Softball Adds Five Newcomers for 2015 Season

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Head softball coach Jenny Allard has announced the addition of five student-athletes as the Class of 2018. The incoming class has two West Coast athletes, two players from the Garden State and one recruit from Connecticut.

"We are excited to welcome these talented young women to the team this fall," commented coach Allard. "We know they will contribute to both the softball program and the larger Harvard Community. They are eager to play for the Crimson and help us maintain our strong tradition of success."

Harvard is coming off its second straight runner-up finish in the North Division of the Ivy League after posting a 14-3-1 conference mark. The Crimson boasted a 28-15-1 overall record that featured a 19-game unbeaten streak (18-0-1) that spanned 28 days. Harvard also earned an early season signature win, shutting out nationally-ranked LSU in Baton Rouge.

The Class of 2018 joins a roster flush with talent, including four returning All-Ivy League players led by first team selections Katherine Lantz and Laura Ricciardone. Ricciardone also earned All-Northeast Region third team accolades.

Here is a look at the freshman class. 

Alexa Altchek/Outfield/Livingston, N.J./Livingston
Lettered as an outfielder for Livingston all four years … Named to the All-Super Essex Conference and All-Essex county first teams … Livingston High School Wendy's Heisman Award winner … Livingston was the Super Essex Conference, Essex County and N.J. State Sectional Champions in 2012 and 2013 … Member of the National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society … National Merit Scholar Commended Student. 

Dallas Hogan/Outfield/Mount Laurel, N.J./Lenape
Three-sport athlete at Lenape, playing softball, basketball and running indoor track … Earned a total of seven letters, four softball, two basketball and one track … Captained the softball team as a senior … Lenape's 2014 Female Scholar-Athlete Award … Was named All-Olympic Conference first team in 2011 and 2013, earning second team honors in 2012 … First team all-county selection in 2013 … SJ Magazine recognized her as a "Rising Star" in 2012 … Was the basketball team MVP in 2011 … Received the track Spirit Award in 2014 … Part of the relay team that holds Lenape's 4x200m record … On the principal's list all four years … Earned the Spanish Honor Society Award … Member of the Interact, Spanish and Renaissance Clubs, as well as the National Honor Society … Volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank of South Jersey, Westampton Softball Camp, Senior Citizens Fall Clean-up and Ronald McDonald House Annual Breakfast.

Madeline 'Maddy' Kaplan/Outfield/Santa Monica, Calif./Harvard-Westlake
Four-year letterwinner on the softball team … Played outfield, first base and pitcher … Three-time captain  … First team All-Mission League selection in 2012 … All-Mission League second team in 2011- and 2013 … Helped Harvard-Westlake win the Mission League title in 2012 and 2013 … Named to the 2013 Lancaster Desert All-Tournament team … Earned a gold medal in softball for Team USA at the Maccabiah Games in Israel in 2013 … Participated in youth soccer with the Westside Breakers Soccer Club before focusing full-time on softball in high school … Was a member of the Honor Roll from 2012-14 … Member of the Spanish National Honor Society … Received the Humanitas Community Service Award.

Melissa Lacro/Infield/Las Vegas, Nev./Palo Verde
Four-time letterwinner and two-time captain of the softball team at Palo Verde … Played outfield, second base and pitcher … Selected to the All-Northwest Conference first team in 2011 and 2013 … Named All-Northwest Conference second team in 2012 … Earned first team all-state honors as a utility player in 2012 and 2013 … Four-time all-state academic team honoree … Named a Scholar-Athlete three times … Palo Verde won the Nevada 4A state title in 2011 and finished as runner-up in 2013 … Has volunteered with the Summerlin Art Festival and Hometown Holidays for two years … Participated in Out of the Dark Community Walks to help raise awareness for suicide prevention … Helped feed the homeless as part of the Las Vegas Hawaiian Civic Club. 

Morgan Macchiarulo/Catcher/Sandy Hook, Conn./Newtown
Competed the last three years with Wicked fastpitch softball, traveling the country playing in top showcases … Played catcher and third base for Wicked … Played one year of right field for Newtown High School in the Southwestern Connecticut Conference …  National Merit Scholar runner-up … World Languages Honor Society member … Italian Club secretary as a sophomore and president as a junior … middle school softball coach for two years … Was instrumental in the founding of the "We are Newton" Scholarship Initiative in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.