Head coach Michelle DePolo & Morgan Lashley
May 21, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army softball team held its annual awards banquet Sunday afternoon at the home of head Officer Repesentative Col. Deb McDonald where head coach Michelle DePolo and the team looked back on one of the finest seasons in school history.
The Black Knights (37-21) shattered the school mark for victories (37) and posted their fourth 30-win season in school history, and second in the last three years, as Army compiled 98 wins during that span. Picked third in the Patriot League's preseason poll, the Black Knights closed out the regular season 14-6 (one win shy of the school conference mark) with the No. 2 seed in hand heading to the tournament where they reached the championship finals for the first time since 2006.
Army garnered two of the league's four major awards with freshman Morgan Lashley setting conference history with her selection as Pitcher of the Year" and Rookie of the Year. Army claimed seven of 11 player of the week citations as six players went on to earn all-league honors with four named to the first team (one shy of the school mark) and two receiving second-team honors.
Lashley dominated the Black Knights' end-of-the season awards by taking home the Cadet Darlene Lee Dondero Memorial Award, given to the team's Most Valuable Player, and Rookie of the Year honors. Lashley is the just the second freshman, joining Nicki Robbins (1999), to earn the Dondero Award since being established in 1994.
The right-handed pitcher, who earned second team All-Northeast Region honors, closed out a record-breaking first season shattering school and league marks for wins (33), innings pitched (327), appearances (56), games started (51) and games completed (37). She also broke Army's season record for strikeouts (237).
The freshman hurler continues to rank among the national leaders in wins and shutouts. In the latest NCAA release, Lashley lists second in wins for the second straight week after holding down the No. 1 spot twice. The native of Davidson, N.C., is also 10th in shutouts (11). The first team all-star fashioned a 36- inning scoreless streak during the season, fired a one-hitter and posted a game-high nine strikeouts.
Senior Alexis AuBuchon was chosen the team's Offensive Player of the Year for the third time in four years, having first copped that honor her freshman and sophomore years. The two-time all-league first baseman led the Black Knights offensively for the third time in her career. She set personal bests this season in batting (.382), hits (65), RBI (39), home runs (five), total bases (93) and runs scored (25). The Patriot League all-tournament selection posted 19 multiple-hit games and 11 multiple-RBI games while leaving her name in Army's record book in several categories. The senior co-captain lists as high as second in hits (220), RBI (112), total bases (315) and walks (63), while ranking third in batting average (.350), on Army's all-time chart.
Senior Reanna Johnson received the Defensive Player of the Year award for the second time in her four-year career after being tabbed for that honor as a sophomore. The two-time all-league outfielder garnered a pair of player of the week honors en route to posting her highest batting average (.229) since her sophomore year. The center fielder recorded 99 putouts, and set a personal mark with 19 stolen bases to rank fourth on Army's career chart (43).
Sophomore Marina Northup was named the Most Improved Player in rounding out the five team awards. Northup had her finest season offensively and defensively wearing the Black, Gold and Grey. The right fielder increased her batting average by over 60 points hitting .269 in the upper half of the lineup. She drove in 21 runs and scored 28 times, while defensively committing just one error in 40 chances playing in 41 of 52 games in the outfield.
TEAM AWARD WINNERS
Darlene Lee Dondero Award (MVP) - Morgan Lashley
Offensive Player of the Year - Alexis AuBuchon
Most Improved Player of the Year - Marina Northup