LMU Muscle Milk Invitational Up Next for Softball

LMU Muscle Milk Invitational Up Next for Softball

Harvard readies for seven games to end trip to California (Envision Sports Media).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard softball team will continue its spring break trip in California this week with seven games slated from Wednesday, March 18 through Saturday, March 21. Up first will be games in Los Angeles against Buffalo and Loyola Marymount on Wednesday, followed by a pair of games against Bethune-Cookman and Fairleigh Dickinson at the LMU Muscle Milk Invitational, before closing out the trip with a single game at the University of San Diego Saturday.

Live stat links for each game area available on the Harvard softball schedule page HERE.

The Crimson had a tough start to its spring break trip, dropping all five of its games at the San Diego Classic II tournament in Santee, California. Harvard opened the tournament with an extra-innings loss to Weber State and the dropped the nightcap to New Mexico State, 7-2. Santa Clara, San Jose State and Utah State went on to shutout the Crimson in the final three games of the weekend.

Harvard's pitching has been a bright spot thus far, posting a staff ERA of 3.68, limiting walks to 2.6 per contest and holding batters to a .270 average. Taylor Cabe leads the Crimson with 32 innings pitched and 21 strikeouts. In her last outing, Cabe tossed three scoreless frames against Utah State, while sitting down four batters. Laura Ricciardone and Morgan Groom have each made six appearances, posting ERAs of 4.32 and 2.83, respectively.

Senior Katherine Appelbe continues to be the offensive leader, batting .400 with six RBI and a .400 on-base-percentage. Junior Haley Davis is second with five RBI, while freshman Maddy Kaplan's batting average of .286 is next up.

The Bulls dropped three of four games at the Cal-State Northridge Tournament over the weekend to fall to 6-14. They will play a doubleheader at Cal-State Fullerton Tuesday before taking on the Crimson Wednesday.

Despite the losing record, Buffalo has a strong offensive presence, as three hitters are over the .400 mark as of Monday, March 16. Alex Curtiss leads the charge with a .456 average and 14 RBI. Her .691 slugging mark is buoyed by 11 doubles, one triple and a home run. Savanna Norcio and Ashton Earnhardt are batting .429 and .414, respectively, though 20 games.

Buffalo gives up a high amount of runs to its opponents, as its pitching staff holds a 6.45 ERA. Bobbi Langlois has thrown a team-high 56.2 innings and holds a 6.05 ERA. Senior Hayley Barrow has the lowest ERA at 4.79, but has just 30.2 innings of work this season.

LMU knocked off Grand Canyon and Sacramento State at the Sacramento State Tournament over the weekend, but dropped its other four contests to fall to 12-19 on the year. Smith Field, the home field of the Lions, readies to host 20 games this week, six midweek and 14 over the weekend as part of the LMU Muscle Milk Classic.

Rachael Farrington is the workhorse for the LMU pitching staff, earning an 8-9 record in 102.2 innings of work. She has made 18 starts this year, tossing 10 complete games, while allowing opposing hitters to post a .315 average. Stephanie Crist is second on the team with a 4.84 ERA in 50.2 innings.

At the dish, Amanda Dirks has a team-best .390 average and 25 RBI. Alex Finie and Alicia Brown top the .300 mark at .374 and .338, respectively, with all three of these hitters knocking three homers this year.

Harvard will be Bethune-Cookman's first opponent for its first two games of the LMU Muscle Milk Invitational. The Wildcats went 2-5 at the FAU Parents' Weekend Tournament from March 6-11, with wins over Butler and Coastal Carolina.

Just two pitchers have been in the circle for Bethune-Cookman. Sabrina Anguiano has worked 109.1 frames, posting a 3-16 record and a 5.25 ERA. Bailey Conner has accounted for the remaining 59.2 innings of the Wildcats' season, earning a 3-4 record and a 4.93 ERA.

Calesha Shelley's .313 batting average is tops on the team. She has just two RBI on the year though, with Shamaria Engram and Nereyda Guitierrez leading the team in runs driven in at 13.

The Knights have had a tough time getting on the field this season, as its first two tournaments of the year at UNC and UMBC were canceled. FDU finally got on the field last week, dropping its first three games to UNC Charlotte, UNC Chapel Hill and Ohio before downing Manhattan. The Knights will face Iona and LMU on the 17th, before its two matchups with Harvard.

Just four games in, Madison Lerma and Madelaine Wilen are leading the Knight's offense. Each has seven RBI, with Lerma batting at .583, while Wilen is an even .500. Megan Reiner is 1-2 in the circle, having pitched in all four games. She has an ERA at 10.93 wth 17 strikeouts.

SAN DIEGO (16-14)
The Toreros will be the final opponent on Harvard's spring break trip through the Golden Gate State on Saturday. San Diego was also in action at the San Diego Classic II over the weekend going 3-2 overall, with losses to Weber State and San Jose State, two teams the Crimson also fell to.

Paige von Sprecken highlights the pitching staff. She holds a 12-5 record with 13 complete games. Her 2.00 ERA and 91 strikeouts are both team-bests. Grace Hernandez is 3-6 in 11 starts, holding a 3.72 ERA.

At the dish, Franklie Perales has a team-high .377 average, while Kailey Hill leads the way with 21 RBI on nine home runs. Chloe Kaneko is battign just .244, but is second on the team with 14 RBI.