Softball eyes playoff spot in 2013

HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College softball team will pair a veteran ensemble of accomplished players with an infusion of new talent in 2013. The Fords hope the balanced lineup will translate to a ticket into the Centennial Conference tournament.

Infield: Junior Jen DiCandilo, all-conference honorable mention in 2012, highlights a deep cast of returnees. DiCandilo exhibits solid defense at third base while sophomore Dayle Comerford offers the same solidifying presence at first. Lauren Touey, Jill Schnall and Stephanie Wolfson capably occupy the spots up the middle.

Outfield:Providing an anchor among several players sharing time in the outfield is center fielder Elizabeth Newman. Named honorable mention All-Centennial last season, Newman brings stability as she has started every game of her career. Gabrielle Sapienza, the lone senior on the squad, saw time in 27 games last season. Other players who will see time in the outfield include a trio of sophomores who gained valuable experience in 2012--Sarah Brody, Brianna Lowey and Julie Garlick--and freshman Miwa Wenzel.

Pitching/Catching: Claire Fitzgerald authored an impressive sophomore year in the circle as she tied the single-season record for strikeouts with 95, matched the game strikeout record of 10 twice and threw her first career no-hitter on March 6 in a 2-0 win over Wilmington (Ohio) College. Freshmen Sara Tauriello and Emily Winesett provide head coach Jen Ward with multiple options at the pitcher's spot. Splitting the catching duties will be DiCandilo and freshman Kristin Tatum.

At the plate: The Fords return four players that hit better than .300 last year led by Newman who ranked third in the conference in batting average (.408). Newman also tied the program record for runs scored in a season during the 2012 campaign with 32. Joining Newman among the conference hitting leaders was DiCandilo who took full advantage of opportunities at the plate with runners on base with 38 runs batted in(third in the conference) on 37 hits. Comerford and Touey look to build upon strong freshmen year production that saw them hit .315 and .307, respectively. Adding a powerful punch in the lineup, Comerford tied the single-season records for total doubles (13) and home runs in a game (2) while leading the squad in slugging percentage (.568).

Coach's outlook: Ward, in her ninth year at the reins of the program, believes her balanced lineup overflows with promise and possibility for an exciting spring at Class of '95 Field.