Softball Looks to Wrap Up Ivy League North Against Dartmouth

Photo Courtesy: Gil Talbot

The Particulars
The Harvard softball team looks to wrap up the Ivy League North Division as it squares off against Dartmouth in a pair of doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday. Harvard enters the weekend two games ahead of Dartmouth in the division standings, needing to win two games to clinch the division title.

Last Time Out
The visiting Boston University Terriers jumped on the board early and held the Crimson hitters at bay as Harvard dropped its final non-conference contest of the regular season, 4-1, Thursday at Soldiers Field. The Crimson got on the board in the fourth as Whitney Shaw took a 2-2 pitch deep over the left field wall for her team-leading 10th home run of the season. Harvard managed one hit in the fifth and seventh innings but was unable to mount a comeback. 

Scouting the Big Green
The Big Green is coming off a series against division rival Brown where Dartmouth split doubleheaders with the Bears Saturday and Wednesday. After falling in the first game, 5-4, Dartmouth evened the season-series with a convincing 8-0 shutout to wrap up Saturday's action. Dartmouth held on for a win in the opening game of Wednesday's doubleheader, 4-3, but dropped a tight 2-1 decision in game two to finish the season series with Brown tied at two wins apiece.

Hillary Hubert enters the weekend as Dartmouth's top hitter, boasting a .361 batting average on the season to go along with team-high totals of 39 hits, nine doubles and the team's lone triple of the season. Kirsten Costello leads the team with seven home runs on the year while Noelle Ramirez is close behind with six. Hillary Barker has a team-low 3.65 earned run average in the circle as well as team-high marks of 109.1 innings pitched and 70 strikeouts.

Return to the Championship
After winning the Ivy League Championship in 2007 and qualifying for the championship in 2008, last year marked the first time since the inception of the Ivy League North and South divisions that Harvard did not claim the Ivy North title. With at least two wins against the Big Green this weekend, Harvard can reclaim its division title from Dartmouth.

On the Horizon
The Ivy League Championship is slated for the weekend of May 8-9 and should Harvard collect two or more victories against Dartmouth this weekend, it would advance to the league title series. Cornell has already claimed the South Division title.