Groom Named Pitcher of the Year, Rich Selected as Top Rookie as Seven Crimson Earn Softball All-Ivy Honors

Groom Named Pitcher of the Year, Rich Selected as Top Rookie as Seven Crimson Earn Softball All-Ivy Honors

PRINCETON, N.J. – Harvard softball received a slew of awards Thursday, May 18, as the Ivy League announced senior Morgan Groom had been named conference Pitcher of the Year, while freshman Rhianna Rich was selected the league's Rookie of the Year, highlighting seven All-Ivy League accolades for the Crimson.

Groom is also one of four Harvard players named to the All-Ivy League first team. Giana Panariello, Meagan Lantz and Maddy Kaplan also earned that distinction. The four first team selections was the most in the conference. Rich was joined on the second team by Elizabeth Shively and Zoe Galindo. Harvard's seven All-Ivy honorees tied Penn for the most.

Groom becomes the first Harvard hurler to earn Pitcher of the Year accolades since 2012 (Rachel Brown '12), marking the sixth time a Crimson student-athlete has won the 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. 

Rich is also the sixth Ivy League Rookie of the Year recipient from Harvard and first since Kasey Lange '14 in 2011. The El Segundo, California native finished fourth in the Ivy League in overall batting average at .381, and improved to .433 at the dish in league games. Her 10 doubles during the Ancient Eight slate led the conference, while her 61 total hits for the year also ranked as the conference's top mark. Overall, she had 13 doubles, four triples, three home runs and drove in 29 RBI, which trailed only teammate Meagan Lantz's 37 for the most by a rookie in the Ivy League this season. Rich started every game at shortstop and went error-free in conference games in 70 total chances.

Kaplan is making her second-straight appearance on the All-Ivy first team, having earned the honors last year as freshman. 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.

Junior Panariello, recently named a captain for the 2017 season, is making her first appearance on the All-Ivy squad. Harvard's primary second baseman this season, Panariello took her game to another level, recording career-highs in batting average (.318), RBI (22), doubles (11), hits (42), runs scored (21) and walks (12). In the field, she racked up 96 putouts and 57 assists, while also turning a pair of double plays.

Another tremendous freshman for the Crimson, Lantz led Harvard with 37 RBI and seven homers. Her RBI mark finished second in the conference, while her seven long balls tied for third most. The Crimson's third baseman also recorded eight doubles and two triples to bring her slugging percentage to .577, the fifth-best showing in the league.

The third freshman to earn All-Ivy honors, Shively was exceptional in commanding the pitching staff as Harvard's catcher in 39 games. She finished the year with an overall fielding mark of .991 and was unblemished during Ancient Eight play. The Dallas, Georgia native threw out 11 potential base stealers over the course of the season. She excelled the most as a hitter during conference play, batting .380 in league games with a pair of home runs.

Senior centerfielder and co-captain Zoe Galindo capped her Harvard career with her first All-Ivy recognition. She brought her Crimson career to a close with new single-season highs in games played (44), batting average (.339), RBI (12), doubles (five) and hits (42). A speedster, Galindo matched Lantz for the team-lead in steals with 10. Another tremendous fielder on the Harvard roster, Galindo accounted for 55 putouts, one assist and zero errors in the outfield in 2016.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Katie McEachern, Dartmouth (Sr., SS - San Diego) 

PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Morgan Groom, Harvard (Sr., SP - Lowell, Mich.) 

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Rhianna Rich, Harvard (Fr., SS - El Segundo, Calif.) 

COACH OF THE YEAR
Lisa Van Ackeren, Princeton 

FIRST TEAM ALL-IVY
Morgan Groom, Harvard (Sr., SP – Lowell, Mich.)
Skye Jerpbak, Princeton (Sr., C - Rescue, Calif.)
Kaylee Grant, Princeton (Fr., 1B - Keller, Texas)
Giana Panariello, Harvard (Jr., 2B - Bay Shore, N.Y.)
Meagan Lantz, Harvard (Fr., 3B - Parkland, Fla.)
Katie McEachern, Dartmouth (Sr., SS - San Diego)
*Yeram Park, Brown (So., OF - Arcadia, Calif.)
*Maddy Kaplan, Harvard (So., OF - Santa Monica, Calif.)
Leah Allen, Penn (Jr., OF - Woodbine, Md.)
*Lauren Li, Penn (Sr., UTIL - Los Angeles)
Alexis Sargent, Penn (Jr., P/UTIL - Alexandria, Va.)
Karen Chaw, Dartmouth (Jr., DP - Castro Valley, Calif.) 

SECOND TEAM ALL-IVY^
Morgan McCalmon, Dartmouth (Sr., SP - Norman, Okla.)
Lindsay Efflandt, Yale (Jr., SP - Cary, Ill.)
Elizabeth Shively, Harvard (Fr., C - Dallas, Ga.)
Maddie Damore, Dartmouth (Jr., 1B - Campbell, Calif.)
Morgan Martinelli, Dartmouth (Fr., 2B - Morgan Hill, Calif.)
Christina Andrews, Brown (Jr., 3B - Southlake, Texas)
Rhianna Rich, Harvard (Fr., SS - El Segundo, Calif.)
Lourlin Lara, Dartmouth (So., OF - Canyon Country, Calif.)
Zoe Galindo, Harvard (Sr., OF - Las Vegas)
Kanani Datan, Penn (Sr., OF - Simi Valley, Calif.)
Kylee Pierce, Princeton (So., OF - Modesto, Calif.)
Meg Parker, Cornell (Sr., P/UTIL - Miami)
Sarah Syrop, Brown (Jr., DP - Kennesaw, Ga.) 

HONORABLE MENTION ALL-IVY
Leanne Iannucci, Cornell (Sr., C - Carle Place, N.Y.)
Jurie Joyner, Penn (So., C - McDonough, Ga.)
Sarah Cwiertna, Penn (Fr., 1B - Villa Park, Calif.)
Taylor Troutt, Columbia (So., 2B - League City, Texas)
Sam Pederson, Penn (Fr., 2B - Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Allison Skinner, Yale (So., 3B - Katy, Texas)
Janet Leung, Brown (Sr., SS - Mississauga, Ontario)
Krystin Wong, Columbia (Fr., OF - Kaneohe, Hawaii)
Sydney Glover, Yale (Jr., OF - Suffolk, Va.)
Keeley Walsh, Princeton (Fr., DP - Stevenson Ranch, Calif.) 

*Unanimous Selection
^There are two starting pitchers and four outfielders on the second team due to ties in voting.