TEAM OF THE YEAR RUNNER-UP: Harvard Wins the Ivy League
Team Dominates Conference and Sweeps League Awards
After sweeping the Ivy League Championship Series against Cornell, the Harvard softball team (36-16, 18-2 Ivy) earned a spot in the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in team history.
The team cleaned up league awards, as 10 Harvard players were named to the All-Ivy first or second teams, tying the program record.
But beyond the individual accolades, the accomplishments of the group are the greatest source of pride for the team.
“Winning the Ivy League was definitely the highlight of the season,” Crimson coach Jenny Allard said.
Not surprisingly, Allard also expressed her desire to perform well at NCAA Regionals in Arizona, but Harvard could not execute in its first two playoff games. The team was shut out—outscored 17-0 in the first two games of tournament play—ending the season for the Crimson.
Despite the postseason success, Harvard had perhaps the best year in the history of the program, and the squad earned all three of the highest Ivy League accolades that are given out at the end of each year, a feat not accomplished since Princeton in 1994.
Co-captain second baseman Ellen Macadam was named Ivy League Player of the Year, as she led the Ancient Eight with 76 hits and 52 runs scored. She also holds those records in Crimson program history.
Junior pitcher Rachel Brown and rookie third baseman Kasey Lange were both unanimous selections for Ivy League Pitcher and Rookie of the Year, respectively.
Junior shortstop Jane Alexander, sophomore outfielder Stephanie Regan, freshman pitcher Laura Ricciardone, freshman catcher Allie Scott, junior first baseman Whitney Shaw, sophomore outfielder Ashley Heritage, and junior pitcher and infielder Marika Zumbro earned places on the All-Ivy teams.
“I think we’ve had very dedicated and committed seniors, experienced veterans, and a great freshmen class,” Allard said. “I think they’re one of the most competitive teams I’ve ever coached. We have great depth—lots of players can step up. And they work really well playing together by having a lot of fun with each other.”
“There’s been great leadership from upperclassmen, and we have a phenomenal freshmen class that has really contributed a lot to the team energy,” Macadam added. “And we’ve had great pitching and a stellar offense to back it up.”
—Staff writer Saira Khanna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.