Crimson Looks to End with a Win Thursday at BU
The Harvard softball team wraps up its 2009 season with a visit to Boston University Thursday at 4 p.m.
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Last Time Out
A day after Harvard (27-16) grabbed the Ivy League North Division lead with a doubleheader sweep at Dartmouth, the Big Green took two games from the Crimson, 2-0 and 5-2, Sunday to win the division title. Melissa Schellberg led Harvard with two hits, driving in the Crimson's first run in Game 2 and scoring its second. Rachel Brown struck out 11 batters in two appearances, including 4.1 scoreless innings of second-game relief, to become the first Harvard pitcher to eclipse the 200-strikeout barrier in a season (203).
Melissa Schellberg enters Thursday's game with a seven-game hitting streak. She and Whitney Shaw have reached base in each of the last 10 games. Rachel Brown has allowed three runs or fewer in six straight appearances. In four of those games, she has held the opposition without an earned run. Jennifer Francis has reached base in eight of the last nine games. She is hitting .500 (14 for 28) with eight runs scored in that nine-game span. Emily Henderson has been successful on 10 of her last 11 steal attempts.
Harvard finished the Ivy League season with a 12-8 league record to place second, one game behind Dartmouth, in the North Division. The Crimson ranked first in fielding (.967 fielding percentage) second in pitching (2.49 earned-run average) and fourth in batting (.274) in Ancient Eight games. Rachel Brown held opposing Ivy hitters to a league-low .186 average, struck out a league-high 95 Ivy batters and led the conference with three Ivy saves. She ranked third in the league with a 1.70 Ivy ERA. Margaux Black ranked fifth with a 1.96 league ERA.
Emily Henderson led the league with nine stolen bases against Ivy opponents, while Ellen Macadam's four Ivy steals tied her for fourth in that category. Whitney Shaw tied for second in the league with 10 walks and seventh with six doubles in Ancient Eight play. Jennifer Francis tied for eighth with a .455 on-base percentage in Ivy League games.
Crimson Statistical Leaders
Jennifer Francis enters the season's final game as Harvard's leading hitter with a .319 batting average. She has knocked in a team-high 24 runs, one more than Whitney Shaw, who leads the team with four home runs, 11 doubles, 19 walks, a .535 slugging percentage and a .458 on-base percentage. Ellen Macadam leads Harvard with eight sacrifice bunts. Her team-high 25 runs scored are one greater than the total of Emily Henderson, who paces all Ivy League players with 15 stolen bases.
With her 16-6 record, Rachel Brown is tied for third in program history for wins in a season. Her 1.41 ERA has her on pace for the fourth-lowest season mark at Harvard. Julia Moore owns a 2.70 ERA in 23.1 innings over 15 appearances.
This is the Crimson and Terriers' second meeting of the season. In the first contest, also played at the BU Softball Field, Kelley Engman pitched a four-hit shutout to lead BU to a 3-0 win. Freshman Rachel Brown, junior Margaux Black and freshman Julia Moore pitched for Harvard, allowing a total of five hits. Brown allowed a run on three hits, and Black pitched two scoreless innings. Nine different players, four from Harvard and five from BU, had one hit each in the game. Hayley Bock became the first player all season to throw out Shayne Lotito trying to steal.
Scouting the Terriers
Boston University (24-15) takes a four-game win streak into its game against Boston College Wednesday afternoon. The Terriers sit in second place in America East heading into their weekend series against last-place Binghamton. At .413, April Setterlund is the leading hitter on a BU squad with a team average of .280. Setterlund also paces the Terriers with 25 RBI, 14 doubles and six home runs (tied with Nora Militz). Shayne Lotito is hitting .363. She leads BU with 35 runs and has been successful in 33 of her 35 steal attempts. Cassidi Hardy is the top BU pitcher. She is 19-5 with a 1.43 ERA, 10 shutouts and 142 strikeouts.