May 24, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
The Army softball team held its annual awards banquet Thursday evening at the home of head coach Michelle DePolo following the Black Knights' return from the NCAA Austin Regional where they played No. 4 Texas (bowing 5-0) and Houston, who had to rally for a 7-5 decision.
Earning Army's top awards were senior Alex Reynolds, named the team's Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year, with freshman Kasey McCravey selected the Team's Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. Freshman Alyssa Strobehn was named the Most Improved Player in rounding out the award winners.
The Black Knights (35-26) posted their second straight 30-win season and third in four years under DePolo. The Black Knights closed the regular season 12-8 and seeded second at the Patriot League Tournament. Army went on to defeat top-seeded Lehigh twice, 4-0 and 5-0, to capture the Patriot League Championship for the first time since 2002 and fifth time overall. It was also the first time since 1998 that Lehigh was shut out in a doubleheader by a league opponent.
Army earned its third trip to the NCAA Regionals and was sent to the Lone Star State in a field that included host Texas, Houston and South Carolina. Though going 0-2 at the tournament, Army set NCAA Regional marks for runs scored (five) and hits (10) against Houston.
Reynolds, a first-team All-Patriot League selection at second base for the third straight year, enjoyed a spectacular postseason run as Army earned its third trip to the NCAA Regionals. Reynolds batted .353 at the Patriot League Tournament, then drove in a pair of runs against Houston, the most by a Black Knight in seven Regional games in closing out the year batting .360 along with 73 hits.
The first-team All-Northeast Region selection led Army in runs batted in (45), tying her own school mark set in 2011, and doubles (15). Reynolds shattered Army's all-time mark for RBI (137) and also ranked first in games played (221) and at-bats (309). The native of Katy, Texas, was part of Army's double-play tandem that is ranked 20th (0.43) nationally.
McCravey enjoyed an outstanding freshman year at third base where she earned first-team All-Patriot League honors. She is just the third Army freshman selected for first team honors. Defensively, she was involved in 125 putouts along with 164 assists.
She broke into Army's single-season top 10 list in hits (67), runs scored (44), RBI (36) and total bases (94). McCravey closed out the year batting .324 and led Army in home runs (five) and ranked second in doubles (12). At the Austin Regional, she batted .571 (4-for-7) with two runs scored along with a double for a .714 slugging percentage. She is just the second Black Knight to have multiple-hits in an NCAA Regional game with two in both games and first to collect four hits in Army's three appearances.
A hard worker, Strobehn drew time in 23 games with three starts at catcher and played errorless ball in 18 chances. She scored four runs to include the tie-breaker in Army's 3-2 ninth-inning win over Iona. Strobehn is the first freshman to receive this award since 2011.
Assistant coach Nicole Callahan handed out plates with sayings on them to each player, and Paul Rader showed a video of Alex Reynolds' photos from her freshman year to her senior year.
DePolo thanked Lt. Col. Kim Kawamoto, who has been her mentor since she broke into coaching at the USMA Prep School, head officer representative Col. Deb McDonald and her staff of ORs, along with managers Trevor Hodges and Chris Boldt, athletic trainer Sam Visco and members of the Center for Enhanced Performance, Strength and Conditioning and Rader, the team photographer.
TEAM AWARD WINNERS
MVP - Alex Reynolds
Offensive Player of the Year - Alex Reynolds
Defensive Player of the Year - Kasey McCravey
Rookie of the Year - Kasey McCravey
Most Improved Player of the Year - Alyssa Strobehn