June 27, 2012

2012 ECAC Division I Softball All-Stars Announced; UMass Honored with Three Major Awards

(By Mackenzie Larsen, ECAC Championships Summer Intern)

CENTERVILLE, Mass. - The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Wednesday announced its 2012 Division I Softball All-Star Team. Receiving individual awards (pictured, left to right), Elaine Sortino of the University of Massachusetts - Amherst is the ECAC Coach of the Year, Lehigh University’s Jennifer Colquhon is the ECAC Player of the Year, and UMass-Amherst teammates Sara Plourde and Quianna Diaz-Patterson are the ECAC Pitcher and Rookie of the Year, respectively.

Colquhon was named both the 2012 Patriot League Player and Scholar-Athlete of the Year following her senior season. A four-time All-Patriot League selection (three times on the first team) at shortstop, she put up impressive numbers: tying Lehigh’s single-season home run mark with a league-leading 13, a .440 batting average in 57 games, a league-topping 50 runs scored and six triples and a league-best 48 runs batted in.  With Colquhon’s help, Lehigh finished the season 40-19 overall, including an 18-2 conference mark as Patriot League regular-season champions, and also earned the right to play in the NCAA Regional Tournament after defeating Army to win their second straight Patriot League Tournament title.

Plourde, an Easton All-America Second Team member, became the first player in Atlantic-10 Conference history to win both the A-10 Player and Pitcher of the Year awards in the same season.  This year’s honor was her third pitcher of the year award.  The eight-time A-10 pitcher of the week award winner also was named the Louisville Slugger Division I National Player of the Week twice. Plourde finished the season 36-11, compiling a 1.74 earned-run average over 309.1 innings pitched.  With her 541 strikeouts this season, she entrenched herself not only in the UMass record book but also in NCAA Division I annals.  Her 1,662 career strikeouts ranks eighth all-time and her single-season total – which led the NCAA – are the 11th highest total in Division I history.

The A-10 Rookie of the Year, Diaz-Patterson ended her impressive freshman campaign by finishing second on the team in batting average (.327), second in hits (56) and runs (35), and led the team in RBIs (41) and doubles (14). She played a pivotal role in the team’s 19-0 conference record, which culminated with A-10 regular-season and tournament championships.

Sortino helped the Minutewoman win their 23rd A-10 Tournament crown and road a 22-game winning streak into the NCAA tournament. Now in her 33rd year with the program, she has earned the A-10 coach of the year award 11 times.  She boasts a career record of 1,157-483-6 and ranks fourth in victories among active NCAA Division I coaches.

2012 ECAC Division I Softball All-Stars

Player of the Year

Jennifer Colquhon, SS, Sr., Lehigh (Patriot League)

Pitcher of the Year

Sara Plourde, Sr., Massachusetts (Atlantic-10 Conference)

Rookie of the Year

Quianna Diaz-Patterson, DP, Fr., Massachusetts (Atlantic-10 Conference)

Coach of the Year:

Elaine Sortino, Massachusetts (Atlantic-10 Conference)

First Team

Catcher: Kacee Cox, Sr., St. John’s (Big East Conference)

First Base: Charlise Castro, So., Albany (America East Conference)

Second Base: Bernadette Moran, Sr., Saint Joseph’s (Atlantic-10 Conference)

Shortstop: Jennifer Colquhon, Sr., Lehigh (Patriot League)

Third Base: Shannon Jones, Jr., Siena (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)

Outfield: Cyndil Matthew, Jr., Massachusetts (Atlantic-10 Conference)

Outfield: Vangie Galindo, Sr., Maryland (Atlantic Coast conference)

Outfield: Jordan Reid, Sr., Delaware State (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)

Designated Player: Kaitie Schumacher, So., Monmouth (Northeast Conference)

Utility: Alyssa Maiese, R-Sr., Iona (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)

Pitcher: Sara Plourde, Sr., Massachusetts (Atlantic-10 Conference)

Pitcher: Olivia Galati, Jr., Hofstra (Colonial Athletic Association)

Second Team

Catcher: Lauren Liseth, So., Fairfield (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)

First Base: Kate Strobel, Sr., Brown (Ivy League)

Second Base: Stephanie Watts, Sr., Syracuse (Big East Conference)

Shortstop: Ashley Burnham, Sr., James Madison (Colonial athletic Association)

Third Base: Stephanie Harlquist, Sr., Colgate (Patriot League)

Outfield: Suzanne Karath, Sr., Stony Brook (America East Conference)

Outfield: Lindsay Bright, Sr., Fordham (Atlantic-10 Conference)

*Outfield: Meredith Chrisante, Sr., Liberty (Big South Conference)

*Outfield: Audra Wood, Sr., Lehigh (Patriot League)

Designated Player: Jessika-Jo Sandrini, So., Siena (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)

Utility: Katie Ferguson, Sr., Maryland-Baltimore County (America East Conference)

Pitcher: Paige Arnold, Sr., Coppin State (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)

Pitcher: Rachel Brown, Sr., Harvard (Ivy League)

* Denotes a tie in the voting to create an extra All-Star spot for the position