• Athletics
Big Red Sports Network Profile: Allison Haworth ‘22

Nico Torres ‘22
Tri-varsity student-athlete Allison Haworth may be best known on campus for her blazing performances on the track, but she also stars at one of the most demanding positions on the softball diamond: shortstop.

Nico Torres: How did you first get involved with softball?
Allison Haworth: I started playing co-ed T-ball in my town when I was five years old and started playing fast pitch softball when I was six. I have played every year since and progressed from playing in a recreational league, to playing on a travel team, and then to club teams.

NT: What position do you play, and which skills does it emphasize?
AW: I am the starting shortstop for both Lawrenceville and my club team, though I am considered a “utility” player, meaning that I can play almost every position. Over the years, I have also played a lot of second base, outfield, and catcher on my club teams. Playing shortstop requires having quick reflexes and a fast, accurate throw. You have to be fast on your feet to make plays in your own part of the field while also backing up the third baseman and covering plays and steals at second base. Finally, a shortstop needs to be willing to dive and get dirty if necessary in order to keep the ball in the infield.

NT: How do you balance your academics with a varsity sport? Do you have any advice to prospective varsity athletes?
AW: In addition to playing varsity softball, I also run varsity cross country and varsity indoor track, so I'm used to being busy year-round. I also normally attend club practices and tournaments outside of my classes and School sports. We are fortunate to have our own athletic facilities on campus so we can host our own games and meets on campus, and we have half days on Wednesdays and Saturdays, which allows more time for traveling long distances when necessary without missing class. Even so, playing a varsity sport is undoubtedly a larger time commitment than other sport levels. I try to be efficient and work ahead in my schoolwork whenever possible. I recommend that prospective varsity athletes work diligently and effectively on their homework during their free time in addition to regular study hall.

NT: Do you play softball outside of school? If so, when and for which team(s). 
AW: Before becoming a boarding student at Lawrenceville, I used to play for the New Jersey Mystics. I then began playing club softball closer to school for the 18U Central Jersey A’s. This year, I joined the Central Jersey Force 18U Elite. While club athletes were unable to participate in their club sports while learning in-person this past fall, I am continuing to play with my team during the remote winter term. Our main softball tournament season will be during June, July, and August.

NT: What is your favorite Lawrenceville Softball tradition?
AW: We are very fortunate that we normally get to go on a spring break training trip as a team every year. In 2019, we went to ESPN Wide World of Sports and Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where we practiced together for a week and played against teams from all over the country. It’s a great bonding experience that unifies the Big Red softball team while providing invaluable playing experience so we can hit the ground running when we return to school after spring break. I still remember my freshmen trip, especially how welcoming the coaches and upperclassmen were and how quickly we were able to bond. Unfortunately, our trip was cancelled last year due to COVID.  I know that Coach [John] Schiel, my teammates, and I are really looking forward to resuming this tradition again soon.

NT: What is the biggest lesson softball has taught you, on or off of the field?
AW: Softball has contributed to my understanding of teamwork and sportsmanship as well as my physical fitness, endurance, and grit. This is especially important when playing anywhere from six to ten games in the course of a weekend through scorching summer weather.

Softball has also taught me the importance of being a team player. It’s easy to make a mistake in the game now and then, though it’s important to keep fighting and remember that at the end of the day, it’s a game and it’s supposed to be fun. Winning a championship is unbelievably thrilling, but winning isn’t everything. Team members need to have positive attitudes, be willing to play any position if necessary, and help to create a positive team atmosphere by supporting everyone- especially those that may be having a bad day. In team sports, team morale is contagious!

NT: Why should student-athletes on campus consider taking up softball in the spring?
AW: Athletes that have played other sports that require hand-eye coordination should definitely consider giving softball a try. Even if students have never played before, being part of a team atmosphere is a great way to get involved and create lasting bonds with others. Lawrenceville also has a JV softball team, which is a great way to learn the sport. Best of all, the game of softball is fun, competitive, and rewarding.

For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.