Softball Places Four on All-Ivy First Team
For the fourth consecutive year, the Harvard softball team has placed more players on the All-Ivy first team than any other school in the Ivies. The Crimson has won three Ivy titles during that stretch.
With senior hurler Chelsea Thoke, junior outfielder Sarah Koppel, sophomore first baseman-pitcher Tiffany Whitton and freshman second baseman Sarah Williamson all making the first team, the Crimson had one representative for each class year. Freshman outfielder Kim Koral, who hit .304 on the season, also earned second-team All-Ivy honors.
Thoke was Harvard’s most outstanding in the circle, where she posted a 10-6 record an ERA of 1.99—the first sub-two ERA of her career. She struck out 135 on the season to finish with a Crimson record total of 557. Thoke was also a surprising force in limited action at the plate, where she hit .426 with five home runs in just 47 at bats. Thoke was the Ivy League’s Player of the Year in 1999 and has made the All-Ivy first team each of the past three years.
Koppel also made the first team for the third time of her career. She hit .323 on the season and was the Crimson’s team leader with eight home runs—four of them during the course of Harvard’s remarkable run to second place at the 25-team Buzz Classic in Georgia over spring break.
Whitton—a second-time first team All-Ivy selection—led the Crimson with 25 RBI and an Ivy-best .388 batting average that placed her among the nation’s top 50 in hitting. Whitton’s pitching record for the year was just 2-11, but her 2.48 ERA was a better representative of her performance. She was typically matched up against the opposition’s ace and often provided the majority of her own run support. Whitton and sophomore Grace Bloodwell will captain the softball team next season.
Williamson hit .288 on the season and delivered two of the Crimson’s biggest hits during non-conference play—a leadoff home run in Harvard’s 3-2 upset of Illinois in the Buzz Classic semifinals and a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh of the Crimson’s 5-4 win over Boston University that snapped an 18-game Terrier win streak.
Two other Crimson freshmen—pitcher Kara Brotemarkle and infielder Breeanne Cooley—also earned honorable mention honors for their performances this season.
Cooley was the Ivies’ third-leading hitter with a .355 average. Brotemarkle was second on the Crimson staff with a 2.27 ERA, and her 10-6 record for the year matched Thoke for the team lead. Her shutout victory over Dartmouth clinched the Ivy title.
Co-captain Mairead McKendry was the lone Crimson upperclassman to earn honorable mention honors. McKendry hit .314 for the year with 11 RBI. She was a first-team All-Ivy selection during her sophomore and junior seasons.
Princeton’s Brie Galicinao, who placed in the top ten in the nation in ERA and was second in the Ivies in batting behind Whitton, won Ivy Player of the Year Honors to end the Crimson’s three-year hold on the award.