Defending Ivy Champion Softball Introduces Class of 2015

Defending Ivy League Champion, Harvard Softball, welcomes seven freshmen for the upcoming season.(photo courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications)

Harvard softball head coach Jenny Allard announced the addition of seven incoming freshmen to the squad for the 2011-12 season. The West is well represented in the class of 2015 as Arizona, California and Florida send two players each, while the other travels from Georgia.

"We are excited to welcome a very hardworking freshman class to our program," Allard said. "The combination of both skill and speed will be a great asset to our team this year as we work to defend the Ivy League title. We are thrilled to have them become a part of the Harvard softball team."

Harvard finished the 2011 campaign with a 36-16 overall record on its way to the program's fifth Ivy League Championship. The squad returns two of its top-three run producers as sophomore Kasey Lange and senior Whitney Shaw are welcomed back to the fold. The Crimson also retains two of its most lethal hurlers from last season as senior Rachel Brown and sophomore Laura Ricciardone combined for 34 of the team's 36 wins in 2011.
Here is a look at the class of 2015:

Andrea Del Conte/Freshman/Rolling Hill Estates, Calif./Palos Verdes/Infield
Before Harvard:
A four-year letterwinner in softball at Palos Verdes … Served as varsity team captain her senior year ... Earned second-team All-Bay League honors and Defensive Player of the Year accolades her freshman year … A member of the 2009 and 2010 Bay League Champions … Was voted Most Inspirational Player in 2009 … Was named first-team All Bay League twice during her career (2010 and 2011) … Named to the second-team All-Area (South Bay) her senior year … Selected as Offensive Player of the Year in 2011.

Participated as a member of the National Charity League (2005-2011) … Has volunteered at the Peninsula Committee Children's Hospital since 2008 … Helped raise over $7,500 for the Alzheimer's Association since 2009 … Valedictorian … Earned Palos Verdes International Diploma … Earned Scholar Athlete award her senior year … Honored with Overall English, United States History and Outstanding Senior Project awards in 2011 … A Princeton Book Award recipient … A California Scholarship Federation Gold Seal Bearer … Was named to the Principal's Honor Roll from 2008-11.

Gabrielle Ruiz/Freshman/Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic/Pitcher/Infield

Before Harvard
Dual-sport athlete lettering in both swimming and softball at Salpointe Catholic … Served as a pitcher and first baseman on the varsity softball team … Captain of her softball team her senior year …  Was named AIA Scholar Athlete in both swimming and softball … Named Tucson Citizen 2010 All-City First-Team Softball All-Star … Named team MVP in 2011 … Recipient of the 2011 Lancer Spirit Award … Was an Arizona Daily Star All-City First-Team Pitcher … Named to the All-Southern Arizona First-Team … 5A Division Pitcher of the Year ... All-State 5A First-Team in 2011 … Member of a team that finished in the 5A-I Quarterfinals in 2010 and 2011.

Earned distinguished Honor Roll recognition from 2007-11 … Recipient of the Outstanding Freshman award  in the social studies department … Member of the National Honor Society … Named a Salpointe Scholar 2010-11 … Grandfather, Robert Milo, played professional baseball in the International league for the Philadelphia Phillies organization for 10 years … Uncle Rob, and Aunt Jennifer, played baseball and softball at Stanford and San Diego, respectively … Uncle, Tony Milo, played four years with the California Angels … Aunt, Katie Milo, played softball for Arizona.

Emily Gusse/Freshman/San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch/Infield

Before Harvard
Starting shortstop all four-years of high school … Awarded the Silver Slugger title in 2011 … Named first-team All-Academic in 2010 … Earned first-team Eastern League honors from 2009-11 … Scripps Ranch Athlete of the Month in 2011 … Recognized as one of the Union Tribune's Players to Watch in 2011 … All-San Diego Second Team in 2010 … Division II Second Team her junior year … Member of the four-time Eastern League Champions (2008-11).

Named to the Honor Roll her senior year … Voted Most Likely to Succeed by her senior class … Recognized as a Scholar Athlete in her junior and senior years … Served as a coach of U14 club softball team from 2009-11 … Brother, Daniel Scott, played volleyball at California State University of San Bernardino … Sister-in-law Mary Scott was an All-Conference volleyball selection at California State University of San Bernardino.

Camilla Gibson/Freshman/Marietta, Ga. /George Walton Comprehensive/Infield

Before Harvard
A four-year letterwinner in softball … Georgia 5A All-State Team in 2009 and 2010 … Named Marietta Journal All-Cobb County Team in 2009 and 2010 … All-Region 5A first-team 2007-2010 … Named team MVP at Walton high school in 2010 … Named Scholar Athlete in 2009 and 2010 … Maintained a school-record .616 batting average … Set school single season records in runs scored (42), stolen bases (36) hits (53) … Finished her career setting the new school mark in stolen bases (97).

Received a National Merit Commendation in 2010 … Recipient of the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Club of Atlanta Book Award in 2010 … AP Scholar with Distinction … National Honor Society and Beta Club member in 2011.

Katherine Lantz/Freshman/Parkland, Fla./North Broward Preparatory School/Infield
Before Harvard
A dual-sport athlete participating in softball from 2004-09 and volleyball from 2006-07 … Varsity softball captain from 2006-09 … All-County softball honors from 2007-09 … Named to the Adidas Futures Top 100 Recruitable Athletes in 2008.

AP Scholar in 2011 … 2010 Harvard Book Award recipient … Sophomore and junior class president … National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society member from 2009-11 … Key Club member 2007-08 … Starlight Children's Foundation Volunteer in 2010-11.

Katherine Appelbe/Freshman/Phoenix, Ariz./Xavier College Preparatory/Infield
Before Harvard
Played varsity softball all four years of high school … 2011 AIA Scholar Athlete nominee … Named 2011 Outstanding Senior Athlete and Offensive Player of the Year … Earned 5A Division I Fiesta and first-team All-Region honors … Named to the 2010 Arizona Republic All-Metro Team … 2010 Xavier Most Valuable Player … 2009 5A Division I Desert Valley first-team All-Region … Named the 2009 Xavier Defensive Player of the Year … A two-year recipient of the Xavier Outstanding Hustle award … Lead her team in hits and runs during her junior and senior years.

National Honor Society member 2009-11 … AIA Scholar Athlete Award recipient all four years of high school … Honored with a 2009 academic letter … Key Club member 2008-10 … Served as a student ambassador from 2008-11 … Volunteer for the Andre House, Special Olympics, Beatitudes, and the Boys and Girls Club 2008-11 … Grandfather, Glen Wilson, played football at Wisconsin … Cousin, Shelby Cullinan, is currently a diver at Texas.

Adrienne Hume/Freshman/Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School/Infield

Before Harvard
Played five years of softball and two years of soccer at The Bolles School … Served as softball team captain as a senior … Named to Division 3A softball all-state third team in 2010 … Helped softball team to four-straight district and two regional titles and two state runner-up finishes … Dubbed "Best Newcomer" to The Bolles School soccer team in 2010 … VyStar Credit Union all-star student athlete for softball and soccer in 2011 … Led soccer team to two district championships and appearances in the regional and state finals.

Received first and second academic honors all four years of high school … AP Scholar … Member of school improv team … A lower school teacher's aide, co-founder of the Project Heifer Club and volunteer at Ronald McDonald house … Also involved with TOPS down syndrome soccer since 2008 … Enjoys cooking, traveling, movies and the beach … Mother, Sally Hume '84 played water polo at Harvard … Father, Michael Hume, played college baseball at Babson.