Softball All-Conference Teams Announced

Softball All-Conference Teams Announced

Lye of Williams Honored as Player of the Year

HADLEY, Mass. – Williams senior shortstop Joey Lye (Toronto, Ontario) has been named the 2009 NESCAC Player of the Year, as determined by the conference coaches. She is the first individual from Williams to earn the league’s top honor since Laura Jacobs did so in 1999.

Lye added All-NESCAC First Team honors to her Player of the Year award, the third-straight year that the shortstop has been a First Team member after being selected to the Second Team during her rookie season. The top hitter in the conference in each of the past two years, Lye currently ranks first nationally in batting average at .563 while also leading the league prior to this weekend’s NCAA Tournament action in on-base percentage (.608), hits (63), and runs scored (43). In addition to her NESCAC-best numbers, Lye contributed five doubles, 13 RBI, 13 walks, and a fielding percentage of .890. Lye finished her tenure at Williams with a multitude of single-season and career records. After setting the single-season mark for hits (64) and total bases (87) last year, Lye added the records for batting average along with stolen bases (22) this spring. Her Eph career records include a .457 batting average, 211 hits, 150 runs scored, 267 total bases, and 62 steals.

Five of the 11 individuals recognized on the First Team came from conference champion Tufts - more than any other squad - and the Jumbos had eight players receive All-NESCAC between the First and Second Teams. Claiming All-Conference honors for the first time was senior OF Maya Ripecky (Chicago, Ill.). Ripecky has paced the Jumbos at the plate with a .500 batting average, a .548 OBP and a league-leading .738 slugging mark. She has also collected 14 doubles, three triples and three home runs while scoring 42 runs and driving in another 33. Along with Ripecky in the outfield from Tufts was classmate Laura Chapman (Seattle, Wash.). Chapman sits just behind Ripecky on the Jumbo stat sheet, hitting .408 while reaching base .483 percent of the time and swiping a NESCAC-best 25 bases. A Second Team member as a rookie, Chapman also came away with Defensive Player of the Year, posting a .976 fielding percentage with four outfield assists.

Junior shortstop Casey Sullivan (Berlin, Conn.) was named to the First Team for the second time in her career after earning it along with Rookie of the Year honors in 2007. Appearing in all 39 games so far this season, Sullivan is batting .373 with a .412 on-base percentage and a .569 slugging percentage. Her fielding has been just as impressive as her hitting, committing only seven errors on 160 chances for a .956 fielding mark.

Rounding out the Tufts contingent on the First Team were the pitching tandem of senior Lauren Gelmetti (Westfield, N.J.) and sophomore Izzie Santone (Madison, Conn.), as both rank at the top of most pitching categories this season. Gelmetti, who was also selected as the Pitcher of the Year, is 17-0 with a 1.33 ERA over 100.0 innings pitched, recording 68 strikeouts and holding opposing batters to a .202 average. Santone, the 2008 Rookie of the Year, is 17-1 with three saves and a 1.18 ERA through 113.0 IP, striking out 44 batters while holding opponents a .236 average at the plate. Gelmetti earned a spot on the 2007 First Team, while Santone was a 2008 member.

Joining Lye from Williams was senior 3B/P Morgan Simpson (McLean, Va.). A member of the Second Team last spring, Simpson started all 33 games for the Ephs and was second behind Lye with a .425 batting average while tying for the team lead in runs batted in at 30. In the circle, Simpson went 5-2 in 10 appearances and recorded a 3.79 ERA over 44.1 innings pitched.

Representing Wesleyan on the First Team for the second year in a row were sophomore 1B Talia Bernstein (Miami, Fla.) and junior utility player Meaghan Dendy (Swansea, Mass.). Bernstein set a program single-season record with 55 hits this season, as she led the Cardinals with a .482 batting average, a .528 on-base percentage, a .614 slugging percentage and 28 RBI. Filling multiple roles for Wesleyan in 2009, Dendy set a few team records herself, winning a program-best 12 games this year (12-8) while boosting her career victories to a school-record 30. The 2008 NESCAC Pitcher of the Year, Dendy posted a 3.97 ERA over 23 appearances with a league-leading 102 strikeouts. At the plate, Dendy was second behind Bernstein with a .365 batting average.

Amherst junior pitcher Alex Chang-Graham (San Carlos, Calif.) picked up First Team honors for the second-straight year, as she was one of six individuals to return from the 2008 First Team. Chang-Graham was dependable in the circle for the Jeffs this season, boasting a 15-3 record and a 1.62 ERA over 121.1 IP. She struck out 81 batters and held opponents to a .225 average.

Bates senior 3B/DP Stacia Saniuk (Sharon, Mass.) completes the 2009 NESCAC All-Conference First Team. The 2006 Rookie of the Year, Saniuk made All-NESCAC in each of her four years with the Bobcats, garnering a spot on the Second Team in 2006 and 2007 before moving up to the First Team in 2008. Saniuk finished the season with career-highs in batting average at .436 and an on-base percentage of .532. She completes her career as the owner of seven program records: hits (127), home runs (20), doubles (26), extra-base hits (48), total bases (219), runs batted in (88), and walks (40).

Rookie of the Year went to Amherst shortstop Carly Dudzik. Dudzik, who also earned Second Team honors, led the Jeffs in the batter’s box with a .457 average, a .514 on-base percentage and a .585 slugging percentage, scoring 31 runs while driving in 22.

Tufts head coach Cheryl Milligan earned Coach of the year for the fourth time in the past five seasons. Milligan has guided the Jumbos to a program-record 38 wins along with the 2009 NESCAC Softball Championship, their sixth conference crown.

2009 NESCAC Softball All-Conference Team
  First Team Institution    
1B Talia Bernstein Wesleyan So. Miami, Fla.
P Alex Chang-Graham Amherst Jr. San Carlos, Calif.
OF Laura Chapman Tufts Sr. Seattle, Wash.
UT Meaghan Dendy Wesleyan Jr. Swansea, Mass.
P Lauren Gelmetti Tufts Sr. Westfield, N.J.
SS Joey Lye Williams Sr. Toronto, Ontario
OF Maya Ripecky Tufts Sr. Chicago, Ill.
DP/3B Stacia Saniuk Bates Sr. Sharon, Mass.
P Izzie Santone Tufts So. Madison, Conn.
3B/P Morgan Simpson Williams Sr. McLean, Va.
SS Casey Sullivan Tufts Jr. Berlin, Conn.
  Second Team Institution Yr. Hometown
DP/1B Lena Cantone Tufts Fy. Southington, Conn.
SS Carly Dudzik Amherst Fy. Darien, Conn.
C/DP Cara Hovhanessian Tufts Sr. Farmington, Conn.
2B Danielle Lopez Tufts Sr. Danvers, Mass.
SS Shavonne Lord Bowdoin Jr. Shrewsbury, Mass.
1B Megan Margel Middlebury So. Ridgewood, N.J.
C Ariana Mullin Trinity Sr. Woodbridge, Conn.
1B Nicole Nardella Trinity So. Beverly, Mass.
SS Molly O'Connell Wesleyan Sr. Brookline, Mass.
Amber O'Connor Hamilton Sr. Pembroke, Ontario
OF Jackie Tyler Amherst Jr. Ridgewood, N.J.
  Player of the Year      
SS Joey Lye
Williams Sr. Toronto, Ontario
  Pitcher of the Year      
P Lauren Gelmetti
Tufts Sr. Westfield, N.J.
  Defensive Player of the Year    
OF Laura Chapman
Seattle, Wash.
  Rookie of the Year      
SS Carly Dudzik
Amherst Fy. Darien, Conn.
  Coach of the Year     

Cheryl Milligan Tufts