Update: This article was published prior to the announcement of Saturday's home opener against Rowan being postponed. The Fords will now look to open their 2018 season at Arcadia on Tuesday, March 6.
HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College softball team will seek a return to postseason play this spring as the Fords are just two years removed from the program's first-ever NCAA Regional Championship and NCAA Super Regional appearance. The 2018 season will also mark the first year for Haverford head coach Kate Poppe who came to the Fords with Division I coaching experience at Providence and Rider.
Haverford returns five of its starters from that 2016 championship team and three more starters from last year's team. Coupled with a six-member incoming class, the Fords should have the talent and depth to reclaim their spot as one of the top teams in the Centennial Conference after winning conference titles during each of the past two even numbered seasons in 2014 and 2016.
Senior captain Jessica Koshinski enters the season as a three-time All-Centennial Conference performer. The three-year starting third basemen hit .342 last season and has nine career home runs to rank sixth in school history. Her .476 career slugging percentage is also among the top 10 in program history while she has driven in 66 runs from the middle of the lineup.
Junior co-captains Julia Blake and Rachel Wolfson join her on the infield. Blake is a two-time All-Centennial Conference performer, earning first-team accolades at second base last spring. Leading the team in most offensive categories, she batted .413 during the 2017 season for the fourth highest single season average in school history. Blake has a career .426 on-base percentage to rank second in school history. Wolfson has started every game at shortstop during the past two seasons. She already has five home runs through two seasons and batted .313 during her rookie season. Batting leadoff, she has also swiped 14 bases in 16 attempts during her career.
Senior Emily Gorman returns as the incumbent catcher. She is already a two-year starter on the team with 66 career starts to her credit. She threw out five attempted base stealers last spring. Classmate Alex Craig is a two-year starter in left field. Craig has scored 31 runs during her career and is a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts. She will be joined in the outfield by sophomore Ashley Sisto who was an honorable mention All-CC centerfielder last spring. Sisto batted .325 in her rookie season with eight extra-base hits while also scoring 19 runs and being named the Centennial Conference Player of the Week on one occasion.
The team's returning pitchers both come from the sophomore class in Temma Levis and Briana Quinn. Levis won four games last spring and threw five complete games, highlighted by a shutout of Swarthmore. Levis also saw time at first base, batting .253 on the season. Quinn appeared in the circle during 10 games last spring, starting four of those contests. She pitched 20.1 innings and closed her rookie season with a ton of momentum as she allowed just two earned runs during her final six relief appearances.
Adding to the sophomore class this year is first basemen Marybeth Stone. A native of Pennsylvania and transfer from Middlebury, Stone hit .405, slugged .620, and got on-base at a .467 clip last season for the Panthers. A talented first year class will bolster an already experienced team with a diverse skill set spanning all of the different positions. Emma Souter and Elaina Savage are both infielders looking to vie for playing time, while Johanna Batterton, Allison Mackenzie, and Nicole Swisher will compete for time in the outfield. Batterton is also expected to see time in the circle as one of three pitchers on the roster this spring.
The 2018 season is scheduled to get underway this Saturday with a home doubleheader against Rowan that is slated for a 12 p.m. start. The Fords are scheduled to play six doubleheaders on the Class of '95 Field this spring.