March 12, 2002

Traffic at the Top for Ivy League Softball

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The defending Ivy League co-champions will once again be battling for the title. With a strong core group of returnees and a talented freshman class, the Red has the potential to defend its title. Under the direction of head coach Dick Blood, this team could be unstoppable. Already off to a strong start, the team finished 4-0 in its first weekend of play at the Dixie Classic in Virginia. Top returnees for the Red include last year’s Ivy League Rookie of the Year and first-team All-Ivy Selection, sophomore Kate Varde. On the mound, the Red has a strong sophomore tandem composed of classmates Sarah Sterman and Nicole LePera.


Ivy League co-champions Harvard will be looking for redemption this year and the title all to itself. Overall, the team finished last season with a 22-23 record. Tiffany Whitton is the team’s top pitcher as well as a fixture in the outfield. A slugger, she finished last season with a .388 batting average. Kim Koral will be a key contributor in center field. She hit .304 last season and was second-team All-Ivy. Also in the outfield is senior Sarah Koppel who has earned first-team All-Ivy honors for three straight seasons.


A strong team, Dartmouth finished last season with a 23-19 record. Under head coach Steffany Bender, the team advanced to the ECAC Championships but fell to East Carolina for the second consecutive year. On the mound, Dartmouth has quite a few options with junior Christine Quattorcchi being its top pick. In just two seasons, she already holds most of her school’s records. She was 8-11 last year with a 4.37 earned run average and recorded 73 strikeouts. Lisa Caruso, 2001 honorable mention All-Ivy, and Danica Giugliano, MVP of the ECAC Championship, are also reliable hurlers.


Yale finished the 2001 season with a 24-21 record under the direction of head coach Andy Van Etten. Junior Jesseka Bartholomew, who started all 45 games at third base, is the top returning infielder. She led the team with a .326 average and was a first-team All-Ivy selection. On the mound, senior Cara Denver led the 2001 squad with 9 wins, 77 strikeouts and a 2.35 ERA. Joining Denver in the rotation are sophomores Jillian Miles and Shayna Filson. Filson was a first team All-Ivy selection, and led the team in RBIs, home runs, and hits.


The Tigers return under second year head coach Maureen Davies and finished last year with a 20-19 record overall. The top returning player for Princeton was last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year and Pitcher of the year, senior Brie Galicinao. She is a phenomenal pitcher, as she had a 10-9 record, pitched a perfect game against Penn, and had a 0.64 ERA which ranked her in the top ten nationwide She was also the best hitter on the team, leading the club with a .364 batting average, 12 doubles, six home runs, and 29 RBIs. Other top returnees include sophomore Kristin Del Calvo, senior Kim Veenstra and junior Mackenzie Forsythe.


First year head coach Pam McCreesh has high hopes for a Brown team that finished with a 7-38-1 record last season. The top returnee for the Bears is Erin Durlesser, a first team All-Ivy selection last year. She pitched in 19 games, starting in 15 of those. She posted an ERA of 4.16 and struck out 54 batters. Her .302 batting average ranked second on the team and among the top 15 in the league. Her 10 doubles led the team, and her 18 RBIs were good for second best on the team. Other top returnees are Lauren Wong and Laura Leonetti.


In just its second season of varsity softball and its first in the Ivy League, the Lions couldn’t have been more thrilled with its 26-25 record in 2001. This record saw Columbia make its first post-season appearance at the ECAC tournament. The team’s strongest and most experienced player may be a transfer, Courtney Ryan. A junior catcher, Ryan played at the University of Texas before joining Columbia. The top returnees are the team’s co-captains: senior Nikki Campbell, an All-Ivy honorable mention and the team’s leader from the shortstop position, and junior April Jarvis, also an All-Ivy honorable mention who will be in charge of the outfield. On the mound, senior Katie Zunno will take the top spot.


With a 3-11 Ivy record last season, 15-28 overall, the Quakers will look to add a few more notches to its win column in 2002. Fifth year head coach Carol Kashow has a talented freshman class that she hopes can add some spark to the roster. Veronica Richardson, an All-Ivy honorable mention and team MVP, is the Quakers top returnee. Senior Jen Moore, Penn’s second best hitter last season, will also help determine the team’s fate. On the mound, Kashow has three options — junior Rebecca Ranta, sophomore Nicole Borgstadt and freshman Kara Eyre.

Archived article by Kristen Haunss