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Softball All-Ivy -- 2012

PRINCETON, N.J. -- For the second consecutive season, Harvard senior Rachel Brown (San Diego) earned Ivy League Pitcher of the Year honors by a unanimous vote of the League’s head coaches. Brown also capped off a four-year run with her fourth consecutive first-team All-Ivy honor and will now lead the Crimson into NCAA Regional play at Washington. Her teammate Jane Alexander (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Brown’s Stephanie Thompson (Chino, Calif.) were voted the co-Players of the Year, while Penn pitcher Alexis Borden (Yorba Linda, Calif.) claimed Rookie of the Year honors.

Pitcher of the Year
Brown is just the fourth player to be named the League’s Pitcher of the Year twice in the history of the award, which dates back to 1994, and the first to do so while donning a Harvard uniform. Since All-Ivy selections began in 1981, Brown is just the 13th player in League history to be a four-time first-team All-Ivy selection and the first since Penn’s Annie Kinsey earned her fourth honor in 2008. She is the second Harvard player to earn four career All-Ivy first team honors, joining Tiffany Whitton (2000-03).

Brown dazzled in the circle this season, posting a 19-5 overall record to go along with a 1.34 ERA and 232 strikeouts in 172 innings of work. In the Ivy League Championship Series, Brown led the Crimson with a complete game shutout of Penn, 1-0, in game one and came back to earn the series clinching save in game two. She tossed 21 complete games and walked just 42 batters. Her 9.4 strikeouts per seven inning ranks seventh-best in the nation, while her 3.74 hits allowed per seven innings is the second-best mark in the country. Brown earned Ivy League Pitcher of the Week honors five times this season and has 12 such honors in her career, including three as a junior and two as a freshman and sophomore.

Co-Player of the Year
Alexander paced a Crimson offense that led the League in batting average and hits en route to claiming the program’s second consecutive Ivy League title. In all games played, Alexander led the Ivy League with 60 hits on the year and also tied for the top mark in total bases (90), while placing second in runs scored (32), tied for first in doubles (13) and first in triples (4). She batted .408 during the regular season and added 23 RBI, three home runs and a .612 slugging percentage. In Ivy play, Alexander led the League in runs scored (20), triples (3) and stolen bases (6).

Dating back to 1985, Brown and Alexander become just the third pair to share Ivy League Player of the Year honors. Ties also occurred in 1993 with Shelby Marshall of Brown and Karen Drill of Princeton and in 2008 with Christina Khosravi of Penn and Jamie Lettire of Princeton. Alexander is Harvard’s second consecutive Ivy League Player of the Year as Ellen Macadam took home the honor in 2011 and the Crimson’s sixth winner overall.

Co-Player of the Year
Fourth in the nation in batting average, Thompson ended the year with a .477 average, which currently ranks second in Division I, and she led the Bears in hits (51), runs (27), home runs (9), RBI (27) and total bases (90). As Brown's starting shortstop, she posted a .920 fielding percentage and also posted a .571 on-base percentage, which ranks sixth in the nation. Thompson’s .477 batting average led the League, as did her slugging percentage (.841), her on-base percentage (.571) and walks (25).

In just three years, Thompson ranks second in the Brown record book for career home runs (24), second in career batting average (.438), fourth in runs scored (91), third in hits (156), second in doubles (37), and fourth in RBI (82). She is Brown’s fourth Ivy League Player of the Year and first since Katie King won the award in 1996. Thompson was also voted as the first-team All-Ivy shortstop.

Rookie of the Year
Borden had a stellar first year for the Quakers as she posted a 24-6 record to lead Penn to its first Ivy League Championship Series since 2007. Borden finished the year with a 1.46 earned run average and 193 strikeouts. She led the League in wins (24), innings pitched (196.2), games started (27) and appearances (34). In Ivy games, Borden had a 1.65 ERA and recorded 12 wins. 

Dating back to 1985, Borden is Penn’s third Ivy League Rookie of the Year, joining Dawn Kulp (1992) and Jess Lupardus (2008). Borden was also a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection.

First-Team All-Ivy
Sophomore Kasey Lange (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) and junior Ashley Heritage (College Station, Texas) join Brown and Alexander as Crimson players to be named to the All-Ivy first team. Slotting in at third base, Lange earned her second consecutive unanimous selection to the first team. The 2011 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Lange batted .378 in regular-season action, while leading the League in RBI with 39. She also had six home runs and totaled 54 hits, tied for the second most in the League. Heritage, who earned second team honors a season ago, batted .295 and led the Crimson with 10 stolen bases. She also scored 21 runs and added four doubles.

Combining with Heritage to comprise the first team outfield is Cornell sophomore Lauren Bucolo (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Penn junior Brooke Coloma (Martinez, Calif.). Bucolo also batted .295 for the year, with six home runs, 22 RBI and 24 runs scored. In Ivy play, her 27 hits and 49 total bases led the League. It marks Bucolo’s first career All-Ivy honor. Coloma, who earned Honorable Mention All-Ivy status as a sophomore, was second in the League with 34 RBI and also ranked tied for fourth with 19 walks. She batted .275 on the year and in Ivy games she led the League in RBI (20) while finishing tied for second in runs scored (18).

Heading back to the infield, Cornell junior Kristen Towne (Brecksville, Ohio) got the nod from the coaches as the first team catcher. Town, who had 184 putouts on the year, a .976 fielding percentage and also caught six stealing, was a catalyst for the Big Red offense with a .304 batting average, 42 hits, 21 RBI, 25 runs scored and four home runs. Towne was an honorable mention selection as a sophomore.

At first base, Brown senior Kate Strobel (Denver) earned her second consecutive All-Ivy first team honor. The senior, who was an honorable mention selection as a utility player her freshman season, led the Bears with 27 RBI and nine home runs this year, while coming in second in hits (42), doubles (9) and walks (17). She boasted a .975 fielding percent and a .496 on base percentage. She concluded her career as Brown’s all-time leader in home runs (33) and ranks second in hits (159).

Yale junior Jennifer Ong (Pleasanton, Calif.) earned her first career All-Ivy honor as the second baseman on the 2012 All-Ivy first team. She started each of the Bulldogs’ 46 games this season and led the squad in batting average (.351), hits (54) and on-base percentage (.409). Her batting average ranked fifth in the League, while her 54 hits were tied with Lange for the second most. She is the first Bulldog to be named to an All-Ivy first team since 2009 (Lauren Huddleston).

Penn sophomore Elysse Gorney (So., Orlando, Fla.) and Columbia sophomore Tristin Moone (Waterflow, N.M.) round out the All-Ivy first team at utility player and designated player, respectively. Gorney, who earned honorable mention status as a freshman, batted .309, had 47 hits, eight doubles, 17 RBI and scored 29 runs – the fourth most in the League. Moone hit .295, added four home runs and 15 RBI. She also had three doubles on the year.

Co-Players of the Year
Jane Alexander, Harvard (Sr., Palo Alto, Calif.)
Stephanie Thompson, Brown (Jr., Chino, Calif.)

Pitcher of the Year
Rachel Brown, Harvard (Sr., San Diego)*

Rookie of the Year
Alexis Borden, Penn (Fr., Yorba Linda, Calif.)

First Team All-Ivy
P – Rachel Brown, Harvard (Sr., San Diego)*
P – Alexis Borden, Penn (Fr., Yorba Linda, Calif.)*
C – Kristen Towne, Cornell (Jr., Brecksville, Ohio)
1B – Kate Strobel, Brown (Sr., Denver)
2B – Jennifer Ong, Yale (Jr., Pleasanton, Calif.)
3B – Kasey Lange, Harvard (So., Ladera Ranch, Calif.)*
SS – Stephanie Thompson, Brown (Jr., Chino, Calif.)
OF – Ashley Heritage, Harvard (Jr., College Station, Texas)
OF – Lauren Bucolo, Cornell (So., Palo Alto, Calif.)
OF – Brooke Coloma, Penn (Jr., Martinez, Calif.)
U – Elysse Gorney, Penn (So., Orlando, Fla.)
DP – Tristin Moone, Columbia (So., Waterflow, N.M.)

Second Team (13)^
P – Laura Ricciardone, Harvard (So., Slidell, La.)
P – Alyson Onyon, Cornell (So., Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
C - Allison Scott, Harvard (So., Alpine, Calif.)
1B - Whitney Shaw, Harvard (Sr., San Francisco)
2B – Jenny Edwards, Cornell (Morton Grove, Ill.)
2B – Samantha Erosa, Penn (Jr., Bronx, N.Y.)
3B – Christy Nelson, Yale (Jr., San Diego)
SS - Jane Alexander, Harvard (Sr., Palo Alto, Calif.)
OF – Shelbi Olson, Harvard (So., Lenexa, Kan.)
OF – Stephanie Regan, Harvard (Jr., Humble, Texas)
OF – Sydney Turchin, Penn (Fr., Princeton Junction, N.J.)
U – Karina Rios, Penn (Fr., Cooper City, Fla.)
DP – Adrienne Hume, Harvard (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Honorable Mention (12)
P - Alex Peyton, Princeton (Jr., Fullerton, Calif.)
P – Kristen Rumley, Dartmouth (Fr., Katy, Texas)
C – Liz Caggiano, Columbia (Fr., Bellaire, Texas)
1B – Kat Hicks, Dartmouth (Sr., Templeton, Calif.)
2B – Katherine Lantz, Harvard (Fr., Parkland, Fla.)
3B – Kayla Dahlerbruch, Penn (So., West Hills, Calif.)
SS – Meg Johnson, Yale (Sr., New Milford, Conn.)
OF - Tori Balta, Yale (So., Valencia, Calif.)
OF – Jessica Melendez, Penn (Jr., Miami)
OF – Kayla Shimoda, Columbia (Fr., Aiea, Hawai’i)
OF – Avery Silverstein, Brown (Jr., Woodbridge, Conn.)
DP – Cara Worden, Princeton (Fr., Santa Ana, Calif.)

* - denotes unanimous selection
^ - team expanded to 13 due to a tie in voting