ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Bay Path University's Lauren Vallee leads the NECC offensively to earn 2017 NECC Softball Player of the Year recognition.
The junior shortstop led the conference in three major offensive categories, batting average (.575), hits (42), runs batted in (31), while finishing in second in home runs (6), on base percentage (.592) and also slugging percentage (1.110). Vallee helped lead the Wildcats to the double elimination portion of the NECC tournament for the first time in more than five years.
Pitcher of Year honors went to rookie standout from Regis College, Madi McLellan. The freshman finished the regular season with an ERA of just 1.35, while striking out 96 batters in 83 innings of work. McLellan finished with six shutouts in NECC play and a record of 9-4 across 15 appearances.
Newbury College's Arianna Gooden was recognized as the NECC Rookie of the Year after leading the Nighthawks to the regular season crown. Gooden did not strike out during conference play while amassing a batting average of .446. The rookie was fourth in NECC contests with 29 hits, and was also fourth with 22 runs batted in.
The Nighthawks head coach, Caitlin Benyi, was named NECC Coach of the Year by a vote of her peers. The first year leader for Newbury guided them to the most ever wins in a season at 22, while also making it to the NECC Championship game.
The Lesley University Lynx led the way in All-Conference honors with six first team selections. Infielders Jordan Raab, Courtney Goggin, Carlyn Barker, joined outfielders Mekenzi Golden, Theresa Pereira and pitcher Sarah Bushman with first team accolades. Senior Golden finished third in the NECC in batting average (.484), on base percentage (.541), and slugging percentage (.828) to lead the Lynx to their seventh NECC Title. Barker was perfect on the field throughout NECC play with no errors in 52 total chances. The senior also led the NECC with seven stolen bases in conference play. Rookie Bushman had an incredible season with the Lynx, collecting a 1.40 ERA in 65 innings of work across 12 appearances. Raab finished sixth with a batting average of .450, while driving in 18 runs. Goggin and Pereira finished third for the Lynx with 13 runs batted in a piece for the top scoring offense in the conference.
Joining Newbury's Gooden on the All-Conference first team was catcher Noelle Sass. The sophomore was first in NECC play with eight home runs, on base percentage with a .658, and a slugging percentage of 1.115. The Randolph, Mass. native finished second in batting average at .538, while keeping a great eye at the plate for the most walks in the NECC (14).
The final first team member, representing Elms College, is Erin O'Donnell. The sophomore designated player tallied 24 runs batted in during NECC play to finish third in the conference. O'Donnell also secured a position in the top ten in batting average (.431) and on base percentage (.483).
See below for a full list of All-Conference Honorees:Player of the Year: Lauren Vallee, Bay Path Pitcher of the Year: Madi McLellan, Regis Rookie of the Year: Arianna Gooden, Newbury Coach of the Year: Caitlin Benyi, Newbury
All-NECC Conference First Team1B – Jordan Raab, Lesley So., Rochester, N.H.) 2B – Courtney Goggin, Lesley (Jr., Cheshire, Conn.) 3B – Carlyn Barker, Lesley (Sr., Temecula, Calif.) SS – Lauren Vallee, Bay Path (Jr., Bristol, Conn.) C – Noelle Sass, Newbury (So., Randolph, Mass.) P – Madi McLellan, Regis (Fr., Fremont, N.H.) P – Sarah Bushman, Lesley (Fr., Fr., Aurora, Colo.) OF – Mekenzi Golden, Lesley (Sr., Laguna Niguel, Calif.) OF – Arianna Gooden, Newbury (Fr., Bakersfield, Calif.) OF – Theresa Pereira, Lesley (Jr., Hopedale, Mass.) DP – Erin O'Donnell, Elms (So., Glenmont, N.Y.)
All-NECC Conference Second Team1B – Ashley Ciepiela, Becker (Sr., Adams, Mass.) 2B – Samantha DelConte, Mitchell (Jr., Enfiled, Conn.) 3B – Elizabeth Olszewski, Elms (Jr., Canterbury, Conn.) SS – Brianna Napoleone, Regis (So., Medford, Mass.) C – Ally Murphy, Lesley (Fr., Raynam, Mass.) C – Alexa Nejaime, Regis (Jr., Sandisfield, Mass.) P – Samantha Lee, Becker (Jr., Prospect, Conn.) P – Alina Milauskas, Newbury (So., Elkridge, Md.) OF – Allie Petillo, Regis (So., West Sayville, N .Y.) OF – Naomi Ricciotti, Newbury (Sr., Phoenix, Ariz.) OF – Catharine Wrang, Elms (So., Middletown, Conn.) DP – Amanda Navarro, Regis (Jr., Stoneham, Mass.)
All-NECC Conference Third Team1B – Katelyn Sylvia, Elms (Fr., Southwick, Mass.) 2B – Rebecca Carkhuff, Becker (Jr., Amherst, Mass.) 3B – Allison Caloggero, Regis (Sr., Medford, Mass.) SS – Suzanne Vachon, Mitchell (So., East Hartford, Conn.) P – Tessa Cote, Elms (Sr., Granby, Mass.) P – Mallory Stefan, Newbury (Fr., Thornton, Colo.) OF – Vasia Murphy, Becker (So., OF, Dracut, Mass.) OF – Shea Wilson, Southern Vermont (Jr., Mesa, Ariz.) OF – Jailinne Ruiz, Bay Path (So., Hadley, Mass.) DP – Katie Walsh, Wheelock (So., East Islip, N.Y.)
All-NECC Sportsmanship TeamMarissa Sarna-McCarthy, Bay Path (So., 1B, Westhampton, Mass.) Jennifer Boxell, Becker (Jr., OF, Malborough, Mass.) Katie Banta, Daniel Webster (Fr., C, Oakdale, Conn.) Katelyn Sylvia, Elms (Fr., 1B, Southwick, Mass.) Allyson Nisbet, Lesley (Sr., INF/P, Clovis, Calif.) Imani Mays, Mitchell (Sr., OF, Stratford, Conn.) Naomi Ricciotti, Newbury (Sr., OF, Phoenix, Ariz.) Brianna Napoleone, Regis (So., Medford, Mass.) Taylor Jarosz, Southern Vermont (Fr., OF, Karaganda, Kazakhstan) Samanth Leahon, Wheelock (So., OF, Castelton, N.Y.)