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Softball History

Softball is Haverford's youngest sports tradition but has become as competitive as any team on the Haverford College athletic roster.

The building of the new varsity field, named for the Class of 1995, and the initial varsity team of 1996 were preceded by several years of softball as a club sport, inspired by then-coach Dick Wiseman, Haverford vice-president Dick Wynn, and pitcher-captain Randee Waldman ’94.

Haverford's first real softball star, Carrie Clausen ’98, emerged in the team's first years as a varsity by helping the Fords defeat several Centennial rivals. Clausen was a solid hitter, pitched most of the innings over three years, and culminated her career in 1998 with selection as Haverford's initial first-team Centennial Conference designee and receipt of the Stephen Cary Award, given to the person who has done the most for women's sports at Haverford in the preceding year.

Another Stephen Cary Award winner, Sasha Brady ’02, became Haverford's first-ever two-time first-team All-Centennial Conference performer - after receiving such honors in 2002 and 2003, while Kaitlyn Luther ’04, a former captain for the Fords, completed an outstanding four-year career by earning honorable mention All-Centennial Conference honors in 2004. Julia Blake ’19, also a Cary Award recipient, is the most recent player to earn this distinction. She joined Jen DiCandilo ’14 and Sara Tauriello ’16 as the only players in school history to be named all-conference during each of their four seasons.

Jen Ward ’04 was named coach of the program prior to the 2005 season. Ward led her squad to a Centennial Conference title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament in 2006. It marked the first-ever winning season in program history and Nora Spriggs ’06 earned Centennial Conference Player of the Year honors.

The 2013 team set single-season team records in an assortment of offensive categories during its magical run to the Centennial Conference championship game while tying the program record for wins in a season (26). The very next year, the Fords broke that record with 29 wins during the 2014 season. That season included the second Centennial Conference title in program history. During Haverford's second appearance at the NCAA Tournament, the Fords picked up their first NCAA victory with an 8-0 win against Farmingdale State in six innings during their first elimination game.

Erin Brooks was named the fourth head coach of the softball program in July of 2014. In just her second season leading the team, Haverford made its deepest run into the NCAA Tournament in program history. The Fords started their historic postseason run by becoming the first team in conference history to lose the first game of the conference tournament and come all the way back with four straight wins to lift the conference trophy.

The team’s reward with the automatic bid was an NCAA Regional with the top two teams in the entire country, No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan and No. 2 Salisbury. However, the Fords defied the odds and captured their first NCAA Regional Championship with a thrilling 7-6 win against Salisbury in the tournament’s seventh game. The Fords fell just one game short of the NCAA College World Series with a two games to one defeat in the NCAA Super Regional at the hands of Messiah.

Kate Poppe was named the program’s fifth head coach prior to the 2018 season and has led Haverford to back-to-back appearances in the Centennial Conference Championship series. In 2019, the Fords went 13-3 in Centennial Conference play and earned the right to host the Centennial Conference Tournament. Following that stellar season, the Fords had a program-record four players named first-team All-Centennial Conference. That group included 2019 CC Player of the Year Emma Souter ’21 and second-team NFCA All-Atlantic Region pitcher Temma Levis ’20. Additionally, Ashley Sisto ’20 was named the program’s first-ever Centennial Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year.