PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Brown University softball will host Harvard University for a four-game series with a pair of doubleheaders on Saturday, Apr. 22 and Sunday, Apr. 23 with both game days beginning at 12:30 p.m. as the Bears celebrate Alumnae Weekend and the 20th anniversary of the program's 1997 Ivy League title and NCAA Championship appearance.
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THE FIRST SEASON
The 2017 season marks the first season for Brown softball at its new field. Softball has a rich and storied tradition at Brown University, and to commemorate this historic season, there will be a ceremonial first pitch prior to every game at the Brown Softball Field. This new facility was made possible through the generous support of donors, alumni, and fans.
For Saturday's doubleheader the Bears will welcome Brown softball and women's ice hockey Hall of Famer Katie King Crowley '97, to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the opening game. Brown Senior Associate Director of Athletics Carolan Norris, a member of the Brown athletic department since 1983, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the second game.
In between games on Saturday, Brown will recognize the 1997 Brown softball team as it celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Ivy League Championship. The Bears went 10-2 in Ivy League play that season, including sweeps of Dartmouth, Harvard, Yale, Penn, and Princeton. Katie King Crowley '97 won Ivy League Pitcher of the Year honors, and the Bears made their first-ever appearance at the NCAA Championships.
LAST TIME OUT
Brown recorded 24 runs, 23 hits, five home runs, and four doubles as it swept a non-conference doubleheader with the University of Rhode Island, 15-6 and 9-2, on Tuesday afternoon at the URI Softball Complex.
Freshman Kaitlin Okimoto (Burbank, Calif.) went 4-for-5 with four walks for a .889 on-base percentage between the two games while hitting two home runs. Junior Annie McGregor (Carlsbad, Calif.) finished the day 6-for-8 with a homer, three doubles, and six RBIs. Sophomore Cat Seitz (Poway, Calif.) posted a 5-for-9 effort at the plate with six RBIs and a homer while senior Christina Andrews (Southlake, Texas) launched her fifth homer of the year. Senior Gina Chieffallo (Eynon, Pa.) threw a complete game and allowed just one earned run in the game two win.
SCOUTING THE CRIMSON
Harvard enters the weekend with a 15-16 overall record and 6-6 Ivy League mark. The Crimson took three of four games from Yale in its last Ancient Eight series prior to dropping an 8-3 decision to Providence College in a mid-week match-up. Rhianna Rich ranks second in the Ivy League with a .431 batting average while Erin Lockhart is tied for the league lead with 28 RBIs. The Crimson turn to Kathleen Duncan (3.63 ERA, 86.2 IP), Taylor Cabe (4.26 ERA, 70.2 IP), and Sarah Smith (3.18 ERA, 33.0 IP) in the circle.
HOME RUN RECORD
Brown has set a program record for team home runs in a single season with 29 homers thus far in 2017. The 2011 and 2012 teams established the previous record with 28 home runs in each of those seasons. This year, the Bears have hit 17 home runs in 12 Ivy League games and have belted 11 homers in their last four outings.
Junior Annie McGregor (Carlsbad, Calif.) leads this year's team with seven homers while freshman Kaitlin Okimoto (Burbank, Calif.) and senior Christina Andrews (Southlake, Texas) have tallied six and five blasts respectively. Sophomore Cat Seitz (Poway, Calif.) and freshman Raquel Blanchard (Valencia, Calif.) have contributed four homers apiece.
OKIMOTO LEADING OFF
Freshman Kaitlin Okimoto (Burbank, Calif.) has tallied a .333 batting average, .436 on-base percentage, 27 runs, 37 hits, four doubles, six homers, 25 RBIs, and 20 walks while serving as the Bears' lead-off hitter in her rookie campaign. She ranks first in the Ivy League in runs, first in walks, first in assists (79), fifth in homers, fifth in RBIs, and eighth in hits. In Ivy competition, she has notched a .341 average with 14 hits, eight runs, three homers, and eight RBIs. Okimoto has recorded a hit in 17 of her last 19 games.
MCGREGOR PRESENTS POWER
Junior Annie McGregor (Carlsbad, Calif.) has provided the Bears with power in the middle of the lineup, registering a .336 average, .628 slugging percentage, 23 runs, 38 hits, eight doubles, two triples, seven homers, and 23 RBIs. She ranks third in the league in homers, fifth in slugging, fourth in runs, seventh in hits, seventh in RBIs, and first in put outs (290). In Ivy games, she has compiled a .333 average, .692 slugging percentage, 13 hits, six runs, four homers, and 11 RBIs.
ANDREWS BRINGS SENIOR PRESENCE AT PLATE
Senior Christina Andrews (Southlake, Texas) has hit .319 with 36 hits, 19 runs, eight doubles, five home runs, and 17 RBIs this season. She ranks seventh in the Ivy League in home runs, eighth in doubles, and ninth in hits. In conference play, she has posted a .351 batting average, .676 slugging percentage, 13 hits, nine runs, three doubles, three homers, and seven RBIs.
METZGER & SEITZ IN .300 CLUB
Junior Grayson Metzger (Severna Park, Md.) and sophomore Cat Seitz (Poway, Calif.) have both hit above .300 this season, giving the Bears five batters above that mark. Metzger has posted a .311 average with 16 runs, 28 hits, nine doubles, a homer, and 16 RBIs. She ranks third in the league in doubles. Seitz has logged a .311 average with 17 runs, 28 hits, four doubles, four homers, and 16 RBIs.
Orona has notched a .354 ERA over 20 appearances, 16 starts, and 87.0 innings with five wins, seven complete games and 37 strikeouts. She ranks fourth in the league in innings, third in starts, sixth in appearances, fifth in complete games, and fifth in ERA.
Wimmer has recorded a 4.05 ERA over 19 appearances, 11 starts, and 86.1 innings with six wins, six complete games, and 36 strikeouts. She stands sixth in the league in innings, sixth in wins, seventh in appearances, and seventh in complete games.
OKIMOTO WINS IVY ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Freshman Kaitlin Okimoto (Burbank, Calif.) earned Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors on Mar. 13. She posted a .462 batting average (6-for-13), a run, a double, an RBI, a walk, and a .500 on-base percentage over five games. She went 2-for-3 with a run, an RBI, and a double against Fordham.
FINISHING PRE-IVY PLAY STRONG
The Bears closed their pre-Ivy League slate with wins in seven of their last eight games in the month of March. Brown won its last two games at the Pirate Invitational and went 3-1 at the Stony Brook Tournament. In their first games at their new field, the Bears swept a doubleheader from Hartford.
After finishing out its four-game series with Harvard, Brown closes the regular season with a four-game set against Yale. The Bears play a road doubleheader on Saturday, Apr. 29 and host the Bulldogs for a twin bill on Sunday, Apr. 30 with both game days starting at 12:30 p.m.