The Harvard softball team completed one of its group goals Friday by claiming a second straight title. But that wasn’t the only accomplishment achieved by the squad this year. Two weeks prior to the team’s triumph over Penn, in a 10-0 victory over Holy Cross, Senior Mari Zumbro came in and played catcher for a perfect seventh inning. It was the ninth position she had played for the Crimson, completing her tour around the diamond.
“We had that on our radar screen,” Harvard coach Jenny Allard said. “That’s something she brought to our attention at end of her junior year. She had played seven out of the nine positions, and the two positions left were second base and catcher. We put her in at second base against Yale, and at Holy Cross we put her in at catcher.”
During the final stages of the quest, the team was becoming as excited as Zumbro about completing the challenge.
“We want to help them achieve their goals,” Allard said. “The team was supportive. We’ve never had anyone ever do that.”
“When I was younger, I played different sports so I really like getting to change things up,” Zumbro said. “I never played one sport year round. So I like to find ways to make softball more interesting.”
By the time Zumbro was halfway through high school, she had already spent significant time at shortstop, catcher and pitcher.
At Harvard, Zumbro showed flexibility beyond the diamond as she filled in as an emergency goalie for the women’s soccer team after two of their goalies were injured.
“I had played not super competitive and I know the rules, and the next thing I know I’m driving with them to Yale,” Zumbro said. “It was awesome.”
“She just loves to play,” Allard said. “Whether it be soccer, softball, she just loves to get out there and play the game.”
Among the softball positions, Zumbro said that outfield was among her favorites.
“In center they actually hit a fly ball to me, which was unlikely but really exciting,” Zumbro said. “I really like the idea of outfield because you can make some of the most amazing plays in terms of web gems.”
Yet, she also said she enjoyed pitching because she was involved in every play.
“They are all really fun,” she decided.