As the Harvard softball team welcomes 10 freshmen to the squad, it will need more veteran leadership if it hopes to repeat as Ivy champs.
The Crimson needs to look no farther than Winthrop House, where three best friends look to leave Harvard with more than a winning legacy.
Senior ace Chelsea Thoke and tri-captains Jen Vogt-Lowell and Mairead McKendry guide the close-knit team both on and off the diamond.
Each athlete brings something irreplaceable to the team. Thoke is an award-winning and dominating pitcher, catcher McKendry is arguably the squad's best hitter and infielder Vogt-Lowell is central to team morale and keeping the players focused and upbeat.
Each also brings something unique to their off-the-field relationship, a relationship built upon a love for competing and a concern for the good of the team.
Their friendship has transformed the dynamic within the team and promises to leave all the women closer.
"It's definitely more of a family atmosphere now," Vogt-Lowell said. "I think people see how close we are and how much we like to have fun, and are attracted to that."
As a result of their efforts, the Crimson have progressed as a team, and has grown into a family.
"I guess we're the moms, then," McKendry said. "But that's the way we like it."
Takin' it to the Field
As roommates for three years and teammates for all four, McKendry, Thoke and Vogt-Lowell always seem to be together.
They manage, however, to keep the pressures of the field distinct from everyday life.
"We separate softball and our personal lives," Thoke said. "It helps that we play different positions, so there is no direct competition. We also all have great parents that are sounding boards for our concerns."
McKendry and Vogt-Lowell agree that disputes on the field rarely carry over into the common room.
"In some ways, it makes it easier that we all play on the same team," Vogt-Lowell said. "We go through the same thing, take care of it there, and leave it on the field."
High Drama In Softball SweepThe Harvard softball team has a knack for creating drama out of the blase. YALE 1 HARVARD 2 YALE 3 HARVARD 9 BROWN 1 HARVARD 3
Softball Finishes Second in IviesThe Harvard softball team was oftentimes brilliant this season, but its inconsistency kept it from a successful Ivy repeat bid.
Softball Wins One, Rain Takes ThreeRight now, the horrific weather is the only opponent keeping the Harvard women's softball team from clinching the Ivy title.
Almost Perfect: Softball Loses Once in Ivy; Makes NCAAsThe Harvard softball team got back to where it belonged this season--on top of the Ivy League. The Crimson avenged
Softball Team Begins Quest for Third Ivy Title in Four YearsThe Harvard softball team--a mixture of 10 freshman and 11 returning players, including six first team All-Ivy selections--all returned from
Softball Begins Ivy Title DefenseTwo in a row? Perfection? Both could happen for the Harvard softball team, as the defending Ivy League champions open