The Numbers Game: Katie McEachern '16's 128 career runs scored
Each week The Numbers Game will break down one Dartmouth sport’s statistic.
This week’s number: 128 — Katie McEachern’s career runs scored
Last week, this column chronicled the career of one of Dartmouth’s preeminent female student athletes — basketball player Lakin Roland ’16. Continuing with this trend, this week we will delve into the storied career of Katie McEachern ’16. The sure-handed shortstop hit .442 on the season and collected a team-high 53 base hits. She finished the season tied for 20th in the nation in overall batting average, joined in this category by only one other Ivy League standout in the top 50. The San Diego, California native was also a threat with the long ball, tallying 12 home runs in her final campaign in Hanover. For the second straight year McEachern was named Ivy League Player of the Year and earned a spot on National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s Division I Northeast All-Region First Team.
In her four-year career for the Big Green McEachern finished at the top of several of the College’s all-time lists including: home runs (40), hits (203), RBIs (129) and runs (128). While all of these are unbelievable totals, the 128 runs scored total stands out. McEachern played in 166 total games in a Dartmouth uniform meaning she averaged one run in an astonishing 77 percent of her games played. To put this in perspective, the number two person on the all time runs scored list is Sarah Damon ’02, who tallied 106 runs scored in her storied career.
Runs scored has always been one of the best indicators of evaluating talent in softball because it usually directly correlates with the overall impact a player is having on the game. Although it is a team dependent statistic, almost every individual player evaluator metric in softball is to some extent reliant on team factors. That being said, great players always do the little things to increase the odds of scoring once they reach base. This could be taking the extra base, stealing a base or being patient enough to take a base on balls when the pitcher is nibbling at the corners of the plate. The is exactly the type of play that McEachern was known for throughout her career: doing whatever it takes, including the little things, to give her team the best chance to win.
Let’s now compare McEachern’s runs scored figures to one of the best players around the country. Georgia University’s Sydni Emanuel, who is considered by many the best hitter in the college game, scored 44 runs in 46 total games this year. Although she scored at a slightly higher rate than McEachern, some of this differential can be chalked up to Emanuel having a stronger supporting cast. Even so, McEachern’s impact on the Dartmouth softball team still stacks up well against her counterparts around the country.
Although McEachern has already collected a plethora of postseason accolades throughout her career, she may not be done as she has a strong chance of being named to the 2016 NFCA Division I All-American team, which will be announced on June 1. As far as the softball team as a whole is concerned, the team finished the season with a 27-15 record and a 15-5 mark in the Ivy League. The team is on the brink of capturing another Ivy title, but replacing the production of the soon-to-graduate McEachern will be extremely difficult going forward.