LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) has announced that Harvard sophomore Maddy Kaplan and senior Morgan Groom were among the 385 student-athletes from 157 programs to have received 2016 NFCA Division I All-Region accolades.
The awards honor softball student-athletes from the Association's 10 regions with first, second and third team selections. NFCA member coaches from each respective region voted on the teams, and all the honorees now become eligible for selection to the 2016 NFCA Division I All-American squads.
Both Crimson student-athletes were recognized in the Northeast Region with Kaplan garnering a spot on the first team for the second year in-a-row, while Groom received third team recognition.
Kaplan has now been selected to the All-Ivy League and NFCA Northeast region first teams in both of her seasons in Cambridge. Hailing from Santa Monica, California, Kaplan dominated at the plate, leading the conference in batting average by 30 points at .472. That mark is also the second-highest, single-season batting mark in Harvard history, trailing only Mary Baldauf '88, who hit .488 in 1985. Kaplan doubled her RBI total this season from her freshman campaign to 32 this year and bumped up her slugging percentage by over .200 to .634, launching 12 doubles and two more homers. In the 20 Ivy League contests, Kaplan batted a conference-best .523 with 34 hits, eight of which came in the Ivy League Championship Series where she batted .727.
Groom, who earlier in the day had been recognized as the Ivy League's Pitcher of the Year, collects her first all-region award. The Lowell, Michigan native and co-captain finished in the top four of the conference's pitchers in ERA, wins and strikeouts. Groom's 2.30 ERA was just .01 off the top mark in the league, while her 10 wins tied for fourth and her 95 strikeouts was the third most. The 10 victories marked a career-high, while her 95 K's was just one shy of her career-best of 96 set as a freshman. Against the Ancient Eight, Groom went 6-2 with a 2.04 ERA and 53 strikeouts, good for third and second in the league rankings, helping Harvard secure the North Division.
The 2016 NFCA Division I All-America teams will be announced at approximately 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 1, via NFCA.org.
To view all of the 2016 NFCA Division I All-Region teams, please click HERE.