May 8, 2013

Haverford well represented on All-Centennial softball squad

LANCASTER, Pa. - The rest of the Centennial Conference took notice of the Haverford College softball team's splendid play this spring as three members of the squad earned inclusion to the 2013 All-Centennial Conference Softball Team released by the league office Tuesday morning. Juniors Jen DiCandilo and Elizabeth Newman merited spots on the first team while freshman Sara Tauriello was a second-team all-conference honoree. Coach Jen Ward was voted the conference coach of the year by her peers.

Named to the all-conference team for the third straight season, DiCandilo established new career-high marks in batting average (.392), runs (32), hits (51) and doubles (15). The junior finished in a tie for second in the Centennial in RBIs with 34 and also ranked among the conference leaders in doubles (second), slugging percentage (fourth), and runs (seventh). DiCandilo gave the Fords a dependable threat in the middle of the order with a mere 15 strikeouts in 130 at bats. Her effectiveness at the plate translated to new single-season program marks for doubles (15) and total bases (80). DiCandilo currently ranks second all-time in program history in doubles (35) and home runs (11). The third baseman, a first-team all-conference honoree for the first time in her career, was equally impressive in the field where she accounted for a highlight reel of diving stops over the course of the campaign.

Haverford set new single-season team records in an assortment of offensive categories during its magical run to the conference championship game including runs scored (240), hits (349), runs batted in (194) and total bases (500). One of the catalysts behind the record-breaking season was Newman's presence and production from the lead-off position. The junior, who earned honorable mention all-conference accolades in 2012, rewrote the single-season record books by etablishing new high marks in batting average (.439), on base percentage (.516), runs scored (45) and hits (58). Ranking second in the conference in batting average, Newman was a threat to score anytime she reached base as she paced the Centennial in runs scored. She also provided the Fords an anchor on defense as she aggressively patrolled center field.

Tauriello made an immediate impact on the Haverford program as she finished her freshman season with a sparkling 11-2 record and 1.89 earned run average. The left-hander tied the single-season program record for wins (11) and strikeouts in a season (95). Tauriello ranked among the conference leaders in several categories--wins (fourth), ERA (second), and strikeouts (sixth). Starting the season 6-0, Tauriello earned conference pitcher of the week honors twice and established a new single-game program mark with 15 strikeouts against Brandeis University on March 10. The freshman rose to the occasion down the stretch with 21 strikeouts and four wins in her last four appearances as the Fords made a push for a conference playoff spot.

Directing the Haverford squad to its first playoff berth since 2009, Ward got the attention of her peers around the conference. In her ninth-year at the helm, Ward oversaw a dramatic resurgence by the Fords this season that culminated in an appearance in the Centennial championship game. The team, picked eighth in a preseason poll by conference coaches, won nine more games than they did a year ago to tie the program record for victories in a season (26).

Senior Allison Prommer from Ursinus was named the conference player of the year while Gettysburg's Steph Zengel earned rookie of the year honors. McDaniel's Caroline Brehm and Muhlenberg's Kelsey Jones shared pitcher of the year accolades.