CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard softball hosted its annual banquet in the Murr Center last week, handing out five team awards and naming its captains for the 2015-16 season. Rising seniors Zoe Galindo and Morgan Groom were selected to lead the Crimson next season.
Galindo and senior Emily Gusse were the co-recipients of the Best Defensive Player award. Gusse is earning the honor for the second-straight season. She started all 44 games at shortstop with 62 putouts and 68 assists. She was named an All-Ivy League honorable mention selection earlier this week. Galindo played in 42 games as Harvard's centerfielder, posting a .948 fielding percentage with 53 putouts, two assists and just three errors.
Senior second baseman Katherine Lantz was named the best offensive player of the year. An All-Ivy League first team selection and Capital One Academic All-District honoree, Lantz led all starters with a .350 average, 27 RBI and tied for the team-lead with five home runs. The five home runs tied for fifth in the league, her RBI total tied for sixth and her batting average was good for ninth-best. Lantz finishes her career as a .292 hitter with 88 RBI, 10 homers and 17 stolen bases.
Senior pitcher Laura Ricciardone came away with a pair of awards. The four-time All-Ivy League selection and two-time NFCA Northeast All-Region choice was named most outstanding pitcher and received the Betty Ippolito Award, given to the player who has done the most to continue the tradition of excellence in Harvard softball. The Slidell, Louisiana, native won 12 games in 2015, tied for the second-most in the Ivy League and her 2.24 ERA was the third-lowest. In conference games, her ERA lowered to 2.15 and she accounted for eight of Harvard's 13 wins against the Ancient Eight. Her stellar career includes a 1.96 ERA, 57 wins, 105 appearances, 507.1 innings and 320 strikeouts, which all rank in the top-six of Harvard's pitching records.
The final award, the Becky Pocius Award, was bestowed upon Katherine Applebe. The Becky Pocious Award is awarded annually to the player or players that embody the qualities of true team players. Appelbe, despite fighting through an injury most of the season, batted .333 in 30 games, driving in nine runs on 23 hits.