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Razorback Invitational
Friday, March 2 vs. Central Connecticut State at 12 p.m.
Friday, March 2 at Arkansas at 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 3 vs. Northern Colorado at 12 p.m.
Saturday, March 3 at Arkansas at 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 4 vs. Central Connecticut State at 10 a.m.

This weekend the Dartmouth softball team travels to SEC country to participate in the Razorback Invitational hosted by the University of Arkansas.

Not to be confused with the Blue Devils of Duke University, Dartmouth takes on Central Connecticut State to get things rolling on Friday morning central standard time. CCSU has already played five games this season after taking part in the Felsberg Invitational hosted by Florida International in Miami last weekend, while Dartmouth was playing just 47 miles north in Boca Raton. The Blue Devils have a 2-3 season record so far after taking down Siena in the opening game of the tournament and defeating the Saints again 6-1 on Saturday. Senior Gianna Hathaway leads CCSU in hits with nine including two doubles, while senior Lex Debrosse has two hits including one double and three RBI’s. Sophomore Peyton Silverman has pitched 17.2 innings for the Blue Devils so far, allowing 18 hits and one walk, striking out six. 

Arkansas is already off to a hot start, with the advantage of playing in the south and being able to practice outside. The Razorbacks are currently 9-1 with the only loss to McNeese last weekend when the Cowgirls rallied in the bottom of the seventh to break the 5-5 tie and win the game, 6-5. Arkansas has one single home game against Missouri State before the weekend tournament arrives. The 9-0 start to the season is the best in program history, and the Razorbacks already have seven players with home runs this season, two of which have hit three through the first 10 games. 

Northern Colorado has played 16 games so far, with an even 8-8 record following a loss to Colorado State on Tuesday afternoon. The Bears fell to Eastern Kentucky in the second game of the season, a team that Dartmouth will face later in March in Houston. Senior Lauren Paige leads the team with 17 hits including one home run, three doubles and four RBI’s, while teammates Jordyn Wiatrak and Emma Brockmann have both hit a solid 10 RBI’s each. Junior Valerie Vidal has already pitched 55.1 innings, allowing 50 hits including six home runs and 17 walks, striking out 42, and Paige has come in for 27.2 innings herself. 

Dartmouth and CCSU have played a total of 30 times prior to this weekend but have not faced each other since 2007 when the Blue Devils came out on top 1-0. The Big Green hold the series lead 20-10. Dartmouth has never played Arkansas or Northern Colorado.

Of course, no one is playing softball in New Hampshire on fields that still have snow, but several of the teams the Big Green have faced and will face very soon have an edge with so many games under their belts. Although Colorado is not considered “south,” the climate there includes much less precipitation and the average high temperature in February is 47 degrees, while in Hanover the average high in February is 33. Central Connecticut is in a similar boat as Dartmouth, but Northern Colorado and Arkansas both have had many more outdoor practices and have played more games.

The Big Green are coming off a loss to the University of Illinois-Chicago on Sunday, 3-2. Dartmouth finally was able to get on the board against the Flames on Sunday afternoon, tying the game 2-2 in the top of the fifth inning on a double from Morgan Martinelli, but UIC returned in the bottom of the fifth to score the third and final run of the game and take the win. 

Last season the Big Green started out with a 0-4-1 record after tying with Maryland in the end of the Mardi Gras Classic, and have had a worse slump to start this year. The two runs scored Sunday against UIC were the first runs scored this season. Micah Schroder leads the team in hits with four, and has a double along with Martinelli and Jade Bravo. This weekend returning to the warm weather presents an opportunity for the Big Green to get settled into the season. 

This weekend’s action at Arkansas will have some games broadcast online for fans to watch and there will be live stats for all games on Saturday’s game against the Razorbacks will be broadcast on the SEC Network+ which is also streamed on ESPN3, so television subscribers who have ESPN in their package will be able to watch the action online. 

After the tournament Dartmouth will have almost two weeks off, with no action next weekend but continuing on the road the following weekend playing at the Houston Tournament in Texas, facing Houston and Eastern Kentucky.