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2016 Harvard Softball Season Recap
An exciting year for Crimson Softball! Season highlights include an undefeated regular season record of 12-0 at home, a North Division Championship, and seven All-Ivy Honors for the Crimson. Among these Ivy honors, two players took home the titles for Pitcher of the Year and Rookie of the Year.
Top-10 GPA in Division 1
15 Named All-America Scholar Athletes
The Harvard softball team was recognized Wednesday as one of the Top-10 Academic Teams in NCAA Division I, posting the eighth-highest GPA nationally, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA)
Head Softball Coach at Harvard University
Jenny Allard, the Ivy League's longest-tenured coach and one of its most successful, enters her 23rd season as head coach of the Harvard softball program in 2016. Allard owns a 565-417-3 overall record, including a 268-100-1 Ivy League mark.
Team and individual success have gone hand in hand during Allard's tenure. All six of Harvard's Ivy League titles, each of its six 30-win seasons and its five NCAA Championship berths have come under the watch of Allard, who has lead Harvard softball for half of the program's existence.
Allard's teams have produced 59 first-team, 58 second-team and 33 honorable mention All-Ivy selections, as well as six Ivy League Players of the Year, six Ivy Pitchers of the Year and four Ivy Rookies of the Year.
In 1995, her first season at the helm, the Crimson posted a 28-14 overall record, a second-place finish in the Ivy League (9-3) and made its first postseason appearance in the ECAC tournament. The team again qualified for the ECAC tournament in 1997 after posting a 32-19-1 record.
In 1998, Allard led the Crimson to the most successful season in the history of the program, as the team recorded a 34-22 record, captured its first Ivy League championship with a perfect 12-0 league record and earned its first bid to the NCAA Championship, where it defeated Boston College in the regional.
The Crimson was rewarded for its outstanding season with 10 All-Ivy League selections. Five of those players-including Ivy Player of the Year Tara LaSovage and Pitcher of the Year Tasha Cupp-were named to the first team. Four were second-team selections, and one received honorable mention.
The 2000 season saw Harvard compile an 11-1 league record, giving the Crimson the Ivy title and an NCAA tournament berth. Allard and Harvard followed that with a second straight Ivy title after posting an 11-3 League mark in 2001.
Allard guided the Crimson to a 31-10 record in 2002, the best mark in the history of the program. That squad closed out the season by capturing the ECAC championship.
Allard led Harvard to a 22-20 overall record in 2004, including a 9-5 Ivy League mark. Kara Brotemarkle earned Ivy League Pitcher of the Year honors. In 2005, Allard coached the Crimson to a 9-5 Ivy League record for the second straight year.
Harvard returned to the top of the Ivy League standings in 2007, posting a 31-15 record and a 14-6 Ivy League mark. Allard's Crimson followed up their regular season success by winning the inaugural Ivy League Championship series against Penn and advancing to the NCAA tournament. Pitcher of the Year Shelly Madick and Rookie of the Year Lauren Murphy were all-region honorees and were among six All-Ivy selections from the Crimson. In 2008, Allard lead Harvard to their second consecutive Ivy North Championship and had nine players earn All-Ivy honors. 2010 saw the Crimson go 17-3 in conference play, capturing the Ivy North Division title and taking Cornell to three games in the Ivy League Championship Series.
2011 was a record-breaking season for the Allard-led Crimson, as the team set a new school record for wins in a season (36) and Ivy League wins in a season (18). For the first time in school history, and second in the history of the Ivy League, Harvard produced the league Player, Pitcher and Rookie of the Year, and matched a program high with 10 All-Ivy selections. Harvard swept the Ivy League Championships Series against Cornell and advanced to the Tucson, Ariz., Regional in the NCAA Tournament.
Harvard was able to repeat its success in 2012 as the Crimson posted a 35-15 overall mark and breezed to the Ivy League Championship Series with a 17-3 league record. A sweep of Penn in the championship series earned Harvard a spot in the NCAA Seattle Regional where it notched upsets over Maryland and No. 23 Texas Tech in back-to-back elimination games to earn the program's first berth in an NCAA Regional final. Jane Alexander '12 was named Ivy League Co-Player of the Year in her senior season, and Rachel Brown '12 picked up her second straight Ivy League Pitcher of the Year award. In all, 11 players earned All-Ivy League accolades.
In 2014, Harvard broke the all-time program record for consecutive wins, collecting 18-straight victories, including 11 Ivy League wins. The team turned in its second-straight runner-up finish in the Ivy League North Division standings.
The 2015 season boasted four more first team All-Ivy League selections and two All-NFCA Northeast Region choices, as Harvard posted its third-straight runner-up in the North Division.
In 2016, Allard guided a potent mix of young talent and experience to the best record in the Ivy League (16-4) and the North Division crown. Seven student-athletes garnered All-Ivy League honors with Morgan Groom and Rhianna Rich earning Pitcher and Rookie of the Year accolades, respectively.
A 1990 graduate of the University of Michigan, Allard started her collegiate career as a third baseman, but stepped up to fill a pitching vacancy her junior season. She was named the Wolverines' Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Pitcher. Allard was a four-time All-Big Ten Conference selection, earning Academic All-Big Ten honors as a senior. She was a two-time first-team Mideast Region selection.
In 1989, Allard was the Big Ten Player of the Year and a Division I All-America selection and was nominated for the Honda Broderick Award. She was the recipient of the school's Conference Medal of Honor, an award given to the highest-achieving female student-athlete. Named to the Big Ten All-Decade team in 1992, Allard ranked in the top four all-time in 15 hitting and pitching categories at the time of her graduation from Michigan.
Allard earned a master's degree from the Harvard School of Education in 1999 and a master's in psychology from the Harvard Extension School in 2003.
Assistant Coach at Harvard University
Head softball coach Jenny Allard announced the hiring of Lacy Wood as her top assistant in August of 2015.
"I am excited to welcome Lacy to our coaching staff and the athletic department," said Allard. "Her competitive fire and extensive coaching experience will help us continue the tradition of excellence in our program. She will be an effective coach and mentor to our student-athletes."
Wood made an immediate impact on the Crimson, helping the team to the best Ivy League record, 16-4, earning it the North Division title. Harvard's pitching and defense also excelled, highlighted by Morgan Groom earning Ivy League Pitcher of the Year honors and the Crimson leading the conference in fielding percentage.
Wood came to Harvard after a three-year stint as an assistant at Eastern Kentucky. In each of her three seasons on staff with the Colonels, the team ERA dropped and the team fielding percentage rose. A total of nine players garnered All-Ohio Valley Conference honors, with two also picking up all-region honors. Administratively, Wood was responsible for organizing practices, team travel, running camps and recruiting at EKU.
Wood, a former first team All-America at Louisville, began her collegiate coaching career with the Cardinals as a volunteer during the 2012 season. Louisville posted a 55-5 record that year, finishing as the NCAA regional runner-up and conference champion. Wood provided hitting and defensive instruction during practices, while also assisting with all aspects of game preparation.
During her playing career, Wood was a four-year letterwinner with the Cardinals and two-time captain. Her stellar play behind the plate resulted in three all-conference (C-USA-2004, Big East 2005-06) selections and an All-America nod in 2006. She has served as an instructor at the Louisville Softball Camp since 2002.
Other softball positions Wood held prior to her return to Louisville included serving as the head coach at Presentation Academy and providing private instruction with premier and elite 13U fast pitch players.
Assistant Softball Coach at Harvard University
Head softball coach Jenny Allard announced the hiring of Nicole D'Argento as an assistant coach with the Crimson beginning July 1, 2015.
"I am thrilled to have Nicole join the coaching staff," said Allard. "She has effective teaching skills and brings a competitive energy which will have an immediate impact on our student-athletes. I am looking forward to working with Nicole to achieve our team and program goals in the next year."
D'Argento's impact on the Crimson was immediate in 2016 as the team won the Ivy League North Division with the conference's best record at 16-4. Seven individual student-athletes received All-Ivy League honors, with two also collecting all-region accolades.
D'Argento joined the Harvard staff after spending last year as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Army. On the field, she was responsible for the skill development of the pitching staff and infield. Her off the field duties included organizing and scheduling practices and camps, organizing and executing unofficial and official visits for prospective student-athletes, communicating with compliance and organizing recruiting travel.
No stranger to Massachusetts or Boston, D'Argento was a standout pitcher at Boston College from 2009-14, garnering All-ACC and NFCA All-Mid-Atlantic Region team selections in 2012 and 2014. The two-time captain of the Eagles, D'Argento showed her leadership in helping the coaching staff create scouting reports and pitching charts for opponents, while also coordinating and leading the team's off-season training program. D'Argento remains a prominent name in the Boston College softball record books, ranking in the career top-10 in most starts (first, 81), innings pitched (second, 544.2), shutouts (third, 7), strikeouts (fourth, 461), wins (eighth, 36), saves (second, 8) and appearances (second, 129).
In addition to her collegiate playing and coaching career, D'Argento has a multitude of clinic and camp instruction under her belt. She served as an instructor at Planet Fastpitch Softball Center from 2007-2014, as well as the Boston College All-Skills Softball Clinic since 2009, assisting in teaching all aspects of the game. She has also instructed or volunteered at the Fort Devens NFCA Recruiting Camp, Boston College Baseball Youth Camp, Bay State Games, New England Student Leadership Conference and the Polar Crush Softball 18U team.
A double major at BC, D'Argento earned a bachelor's degree in Human Development and Mathematics/Computer Science in May of 2013 and a master's degree from the Woods School of Administrative Studies in May of 2014.
A native of Ashland, Massachusetts, D'Argento starred on the diamond at Ashland High School where she holds the school's all-time pitching record (62-0). She was named the Boston Globe's Player of the Year as well as Massachusetts' Softball Gatorade Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009. D'Argento also appeared in Sports Illustrated in the "Faces in the Crowd" in 2009.
Assistant Coach at Harvard University
Mallory Rossmann joins the Harvard Softball staff in 2016-17 as a volunteer assistant coach. Rossmann comes to Harvard after serving as an assistant coach and communications teacher at Denison (TX) High School. Previously, Rossmann worked as a graduate assistant with the softball program at Austin College (Tx.), where she earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching. Rossmann was a four-year standout on the softball team at Austin College, serving as team captain during the 2014 season. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.