Softball Heads West for Amy S. Harrison Classic

Pictured: Harvard will begin its spring break trip at the Amy S. Harrison Classic in Riverside, Calif.
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The Particulars
The Harvard softball team kicks off its spring break trip in Riverside, Calif., with four games at the Amy S. Harrison Classic. The Crimson will square off against Idaho State, Northern Illinois and host UC Riverside.

The Tournament
Harvard will be making its first trip to the Harrison Classic since kicking off the 2005 season at the event. In its last time at the tourney, Harvard compiled a 2-2 record, topping Southern Utah and Cal Poly in its first two games before falling to UC Riverside and Cal Poly in its final two. Games will be played at Amy S. Harrison field on the campus of UC Riverside.

The Opposition
The Crimson begins the tournament facing the Northern Illinois Huskies (2-10), who are coming off a 7-1 win over San Diego. Zoe Sinner, Jennifer Barnett and Monica Segura all had two hits for the Huskies in the win while Whitney Owens went five innings on the mound to collect the victory.

Idaho State enters the tournament at 2-9 on the season, with wins over Maine and the College of Idaho. Desirae Hoffman has been an offensive force for the Bengals in the early going, leading the team with a .543 batting average to go with 19 hits and seven runs scored. Brittany Olsin is tied for the team lead with four doubles and leads all Bengals players with a .762 slugging percentage. Kandis Clesson has pitched a team-high 53.1 innings and has a 3.94 earned run average and 44 strikeouts.

UC Riverside is in the midst of a 15-game homestand and enters the tournament with a 7-13 overall record. The Highlanders hold a 5-4 record at home and are coming off a 3-1 win over Buffalo in their last game. Taylor Thomas leads the team with a .321 batting average and 17 hits while Brittany Keeney has driven in a team-high 15 runs on the year. Marissa Alvidrez is the Highlanders’ top pitcher and starts the tourney with a 6-5 record, a 5.22 ERA and a team-high 33 strikeouts.

Last Time Out
Harvard wrapped up its weekend at the season-opening UCF Invitational with a 4-0 win over local rival Boston College.

The Crimson banged out eight hits in the game and Rachel Brown picked up her second win of the season, firing a complete-game shutout, allowing just three hits and striking out nine batters. Harvard got all the offense it needed in the opening frame, plating two runs on three hits in the first inning. Melissa Schellberg singled home Emily Henderson for Harvard’s first run and later scored on a Jennifer Francis sacrifice fly to stake Brown to an early two-run lead.

Ellen Macadam doubled with one out in the fifth and scored on a Whitney Shaw single down the left field line to push the score to 3-0. Francis drove in her second run of the day with a double to the gap that plated Shaw for Harvard’s fourth and final run of the day.

Up Next
After the Harrison Classic, Harvard will face off against Loyola Marymount and Bucknell March 16 before competing in the San Diego Classic II, March 18-20 hosted by San Diego State.