As soon as she set foot on Harvard’s campus, Rhianna Rich established herself as the softball team’s starting shortstop. Now in the spring of her junior year, Rich has been a model of consistency for three straight seasons.
This weekend, Harvard softball traveled to Athens, Ga., to participate in NCAA Regionals after winning the Ivy League Championship Series over Dartmouth. The Crimson’s playoff trip was its first since 2012.
After losing the Ivy League Championship Series in 2016 and 2017 against Princeton, maybe all Harvard softball needed was a change in scenery. The Crimson traveled to Hanover, N.H., where it bested Dartmouth in two games to claim the Ancient Eight title and advance to the NCAA Regionals.
This weekend, Dartmouth softball handily swept Brown to finish 16-5 in conference play. In doing so, the Big Green clinched home field advantage in the Ivy League Championship Series and will host Harvard in next weekend's best-of-three set.
One win was all that the Harvard needed. After picking up that one win at Brown, the Crimson dropped the other two to close out its season, but will head to the Ivy Championship series for the third straight year.
In crucial games, like this past weekend’s Ivy League series tilt against Penn, the junior class has stepped up in a big way. This week, it was shortstop Rhianna Rich and pitcher Katie Duncan who answered the call.
Though the weather cooled down by Saturday afternoon, the Crimson’s bats did not. Harvard scored 25 runs in its three games versus the visiting Quakers, and the team picked up its second Ivy League series sweep out of five such series this season.
Coming off a three-game sweep of Princeton, the Crimson will travel to New York to face off against another Ivy South Division opponent this coming weekend. This time, Harvard battles an upstart Columbia program.