Fourth-year skipper Rachel Hanson guided Dartmouth to its first-ever Ivy League Championship and a trip the 2014 NCAA Tournament after compiling a 31-19 record with an 18-2 mark in Ivy League play.
The 2014 Big Green squad set several records as a team over the course of the spring. Their 18 league wins set a new program mark and sit second with 31 overall wins, one behind the 2000 team. The team also won the Ivy North Division for the second consecutive season in dramatic fashion. Needing to win their final three games of the season to earn the pennant, Big Green defeated Harvard three times in a four-game series to capture the division once again. Hanson picked up her 50th Ivy victory in the regular-season finale against the Crimson. Overall, Hanson has won 88 games in her four years in Hanover and boasts a .511 winning percentage in that span.
Continuing to improve year-by-year, the 2014 team snapped numerous single-season and single-game records during their historic run towards the NCAA Tournament. Sophomore Morgan McCalmon tied a single-game best 13 strikeouts against Harvard (4/27), freshman Maddie Damore set a new single-game record - three home runs and had seven RBI against Yale and Rumley snapped her single-season strikeouts record with 193 as a junior. The southpaw ace also set career standards with 46 wins, 529 strikeouts and 490.0 innings pitched. Sophomore Katie McEachern set the doubles record with 15 this year and is the all-time home run leader with 18.
As a team, the Big Green set a new single-season record in home runs (39) and RBI (199). During the season, the Green had a 16-game winning streak and started Ivy play 15-0.
Prior to the season, Hanson was named the College Sports Madness Ivy League Preseason Coach of the Year.
Entering this spring, Dartmouth was coming off a record-breaking 2013 campaign in which the Big Green clinched the North Division title and advanced to the Ivy League Championship series for the second time in school history. The Big Green set single-season records in batting average (.292), triples (16), home runs (33) and RBI (198). Additionally, the Big Green’s 15 Ivy League wins was a program record and Dartmouth set records with eight consecutive wins.
For the first time in her Dartmouth tenure, Hanson coached the Pitcher of the Year in Kristen Rumley and Rookie of the Year in Katie McEachern. The Big Green also took home five All-Ivy honors spearheaded by first-team selections from Rumley and senior Hillary Hubert. The five selections are the most for the Big Green since 2000. In all, the Big Green had two players earned NFCA All-Northeast region honors in Rumley and Hubert and earned eight Ivy League weekly accolades.
In her three-year tenure, Hanson has led the Big Green to 57 wins, including wins over Ivy League rival, Harvard, as well as key non-conference opponents in North Texas and Stetson. Dartmouth has seen 11 players earn All-Ivy honors under her tutelage and has had two Academic All-Ivy selections. Additionally, the Big Green has had three players earn National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-America Scholar Athlete honors.
Dartmouth has seen growth in all facets of the game under Hanson. Hanson helped guide freshman pitcher Kristen Rumley to one of the best rookie campaign’s in recent history. Rumley concluded the 2012 campaign with 151 strikeouts, placing her second all-time on Dartmouth’s single season list and marking the first time that a Big Green pitcher has thrown over 100 strikeouts in a season since the 2003 campaign. Rumley twice neared the single-game record with 12 strikeouts, one shy of the record. She earned national recognition with 9.1 strikeouts per seven innings ranking her No. 12 in the country and her 0.97 walks per game were 10th best.
In her two years, Rumley has shattered Dartmouth’s career and single-season strikeout records and currently owns both records.
Rumley has also spearheaded the Dartmouth hitters. The freshman was the Big Green’s top hitter in 2012, batting .355 with 22 hits and six RBI. Sophomore Kara Curosh also flourished under Hanson’s leadership and hit .290 as the Big Green’s lone player to start each game in 2012. The Big Green hitters have also improved, Hillary Hubert capped her Dartmouth career in 2013 and concluded her career in the top three in batting average after setting the single-season hits record with 59 hits.
Prior to her appointment at Dartmouth, Hanson spent five years as the head softball coach at the University of Dallas.
During Hanson’s five-year tenure, she posted an overall record of 80-87, setting a school record for victories by a softball coach. She was hired as UD’s head coach shortly after graduating from Trinity University in Texas and went right to work to turn the independent program into a winning program. After averaging 14 wins during her first three campaigns, the Crusaders posted a school-record 20 victories and featured the Association of Division III Independents (AD3I) Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in 2009. Dallas was ranked among the top 20 nationally in scoring, doubles and triples and had two players selected as National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-America Scholar-Athletes.
In her last season, Hanson led the Crusaders to an 18-18 mark while six players earned All-AD3I status, while another received Scholar-Athlete All-America status from the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). In her five seasons at the helm, a total of 22 of her athletes received all-independent accolades and seven received All-America recognition from the USCAA.
Hanson also has extensive experience working at softball camps, including serving as the head instructor at a Nike Softball Camp. She has been an instructor at various other camps, including Williams College, the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and UT-Dallas. Currently, a member of the NFCA Hall of Fame Committee, Hanson also served on the NFCA Regional Realignment Committee.
In addition to her duties as the head softball coach, Hanson served as the head volleyball coach for five seasons. She guided the 2009 squad to the North Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in the program’s history.
A 2005 graduate of Trinity with a degree in political science, Hanson was a three-time all-conference selection for the Tigers’ softball team. She captained the team to a conference championship in her senior year, helping Trinity place third at regionals with a final ranking of 19th in the NFCA Coaches’ Poll. Hanson was a member of the Dean’s List and Pi Sigma Alpha (the National Political Science Honor Society), plus chosen to the academic all-conference squad.