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Harvard Softball to Play Brown After 4-2 Ivy Start to Season

Then-junior Trina Hoang waits on base in Harvard's 2022 series against the University of Pennsylvania. Just as in 2022, the Crimson recently swept the Quakers in another three-game series.
Then-junior Trina Hoang waits on base in Harvard's 2022 series against the University of Pennsylvania. Just as in 2022, the Crimson recently swept the Quakers in another three-game series. By Dylan J. Goodman
By Luke B. Lawson, Contributing Writer

Early in the Ivy League season, the Harvard softball team has an 11-9-1 overall record on the season paired with a 4-2 conference record. It has finished two Ivy series so far where it swept the University of Pennsylvania and went 1-2 against Cornell, though losing both games only by one run.

In its first Ivy match-up of the year, Harvard faced off against the University of Pennsylvania. Right off the bat in the first game, the Crimson scored three runs. The team didn’t look back on its way to a dominating shutout (6-0) with junior pitcher Anna Reed allowing only three hits throughout the seven innings of play.

In the second game, the Crimson found itself once again up by three runs after only the first inning. Harvard continued to dominate the rest of the game with a total of nine runs, fourteen hits, and only one defensive error.

In the third match-up, Penn gave Harvard more of a challenge: with a slower start, the Crimson’s first run wasn’t scored until the third inning. It caught fire in the fourth inning, scoring six more runs. In the fifth and sixth innings, Pennsylvania started to put together a comeback and scored five runs. In the end, Harvard completed the sweep with a 12-6 victory.

A week later, the Crimson received its first loss. It began another Ivy series against Cornell with an incredibly strong four-run first inning but remained scoreless thereafter.

“We scored first and when they scored, we didn’t keep scoring,” head coach Jenny Allard said. “That was our problem.”

By the end, the Big Red completed a comeback to win the first game 5-4.

When questioned about how a team retaliates in the second game of a doubleheader after losing the first, Allard said, “You do a reset and focus on what you need to do to be more successful.”

And reset is exactly what Harvard did: with zero defensive errors and sophomore pitcher Katie Arrambide throwing a one-hit game, the Crimson shut out Cornell 6-0 to close out the first day.

The following morning, Cornell jumped to an early three-run lead by the second inning. Harvard struggled to put together an offensive push and remained scoreless until the sixth.

“We came back in the seventh innings, but we have to start much earlier than that,” Allard stated.

The comeback was too little too late and the Crimson couldn’t complete their last-inning rally. It fell short by one run, and Harvard lost 4-5.

As the Crimson looks forward to the rest of the season, it has its goals established.

“Our goal always in this program is to be in it the last weekend, to have a chance to win an Ivy title,” Allard said. “You have to stay the course, persevere, fight, be resilient, and overcome obstacles.”

To make the Ivy League tournament, the Crimson will need to be in the top four Ivy teams. Currently, Harvard sits at number three, but there are still twelve more Ivy games left this season.

With their goals well established and their path to success well planned, Harvard softball is optimistic and excited for the rest of the Ivy League season. The next series for the team is at home against seventh-seeded Brown this upcoming weekend. As it looks forward to competition, the primary focus of the team is on maintaining a goal-oriented mindset towards the end of the season and keeping players' heads in the game.

“That’s what we need to work on, that’s the whole mental game,” Allard said. “They have to take more initiative, have a sense of urgency, and fight harder to solve problems within the game.”

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