Vicky Lattanzio has been an asset for Lehigh’s softball team with her versatility as a player and willingness to play wherever she is needed.
In high school, Lattanzio had mostly been a pitcher and first baseman. During her freshman year at Lehigh, she had to adapt and learn to play right field for the season. In her sophomore year, Lattanzio was then brought onto the pitching staff and also was often designated hitter.
When Lattanzio made the transition back to pitching, teammate and friend Christine Campbell was able to help with this adjustment. Campbell said their close relationship has helped them improve as players.
“We help each other in that aspect, especially because we are so close, so we won’t hold back what we are really thinking when we are on the field or off,” Campbell said.
Now in her junior year, Lattanzio has stuck to those two positions mainly, playing a little first base here and there.
“Basically as long as I can find a way to be in the game I’ll play anywhere,” Lattanzio said.
Shuffling around has not hurt her performance either, as she posted a combined batting average of .303 in her first two seasons and this year is batting .323. Over the course of all three seasons, she has also amassed 85 RBIs. Lattanzio also had the honor of being named to the First Team All-Patriot League her freshman year and was named Second Team All-Patriot League designated player as a sophomore.
Campbell thinks playing multiple positions actually helps Lattanzio.
“It doesn’t seem like she’s challenged at all,” Campbell said. “I think she thrives in it actually.”
Campbell said she gets energy from moving around and being active at different positions, and that this fits her personality. Assistant coach Michelle Prong echoed that sentiment, saying that Lattanzio embraces whatever role she is given and always performs it to the best of her ability.
Campbell also said Lattanzio’s leadership skills and energy are part of what make her a great teammate and player.
“(Lattanzio) is very team first,” Campbell said. “She would, as our coach likes to say, run through a brick wall for anyone on the team.”
Lattanzio said this is part of who she tries to be as a leader and set an example for other players. Bringing energy vocally in games or in practice and always giving 100 percent effort is important for the team. She also said she always is intense and competitive, constantly trying to have a loud presence on and off the field. These leadership qualities are apparent to the coaching staff as well.
“(Lattanzio) is the type of teammate that, as a coach, you want the rest of your student athletes to strive to be like,” Prong wrote in an email. “She steps up and takes accountability for doing little things that make our program successful.”
Lattanzio has contributed to another trio of successful few years for the Lehigh softball program during her time. Lehigh was the top ranked seed in the Patriot League Tournament during her freshman year, but were unable to claim the title. In 2015, though, the Mountain Hawks were able to win the Patriot League Championship, posting a 40-9 record and also making it into the NCAA Tournament.
In 2016, Lehigh (36-15, 13-4) is the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament and is competing for the championship. Lattanzio’s versatility will likely be an important aspect of their final few games.