Softball standout Schroder named Ivy League Player of the Year
Schroder hit an eye-popping .586 in Ivy League play this season, leading the conference in hits and RBIs.
Dartmouth softball star Micah Schroder ’20 was recently awarded Ivy League Player of the Year for her incredible 2019 performance. She is the first Dartmouth player to win the award since Katie McEachern ’16 in 2016. After earning unanimous First-Team, All-Ivy recognition, Schroder was recently named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I All-Northeast Region First Team.
The second baseman’s stats from the 2019 season demonstrate her excellence both within the Ivy League and nationally. Her stellar .586 BA/.638 OBP/1.014 SLG slash line in conference play and .473/.539/.786 slash line overall gave her the best batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage among all Ivy League players.
Within conference play, she was also first in hits (41) and RBIs (33), leading all other players by 10 in each category. Schroder’s batting average placed her a full .135 above her nearest competitor, and her slugging percentage, over 1.000, trumped the next best mark by .157 and the third best by .240. Her Ivy League performance this season earned her three Ivy League Player of the Week designations. Moreover, Schroder’s .473 overall batting average in the Ivy League was .060 than the next best competitor’s while her .786 slugging percentage paced the league by nearly .100.
However, Schroder’s offensive skill does not just place her at the top of the Ivy League. She also ranks among the nation’s best softball players with a batting average currently third in the country. She is also 14th overall in on-base percentage and 26th in slugging percentage. Despite putting together one of Dartmouth softball’s best individual seasons ever, including the highest overall batting average and RBI total in a Big Green season, Schroder expressed surprise and humility at receiving the Player of the Year nod.
“I was really surprised and really thankful,” she said. “It’s really nice to get recognized for how hard you work. There’s people who work hard every day and they don’t get recognized for it.”
Schroder’s career has been marked by consistent improvement. In her freshman year, her batting average was .217, but she improved to .367 after her sophomore season, earning her a spot on the NFCA Division I All-Region Second Team and the All-Ivy Second Team. Schroder attributes this difference mainly to a deeper focus on her mental game rather than any technical changes.
“It’s hard to come in as a freshman and be as mentally tough as you need to be and be as disciplined at the plate as you should be,” she said.
Along with focusing on her mental game, Schroder’s work ethic also contributed to her success at the plate, according to Dartmouth softball head coach Jennifer Williams. Williams also points to Schroder’s connection to her teammates, which allowed for her breakout year.
“[Schroder] had a great journey this year as a teammate and a player ...” Williams said. “She really connected with her teammates and her team as a whole, kept herself more centered, and was able to recover from bad at-bats this year because she was focusing on her teammates.”
After her successful sophomore year, Schroder said she was motivated to keep working to outperform herself. She said she hit six days each week over sophomore summer to prepare for this year, which gave her additional confidence and comfort with her swing this season. With her final season playing for the Big Green coming up next year, Schroder plans to maintain her drive to outperform her already historic 2019 season.
“I know I had a good season, but I still want to do better,” she said. “Maybe next year I’ll hit .600 in Ivy League play — which is really ambitious, but I think if you put your head to it and have the confidence and put in the work, it’s attainable.”
Centerfielder and captain Taylor Ward ’19 honed in on how Schroder relentlessly dedicates herself to improving when no one else is watching.
“[Schroder] is one of the hardest workers I have ever seen, whether it’s at lifting, conditioning or practice,” Ward said. “She is someone who is never satisfied and continously is trying to get better.”
With her tough mindset, Schroder thrives under pressure. She hit .692 with runners in scoring position with two outs and .525 with runners in scoring position overall. This year, she said her approach changed from trying to score runners to simply extending innings. This new approach decreased the pressure she felt during these key scoring moments. Schroder’s slash line in conference play was also considerably higher, which she attributed to a more aggressive strategy.
“That’s just [Schroder] — she loves the game and loves to be the player in those situations,” Williams said. “Building that resilience through the year caused her to be even more excited for those situations.”
For next year, expectations are even higher, and Williams hopes big things will come from both Schroder and the team as a whole. She hopes that Schroder will bond with and motivate her teammates and “learn how to be consistent both on and off the field for her team and herself,” while maintaining an aggressive training regimen. Hopefully, Schroder’s impressive play will help the team improve upon its 10-11 conference record next season.