It's already the end of March, and the gound's still covered with snow in the heart of Boston.
But in the hearts of sports fans, it's spring time and that means one thing for senior Christine Carr: it's time to lace on the cleats and jog down to Soldiers Field.
You see, Carr is the "quiet" leader of the Harvard Women's softball team. The Roger Clemens of the pitching staff--quiet and reserved with the same gritty determintaion to do one thing: win.
"She's quiet," Harvard Coach Barry Haskell says. "But she leads by example. She has always been a leader on and off the field. She works so hard, I think the others respect her."
Of course it's easy to see why. The example she sets is hard for others to emulate. She won't tell you this. But you just have to look in the team program. She's a two time All-Ivy selection, and potential All-American candidate. She's a three year starter and the anchor, the key, to this year's Harvard softball team.
"Christine has provided a lot of stability over her past three years. She has been the anchor to our staff.
"When she first came to Harvard, our program wasn't as competitive. But she has been one of the big reasons we have been able to grow as a program," Haskell says.
OK coach, how about this one. Is she the best you've ever coached?
There's a momentary thoughtful pause. Then, an answer.
"She's probably the best player I've coached at Harvard," she concedes.
And so the Stoneham, Mass. native begins her season with these high words of praise floating around her head.
But this is nothing new for Carr. She faced it all in high school.
Her story isn't of the heartwarming, feel-good variety. She isn't a walk-on athlete who finally hit the big time in college. Back in Stoneham, she could play some ball.
"I've known Christine since high school," Haskell says. "Back then we knew that she would be the player to build a program around."
What then makes her the stopper in the Harvard rotation? Why did Haskell turn to her to rebuild the program?