Bowdoin's Julia Geaumont and Tufts' Cassie Ruscz Named Co-Players of the Year
HADLEY, Mass. – Bowdoin designated player/pitcher Julia Geaumont (Saco, Maine) and Tufts first baseman Cassie Ruscz (Wolcott, Conn.) have been chosen as the NESCAC Co-Players of the Year as voted upon by the conference coaches. Geaumont is the first Polar Bear in program history to be named Player of the Year, while Ruscz is the 11th Jumbo player to garner the accolade.
Geaumont had a record-breaking season for Bowdoin, which finished the season at 27-15 to reach 20 wins for a school-record ninth consecutive campaign. The junior helped the Polar Bears secure the No. 2 seed in the East Division by leading the team with a .405 batting average, a .669 slugging percentage, 29 RBI and 49 hits. Her eight home runs set a new Polar Bear single-season record. Geaumont had a strong season in the circle as well. She set Bowdoin’s single-season record for wins in a season with 16 in addition to recording a 1.82 ERA and 94 strikeouts as she landed on her first all-conference team.
Ruscz, who was an All-NESCAC First Team selection last year, helped Tufts win its fourth consecutive NESCAC title and tenth overall as the Jumbos improved to 41-0 heading into the NCAA Tournament. The sophomore led the league in numerous offensive categories, including batting average (.496), slugging percentage (.826), RBI (50) and home runs (10). She finished third in the league with 37 runs scored.
Tufts’ Allyson Fournier (South Windsor, Conn.) becomes the only pitcher in conference history to be named NESCAC Pitcher of the Year four times. The four-time First Team All-NESCAC selection is the midst of a record-breaking season. Fournier has registered a 25-0 record to go along with a minuscule 0.05 ERA, 323 strikeouts, while walking 16 batters, giving up 28 hits and allowing just one earned run in 142.1 innings. Arguably the best pitcher in Tufts history, Fournier has registered a record of 101-5, a 0.44 ERA, 1,216 strikeouts and 98 walks over the course of her illustrious career.
Joining Ruscz and Fournier on the First Team are teammates Michelle Cooprider (Hopkinton, Mass.) and Raven Fournier (Springfield, Mass.). Cooprider, a 2013 all-conference second-team selection, led the league in runs scored (45), and ranked fourth among conference players in hits (52), fifth in RBI (32) and sixth in batting average (.409). The senior center fielder was also recognized for her defensive efforts, which included 22 putouts and eight assists, to be voted the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year. She is the fourth Tufts player to receive the award, joining Laura Chapman (2009), Casey Sullivan (2010) and teammate Christina Raso (2014). Raven Fournier made an immediate impact in the Jumbo lineup behind the plate catching or serving as the designated player. The rookie has turned in a conference-best .573 on-base percentage, the league’s second-best slugging percentage (.824) and the third-best batting average (.447). She also ranks in the top ten in total bases (70), doubles (10), triples (2) and home runs (6). Defensively, Fournier also threw out 35.7 percent of the runners attempting to steal. As a result of her efforts, she has garnered NESCAC Rookie of the Year. She is the seventh Jumbo to receive the accolade, joining Allyson Fournier (2012) as the most recipient.
NESCAC runner-up Williams landed a trio of players on the All-NESCAC First Team. Senior Simone Frank (Amherst, Mass.) was named to the all-conference squad for the first time in her collegiate career. The center fielder is batting .466 with 55 hits, both of which rank second in the league, while scoring 28 runs and driving in 15 as the Ephs head into the NCAA Tournament. She also had 36 putouts and nine stolen bases for the top-seeded team in the West Division. Sophomore Alison Michalik (Naperville, Ill.) moved up to the first team after being named the second team last season. The shortstop is third in the league in hits (54), fourth in runs scored (34), tied for fourth in total bases (70) and tied for ninth in RBI (26) to go along with a .394 batting average. Defensively, she has registered 66 putouts and 60 assists so far this season. Pitcher Brooke Bovier (Port Orange, Fla.) makes her first appearance on the all-conference squad. The sophomore has posted the league’s second-best ERA of 1.53 over 119 innings, while striking out 86 batters en route to a 15-3 record and one save.
Middlebury junior Kat Maehr (Sayville, N.Y.) and first-year Allison Quigley (Wilmette, Ill.) also found spots on the First Team. Maehr paced the Panthers with a .388 batting average, a .588 slugging percentage and 33 hits, 12 of which were for extra bases. In her first season as the designated player after primarily being a pitcher the previous two seasons, she also scored 18 runs and drove in 16. Quigley made a splash in her collegiate debut season, as she went 13-4 in the circle with a 1.89 ERA over 111.1 innings to help Middlebury earn the No. 2 seed in the West Division. The rookie ranks fourth in the league with 103 strikeouts, while issuing only 25 walks.
Rounding out the team is repeat all-conference selection Hamilton junior Olivia Gozdz (Darien, Conn.). The 2013 First Team honoree is among the top hitters in the NESCAC with the fifth-highest batting average (.413), the sixth-best slugging percentage (.633) and tied for the most doubles (15). The center fielder, who led the Continentals in runs (24) and RBI (25), did not commit an error during the season as she had 43 putouts and four assists.
Tufts' Cheryl Milligan was selected by her peers as the NESCAC Coach of the Year for the fourth straight season and the eighth time overall. She has led the Jumbos to a 41-0 season and their 10th conference crown in her 12th year at the helm. Milligan recently recorded her 400th career victory following a 10-0 win over Colby on April 25. She has an overall record of 406-112 for a .784 winning percentage to rank in the top ten among active and all-time Division III coaches.
Softball All-Conference Teams