HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College softball team has been picked for a second-place finish in the Centennial Conference following a vote of the head coaches. The Fords received one first-place vote in the poll and totaled 53 voting points. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.
Gettysburg, the 2018 Centennial Conference Champion, gathered seven of the nine first-place votes to top the poll. Fellow playoff teams McDaniel and Washington College rounded out the conference teams predicted for a return to the postseason in 2019.
The Fords had a huge turnaround during the 2018 season under then-first-year head coach Kate Poppe as Haverford finished with a 21-12 record (9-7 CC) and a third-place finish in the Centennial Conference regular season standings. During the Centennial Conference Tournament, the Fords started 2-0 to advance to the conference championship game for the fourth time in sixth seasons. Unfortunately, Mother Nature intervened and forced the cancelation of the decisive game seven to give Gettysburg the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
Haverford appears well positioned to once again challenge for the top spot in the conference as the Fords return six of their eight starters from the field and all three of their pitchers from last year's team. Included in that group are 2018 All-Centennial Conference honorees Julia Blake (second team) and junior Temma Levis (honorable mention). Blake enters her senior season as a three-time All-CC performer who earned first-team accolades during the 2016 season. Junior Ashley Sisto has also been an all-conference performer during her career with honorable mention status during the 2017 season.
Softball opens its season against No. 5 Rowan on Tuesday, March 5 before departing for Florida the following week for 10 games during the College's week of spring break. Haverford opens Centennial Conference Play on Saturday, March 30 at home against McDaniel. The top four teams in the Centennial Conference Tournament which will now begin with an opening game on Tuesday, April 30.