SEASON RECAP: Season Marked By Strong Pitching and Series Splits

Harvard hovers around .500 all season long on the strength of its ptiching

Mariah S. Evarts

Sophomore Amanda Watkins won the team’s Most Outstanding Pitcher Award after pitching 108.2 innings and notching a 2.77 ERA. She struck out 54 batters in a team-leading 28 appearances.

The Harvard softball team had its fair share of high points this season. The Crimson hovered around .500, finishing with a 20-24 record overall and a 6-8 record in the Ivy League.

Ivy League play commenced midway through the spring and included a tense doubleheader against Ivy League champion Princeton. The Harvard pitching staff allowed only two runs and the Crimson earned a split against the Tigers.

In the first game, sophomore Shelly Madick pitched a complete-game shutout, out-pitching Ivy League Pitcher of the Year Erin Snyder.

“That was an unbelievable game,” co-captin Michele McAteer said. “Princeton was a really strong team and we were really determined to beat them. We came out strong and it was a flawless game; we really earned that win. It’s one of the games I will enjoy looking back on.”

In the second game of the doubleheader, freshman Bailey Vertovez and sophomore Amanda Watkins allowed only one run each, continuing the stretch of near-perfect Crimson pitching. Princeton, however, was able to notch a 2-0 win.

After Cornell swept the team on the first day of Ivy play, Harvard fought back for two victories against Columbia the following day. The Crimson maintained an even record in the Ivy League splitting twinbills with Brown and Yale the following weekend and again with Princeton and Penn the weekend after that. Harvard broke out of its give-and-take rut once more before the season ended by sweeping Holy Cross in a non-conference doubleheader.

Next year, junior captain Julia Kidder will continue her role as team captain, a job she split this past season with McAteer. Kidder also received the team’s award for Best Defensive Player.

“Julia Kidder’s defense was always a standout throughout the season,” junior shortstop Lauren Brown said.

Brown was given the award for Best Offensive Player. She finished the season with a .302 batting average and started in all of the team’s 44 games this season. In 139 at-bats, she banged out 42 hits, drove in 15 runs, and ended the season with a team-best .518 slugging percentage. She also stole a team-best eight bases in as many attempts.

On the mound, the sophomore pitching tandem of Madick and Watkins led the team with ERAs of 2.53 and 2.77, respectively. Watkins got the team’s Most Outstanding Pitcher Award. She was a second team All-Ivy selection and ended the season with a 6-10 record.

Senior catcher Erin Halpenny and senior third baseman Rachel Murray were named Honorable Mention All-Ivy.

Next year, the Crimson will welcome seven freshmen.

—Staff writer Elyse N. Hanson can be reached at