Softball All-Conference Teams Released
Coaches Take Hart of Williams for Top Honors
HADLEY, Mass. – Williams senior OF/2B Allison Hart (Roswell, Ga.) has been named NESCAC Player of the Year, as determined by the conference coaches. Hart showed her strength for the Ephs throughout a record-setting year, as she established six new single-season program marks during her final campaign. The honor puts her in the company of former Eph greats Laura Jacobs and Joey Lye, who received the award in 1999 and 2009, respectively.
A Second Team member as a sophomore, Hart closed out her career with Player of the Year and All-NESCAC First Team honors this spring. Hart's prowess at the plate was evident all season. She finished atop the NESCAC stat sheet with a remarkable .540 batting average, connecting for 74 hits with 21 of those going for extra bases, and had a .568 on-base percentage. Hart's league-leading totals in hits, doubles (14), and runs scored (49) represented half of the categories in which she set a single-season Williams record. She also stole 22 bases (22-for-27) and only struck out twice in 146 plate appearances.
NESCAC Champion Tufts led all squads with four representatives on the 11-member All-Conference First Team with three of the four earning repeat honors. Among those that returned to the First Team for the Jumbos was senior Lena Cantone (Southington, Conn.), junior Emily Beinecke (Concord, Mass.), and sophomore Jo Clair (Glastonbury, Conn.).
The 2011 NESCAC Player of the Year, Cantone garnered All-NESCAC honors for the fourth year in a row with her second-straight First Team appointment. Known for her timely hitting, Cantone enters this weekend's NCAA regional action second among her teammates with a .442 batting average, a .513 on-base mark, and a .992 fielding percentage.
Beinecke continued her First Team All-NESCAC streak, as she has appeared on the league's top team in all three of her years. Beinecke currently is third for the Jumbos in batting with a .414 average and a .434 on-base percentage.
Clair, the conference's Rookie of the Year last May, owns a team-high .460 average at the dish with a .540 on-base percentage and a .887 slugging mark. Holding the lead across the conference in runs batted in (49), walks (24), and home runs (13), Clair is one long ball away from tying the single-season program record.
Rounding out the Tufts contingent on the All-Conference First Team was first year phenom Allyson Fournier (South Windsor, Conn.). Fournier has overpowered opposing batters during her first go-round with the Jumbos, as the right-handed hurler boasts an 18-1 record with a 0.44 ERA and a .121 opponents batting average with three perfect games. She has struck out a school-record 232 batters this year over 128.0 IP (1.81 K/IP) while surrendering just 52 hits and 26 walks (8.9 K/BB). During the NESCAC championship, Fournier set the tournament's single-game and overall record for strikeouts, retiring 19 of the 24 batters she faced by strikeout in a 2-0, 8-inning perfect game against Middlebury on May 4 before finishing with 47 strikeouts over the Jumbos' three wins. It should come as no surprise, then, that Fournier was the coaches' choice for both NESCAC Pitcher and Rookie of the Year honors in addition to her First Team selection.
Also on the All-NESCAC First Team were two representatives each from West Division members Amherst and Middlebury. Leading the Lord Jeffs to the program's third NCAA Tournament bid this season were junior Theresa Kelley (Los Angeles, Calif.) and first year Donna Leet (Seattle, Wash.). Kelley (18-2) has enjoyed her best season in the circle for Amherst, as she brings a 1.10 ERA, a .187 opponents' average, and 169 strikeouts (10.6 K/BB) over 133.1 innings into regional play this weekend. She has also impressed during her appearances in the batter's box, hitting .310 with a .342 on-base mark. If not for the remarkable play of Tufts' Fournier, Leet may have walked away with the league's top rookie award. Leading the Amherst offense from the three spot, Leet has hit safely in 34-of-38 games this spring with a .434 average and .486 on-base mark. Her 56 hits and 40 RBIs are a single-season record at Amherst.
Panther junior Jessa Hoffman (Golden, Colo.) earned the third All-NESCAC invitation of her career with her second-straight First Team selection. Moved from the leadoff spot to third in the lineup this season, Hoffman continued to perform well at the plate with a .405 average and a .474 on-base percentage. The Panthers' everyday shortstop also came away with Defensive Player of the Year, posting a .944 fielding mark. Also from Middlebury on the First Team was sophomore pitcher Elizabeth Morris (Kenilworth, Ill.). A Second Team member in 2011, Morris went 8-3 with a 1.11 ERA and a .191 opponents' average over 88.0 IP in 20 appearances.
Joining Hart from Williams on the First Team was sophomore Ally Ensor (Sugar Land, Texas). Owning a good combination of a strong swing, speed, and excellent baserunning instincts, Ensor wrapped up the year with a .518 batting average and a .561 on-base percentage while driving in a team-best 42 runs.
Bowdoin junior Gen Barlow (Norwich, Conn.) completed the All-NESCAC First Team. A catalyst for the Polar Bears' offense, Barlow had her best season in a Bowdoin uniform with a team-high .417 average and .484 on-base percentage, hitting 14 doubles and seven homers while scoring 46 runs and driving in 49.
For the fifth time in her nine-year career, Tufts head coach Cheryl Milligan was selected by her peers as the NESCAC Coach of the Year. A four-year starter at shortstop for the Jumbos and a 1995 graduate of the university, Milligan is in the midst of her 19th spring with the Tufts softball program, having served as an assistant coach for six seasons before taking the reins in 2003. The Jumbos won their league-best seventh NESCAC title this past weekend at Amherst.
2012 NESCAC Softball All-Conference Team
|1B||Gen Barlow||Bowdoin||Jr.||Norwich, Conn.|
|2B||Emily Beinecke||Tufts||Jr.||Concord, Mass.|
|1B||Lena Cantone||Tufts||Sr.||Southington, Conn.|
|C||Jo Clair||Tufts||So.||Glastonbury, Conn.|
|OF||Ally Ensor||Williams||So.||Sugar Land, Texas|
|P||Allyson Fournier||Tufts||Fy.||South Windsor, Conn.|
|OF/2B||Allison Hart||Williams||Sr.||Roswell, Ga.|
|SS||Jessa Hoffman||Middlebury||Jr.||Golden, Colo.|
|P/1B||Theresa Kelley||Amherst||Jr.||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|OF||Donna Leet||Amherst||Fy.||Seattle, Wash.|
|P||Elizabeth Morris||Middlebury||So.||Kenilworth, Ill.|
|C||Kelsey Ayers||Amherst||Fy.||Los Altos, Calif.|
|OF||Allee Beatty||Wesleyan||Jr.||Redding, Conn.|
|C||Casey Correa||Bowdoin||So.||Stamford, Conn.|
|P||Melissa DellaTorre||Bowdoin||So.||Scarborough, Maine|
|OF||Caroline Dewar||Bowdoin||Sr.||Katonah, N.Y.|
|OF||Ali Graebner||Williams||So.||Short Hills, N.J.|
|2B||Amy Hackett||Bowdoin||Sr.||Bangor, Maine|
|2B||Reilly Horan||Amherst||Jr.||Darien, Conn.|
|DP/2B||Emily Kraytenberg||Middlebury||So.||Londonderry, N.H.|
|1B||Jessica Poracky||Middlebury||Jr.||Ramsey, N.J.|
|OF||Kimber Sable||Middlebury||So.||Winnetka, Ill.|
|Player of the Year|
|Pitcher of the Year|
||Tufts||Fy.||South Windsor, Conn.
|Defensive Player of the Year|
|Rookie of the Year|
||Tufts||Fy.||South Windsor, Conn.
|Coach of the Year|