May 2, 2011

Christy Nelson Elected 2011-12 Yale Softball Captain

Four Others Honored At Team Banquet

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Christy Nelson, who led the team with six home runs, 28 RBI and 26 runs, has been elected captain of the 2011-12 Yale softball team. The announcement was made at the annual post season banquet on Sunday following a team vote.

"I am proud to know I have the respect of my teammates and that they have faith in me to lead the team," said Nelson, a San Diego, Calif., native. "I hope to bring a competitive edge to next year's program that will help our team reach the goals we set out for. I feel I can stay rational in times of adversity and I hope my actions on and off the field will represent Yale Softball in a positive way."

Nelson started 40 games for the Bulldogs and finished second on the team in doubles (11) and fourth in batting (.314). Her statistics in league games were even more impressive. In 20 games, she batted .339 with six doubles, three home runs and 13 RBI. As a freshman in 2010, Nelson finished second on the team in home runs (4) and RBI (16). With 10 homers in two years, she already is more than halfway to the school record of 17.

Nelson inherits the captaincy from McKynlee Westman.

I have definitely learned much from McKynlee and Ashley Sloan during my two years," Nelson said. "Seeing the way they carried themselves and represented the team in difficult situations has been a true inspiration, and I hope I can follow their lead in bringing the team closer together. Both of them taught me that a team captain cares deeply about every person on the team, and they push everyone to reach their fullest abilities."

Four team awards also were presented at the banquet. Westman, a senior, was the recipient of the Barbara Chou Leadership Award for the second time in her time at Yale. She also won the award as a freshman. Westman started 39 games behind the plate and hit .307 with five doubles and 16 RBI. Twelve of her RBI came in league games.

Freshman Chelsey Dunham was named the team's most valuable player. Dunham enjoyed an outstanding rookie season, leading the Yale pitching staff in wins (11), ERA (3.25), innings (144.1), strikeouts (88) and complete games (16).Her 11 wins tied for the ninth most in a season in school history. She was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week twice during the season.

The Most Improved Player Award was presented to senior Mariclaire Rebman. Rebman finished her career with an outstanding senior season. She improved her batting average by more than 140 points from her junior season and belted the first two home runs of her career. She finished the season with career highs in average (.308), runs scored (20), hits (41), doubles (6) and home runs (2).

Junior Chelsea Janes received the Andy Van Etten Coaches Award for the second time in her three years at Yale. The Van Etten Award is bestowed upon the player who represents the ideals of Yale Softball that go beyond statistics. Janes, who was an outfielder in her first two years, made the switch to catcher for the 2011 season.

Yale ended the season with a 17-25 overall record and an 8-12 Ivy mark. The Bulldogs set a school record with 64 doubles and also finished with an all-time best .290 team batting average.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity