In the case of the Crimson softball co-captain rhyming duo of Sara and Kara, what’s good for the ear is good for the team.
Heading into their final spring season, second baseman Sara Williamson and pitcher Kara Brotemarkle will look to lead Harvard to its first Ivy title since 2000.
After Harvard finished its 2003 campaign on a sour note with an overall 15-26 record (7-7 Ivy), Sara and Kara plan to set a strong example on and off the field with an intense work-ethic and continual stellar play.
Following a stressful 2003 effort, which finished well short of fulfilling its high pre-season expectations, Sara and Kara lead a group that is determined to build and sustain momentum throughout the spring and maintain a focused environment on the Harvard bench.
“This has been a pivotal year for us, because last year we suffered a lot of inconsistency, an identity crisis of sorts,” Allard says. “We meandered, and it was frustrating for very many people.”
Both captains agree that this year is different and believe that the internal combustion that affected last year’s team will not repeat itself.
“Obviously for all of us it’s our last chance to play softball,” Brotemarkle says. “So you want to make it as valuable an experience as possible. We’re looking to have a better year than last year where things just got out of hand.”
“There is no repeat of that,” Williamson agrees. “[The difficulties] showed pretty early on last year. Based on what we’ve seen so far, it should be a very successful season and everyone wants to win.”
With last year’s frustrations behind them, Kara and Sara, along with the other two seniors, Rachel Goldberg and Montica Montijo, look toward the future and continue to focus on strong leadership.
“I think all of us have spent a lot of time trying to incorporate with everyone on the team and kind of set an example and lead and work together,” Brotemarkle says. “It seems to work out pretty well.”
“All four of us [seniors Williamson, Brotemarkle, Goldberg and Montijo] are very much on the same page as far as what we’re looking for this season and what we expect of each other and of ourselves and everyone else.” Williamson adds. “So that’s great to have four people who are very in sync. All four of us are very vocal on the team.”
Williamson and Brotemarkle, with camaraderie and competitiveness, have already shown the potential to lead the Crimson to one of its best finishes in recent memory.
“I think that they’ve really brought the program back in terms of expectations,” head coach Jenny Allard says.
“To us as coaches, we really see the difference, and the players too have said the leadership this year is pretty good.”
Coach Allard views her two senior captains as a strong unit essential to keeping the team moving in a positive direction. “I think they come together and compliment each other well,” Allard says. “I think Kara’s a good balance to Sara....She brings a very mindful presence. Sara is very organized and she is very good at thinking about all these things, and then Kara’s good to pull her in and say ‘Are we sure we want to do this?’”
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