As with other sports in the Ivy League, softball has been struck by parity. On any given weekend, each team in the league is capable of beating another. Cornell, Princeton, and Harvard will likely battle for the league crown, while the other five teams will fight for survival.
2002: 34-18, 13-1 Ivy
The Ivy League’s representative in the NCAA tournament a season ago, Princeton must deal with the loss of two-time Ivy League Pitcher of the Year Brie Galicinao. The Tigers still have three capable pitchers, though, in junior Wendy Bingham, sophomore Melissa Finley, and freshman Erin Snyder. Bingham won eight of 12 decisions last year and had a 1.70 ERA.
Besides being the top pitcher in the league, Galicinao was also one of the top hitters, so her absence will be felt. However, Princeton returns Kristin Del Calvo, one of the top sluggers in the league. Her .340 batting average, 12 home runs, and 42 RBI put her among the league leaders in 2002.
2002: 31-10, 12-2
The Crimson, which always seems to challenge for the Ivy League crown, will return most of its main cogs from a season ago, including Ivy League Player of the Year Tiffany Whitton. In 2002, Whitton led the league with a .457 batting average, adding 13 homers and 49 RBI. Whitton will have help in the lineup in the form of sophomore speedster Lauren Stefanchik, who led the league with 21 stolen bases and was third in the Ivies with a .365 average.
Harvard also returns ace hurler Kara Brotemarkle, who sparkled with a 1.85 ERA, while striking out 107 batters in her 113.1 innings.
2002: 26-20, 6-8
Dartmouth, which finished in the middle of the pack last year, will likely do so again this season. The Green features a solid pitching staff which includes a very tough Christine Quattrocchi. Quattrocchi held opponents to a .224 batting average last season en route to a 5-4 record. Karin Edwardson also returns to the mound for the Green after posting an 8-3 record with a 1.81 ERA. She’ll need to continue her excellence in 2003.
The lineup is filled with scrappy hitters who run the bases extremely well. The Green stole 37 bases as a team last season and will look to put pressure on opposing defenses with its speed again this year.
2002: 14-22, 6-8
Brown will look towards 2003 as a rebuilding year. Table-setter Laura Leonetti, who hit .348 last season, will need to energize the Bears’ offense again. Outside of Leonetti, Brown has had a hard time getting runners on base and driving them in, as it averaged less than three runs per game.
Senior Erin Durlesser will return as the staff ace, but she must improve upon her 3.44 ERA to keep Brown in games. Sophomore Marissa Berkes will be looked upon to better her rookie campaign, in which she won five of her 11 starts.
2002: 27-23, 5-9
The Lions have three of the finest pitchers in the league, but they must find a way to put more runs on the board to make a run at the Ivy crown. Columbia, which posted a team ERA of 1.60, is led by All-Ivy performer Allison Buehler. Although she surrendered just 43 runs in 29 starts, she finished just 12-12 on the year, in large part because of Columbia’s impotent offense.
First baseman Marisa Marconi is the Lions’ top returning hitter, but she only had six RBI last season. The big question surrounding the team is how it will perform under interim head coach Kayla Noonan.
2002: 22-22-1, 5-9
The Bulldogs are expecting big things this season, but in order to make noise in the league, they’ll have to get solid pitching. Yale lost two of its top three pitchers to graduation in the form of Cara Denver and Shayna Filson. However, it does return Jillian Miles, who went 9-7 in 21 starts in 2002. But one pitcher can’t do it alone, so it’ll be crucial that freshman pitchers Margaret Hunt and Ashley Linnenbank step up.
Third baseman Jessica Bartholomew has been a rock at the hot corner and will continue to provide stability in the lineup.
2002: 14-33, 1-13
Penn struggled mightily a season ago, and there isn’t much reason for optimism this time around. The Quakers have one of the best coaches in the league in Carol Kashow, but it might not be enough. The team lost standout Jennifer Moore to graduation, which will leave a huge void in the lineup. Crista Farrell, however, is one of the better shortstops in the league and is a pest on the basepaths.
Nicole Borgstadt is the pitcher to watch. After putting up a 2.95 ERA, she seems primed to become an elite hurler.
Archived article by Alex Ip