HAMDEN, Conn. – The string of postseason awards continue to pile in for the Quinnipiac softball team as sophomores Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) and Nikki Barba (San Diego, Calif.) were both named to the College Sports Madness All-NEC First Team while freshman Courtney Solt (Boyertown, Pa.) was honored with a Second Team selection. The college sports website, College Sports Madness, made the All-Conference selections via insight from both staff and independent writers covering Northeast Conference softball.
Paolucci, an All-NEC First Team and NFCA All-Region Team honoree, earns her third postseason award after another illustrious season at the plate for the Bobcats. The team's offensive catalyst throughout 2013, the sophomore catcher finished the season with a .322 batting average to go along with 12 home runs and a single-season program record 44 RBI. She led the NEC in both home runs and RBIs and also belted three grand slams throughout the 2013 season. Her defense at the backstop position also shined as she gunned down 29.2 percent of would-be base stealers during the year. All of these impressive numbers come after missing the majority of the 2012 season due to injury and two years removed from her 2011 campaign in which she won the NEC Rookie of the Year and slugged a program-record 15 home runs.
Barba was named to the College Sports Madness All-NEC First Team after earning All-NEC Second Team honors within the conference coach's balloting. Batting ahead of Paolucci in the cleanup spot for the majority of the 2013 season, Barba shined on her way to a breakout offensive year. She finished with the second-best batting average among the Bobcat hitters at .331 and led her team in on-base percentage at .421. Her all-around hitting numbers all ranked in the top-three among Quinnipiac players as she totaled 31 runs, 49 hits, 13 doubles, four home runs, 23 RBIs, 20 walks, seven stolen bases and a .500 slugging percentage. Her 11-game hitting streak throughout March was the longest of any Bobcat hitter in 2013.
Solt earns her first career postseason distinction after finishing with one of the most-impressive offensive seasons in program history. In just her first career season with the Bobcats, Solt made an immediate impact with 66 hits, eclipsing the program's single-season hits record. Batting in the leadoff spot from the first game of the season, Solt showed great ability with her hit-total but also posted an impressive 18 RBIs to go along with a .375 batting average, .415 on-base percentage and .483 slugging percentage. Her 37 runs scored led the team and her blazing speed helped her pile up nine doubles, a team-high nine stolen bases and an NEC-high five triples throughout 2013. She also finished in the Top-40 in the nation among hitters as the 'Toughest to Strikeout' with just seven punchouts in 191 plate appearances.
The four major postseason awards were littered with Central Conn. St. honorees as Kat Malcolm took home the Player of the Year, Laura Messina was named the Pitcher of the Year and Evie Rentzell took home the Rookie of the Year. Robert Morris' Craig Coleman was honored as the Coach of the Year as his Colonials finished with the top record in conference play.
College Sports Madness All-NEC Selections
|First Team||Second Team|
|P||Laura Messina, CCSU||P||Nicole Pagano, MSM|
|P||Nicole Sleith, RMU||P||Nicole Sidor, SHU|
|P||Lauren Sulick, MON||P||Cerissa Rivera, MON|
|IF||Aubrey Mable, BRY||IF||Sabrie Neeb, STFU|
|IF||Lauren Morizi, LIU||IF||Courtney Slye, FDU|
|IF||Vanessa Cardoza, MON||IF||Cat Clifford, MSM|
|IF||Nikki Barba, QU||IF||Nichole Toven, LIU|
|IF||Jordan Paolucci, QU||IF||Kate Nadler, SHU|
|OF||Kat Malcolm, CCSU||OF||Courtney Solt, QU|
|OF||Lauren Guy, BRY||OF||Abigail Beasley, WAG|
|OF||Evie Rentzel, CCSU||OF||Ashley Gerhart, RMU|
|UTIL||Nicole Springer, CCSU||UTIL||Chelsy Cosentino, STFU|
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