nation's top ten. No. 1 Princeton dealt Harvard its lone Ivy League setback on April 12.

The Big Green will be the Crimson's last Ivy League challenge before Harvard finishes its season against Vermont next week.

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