Softball Earns Several All-Ivy Distinctions

PRINCETON, N.J. - The Ivy League announced the 2008 All-Ivy softball team on Friday, and few teams earned more distinction than Penn softball. Senior shortstop Christina Khosravi was named the league's Co-Player of the Year, while freshman pitcher Jessie Lupardus claimed Rookie of the Year honors.

Khosravi, who was also the 2006 Ivy League Player of the Year, became just the fourth player in league history to earn Player of the Year honors twice in a career.

Meanwhile, Khosravi, Lupardus, senior second baseman Annie Kinsey and freshman catcher Alisha Prystowsky were named to the first team. Khosravi was a unanimous selection.

Freshman third baseman Taylor Tieman and sophomore center fielder Keiko Uraguchi earned Honorable Mention All-Ivy status.

Christina Khosravi was the offensive leader of the Quakers all season long. Finishing with nine home runs, one shy of the Penn school record set by teammate Annie Kinsey last season, Khosravi hit .390 with 39 RBI. She shattered the school records for walks (42) and on-base percentage (.548), leading the Ivy League this season in both categories. Khosravi also had a team-record 15 doubles, which was the second-most in the League this season.

"She has had a fantastic four years," said head coach Leslie King. "This just shows what a leader she has been for our program. The fact that she has won this award twice now is a credit to the kind of player and the kind of leader that she is."

Khosravi was one of four players to earn unanimous election to the All-Ivy first team.

Khosravi shared Player of the Year honors with Princeton first baseman Jamie Lettire.

The shortstop's selection means that a Quaker has claimed Player of the Year honors for three consecutive seasons. After Khosravi's break-out 2006 campaign, Annie Kinsey earned the honor last season.

Freshman Jessie Lupardus put together the best season by a Quaker hurler in program history on her way to the 2008 Ivy League Rookie of the Year award. Lupardus, whose 20-8 record is by far the best all-time record for any Penn pitcher, earned more victories than any Quaker team did in any single season from 1974 through 2006. The first team All-Ivy pick was simply dominant in her rookie campaign, leading the Ancient Eight in ERA (1.31), wins (20), innings pitched (176.0), complete games (19), shutouts (6) and opponent's batting average (.197). She did it all in a League-high 36 appearances, adding four saves in relief. Her 177 strikeouts were second only to Kristen Schaus of Princeton in the Ivy League.

"She is my first Rookie of the Year, so that is very special," King said of Lupardus' honor. "She's only the second in Penn's history [Dawn Kulp in 1992 was the other]. For her to step right in the way she did this season was huge for our team and for our success."

Senior second baseman Annie Kinsey and freshman catcher Alisha Prystowsky round out the Quaker contingent on the first team. Kinsey, the 2007 Player of the Year, becomes the first Penn player ever to be named to the All-Ivy first team in four straight years after another stellar season. She finished third in the league with a team-high .404 batting average, adding eight home runs and 25 RBI.

Kinsey set team records for at bats (161) and hits (65).

"Earning first team All-Ivy for four straight years is a tremendous accomplishment for Annie," King said. "The way that she and Christina have been honored throughout their careers just shows what great respect the league has for the two of them, and what great respect they have brought to our program."

Alisha Prystowsky started every game as a freshman, hitting .328 with 28 RBI. Working her way into the number three spot in the Quakers' batting order, she also contributed to the success of battery mate Lupardus as the two proved to be a force to be reckoned with in their first of four seasons together.

"Alisha did a great job behind the plate for us this season," said King. "She was excellent at calling pitches and controlling the game. To be honored along with her battery mate Jessie is fantastic."

Also honored by the league were freshman third baseman Taylor Tieman and sophomore center fielder Keiko Uraguchi, who received Honorable Mention distinction.

Tieman, who also saw time as a pitcher, slammed a freshman record six home runs while jumping out to a .273 batting average in her first season in the Red and Blue. She added seven doubles and 27 RBI while starting every game for the Quakers this season.

Uraguchi, who also earned Honorable Mention distinction last season, set up the Quakers' offensive from the No. 2 position in the batting order. She put down a team-best 14 sacrifice bunts while hitting .278. She also stole six basesand drove in nine runs. Meanwhile, her outfield defense could not be topped. She led the team with nine outfield assists, including several perfect throws to home plate to erase would-be runs for the Quakers' opponents.