BROOKLYN, N.Y. Freshman pitcher Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) of the Quinnipiac University softball team was named the Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year, the league announced at its annual banquet. Schwartzburg led the conference in strikeouts (206), and was the only the only pitcher to strike out over 200 batters in the NEC.
Schwartzburg is the second Bobcat to earn an annual accolade from the NEC. Pitcher Krista Seeman (Irvine, Calif.) earned the Rookie of the Year honor in 2007. The Mission Viejo, Calif. native helped the Bobcats finish sixth in the conference, just two games short of postseason play.
Schwartzburg was a dominant force for the Bobcats as well a constant atop the NEC pitching categories. She spent the majority of the regular season leading the conference in ERA, strikeouts and opponent batting average. The freshman finished the season with a 1.68 ERA in 35 appearances in the circle. She picked up 15 wins on the season with five shutouts. Schwartzburg also held opposing batters to a league-low .196 batting average.
The right-hander also set a Quinnipiac Division I record with her 206 strikeouts. She overtook the lead, besting Seeman's 122 strikeouts in 2007. Schwartzburg's game-high strikeout count was 12, a feat she accomplished twice in the season. In another season landmark, Schwartzburg earned wins against Big 12 Conference opponents Iowa State and Texas Tech in the San Diego Classic Tournament in early March. The victories marked the programs' first-ever wins against a Big 12 Conference team in their Division I history.
The Northeast Conference recognized Schwartzburg's solid performances in four consecutive weeks throughout the season. She was named the Akadema/NEC Pitcher of the Week on April 6 and 13, and was named the Akadema/NEC Rookie of the Week on April 20 and 27.
Quinnipiac finished the regular season with an 18-30 overall record and an 8-10 record in conference play.