BOSTON — After posting an impressive 34-12 mark in the regular season, the Terriers continued their success in America East softball by sweeping the major awards. Christy Leath (Player of the Year), Megan Currier (Pitcher of the Year), Rachel Hebert (Rookie of the Year) and head coach Shawn Rychcik (Coach of the Year) took home the hardware at the annual America East softball banquet on Wednesday night. All voting was conducted by the conference’s head coaches. This marks the first time in conference history a team has swept all four awards.
Leath, a sophomore catcher, has put together an impressive offensive season to garner America East Player of the Year honors. She led America East in a number of statistical categories, as she won the regular season batting title with a .386 average and owns a league-best .488 on-base percentage. The two-time America East Player of the Week also ranked second in walks (26), fifth in slugging percentage (.636), fifth in runs batted in (34), sixth in home runs (8) and runs scored (43). Leath has guided the Terriers to the top-seed in the America East Championship and becomes the seventh Boston University player to win this award.
A freshman hurler, Currier was nearly as dominant in the circle as her teammate Leath was at the plate. Currier won two America East Pitcher of the Week awards and one America East Rookie of the Week honor during the 2007 campaign as the right-hander led the league with an impressive 18-4 record that included a 12-1 mark against America East foes. She has perhaps the best quality starts in the league averaging a league-best 5.82 innings per game. In addition, she ranks among the league leaders in nearly every pitching category. She ranks third in ERA (2.02), third in innings pitched (163.0) and fourth in runs allowed per game (2.92). Currier becomes the eighth Terrier in conference history to take home the conference’s award as the top pitcher.
Continuing the Terrier sweep, freshman Rachel Hebert earns America East Rookie of the Year accolades. Hebert is a well-balanced player that ranks in the top five in several offensive categories. The two-time America East Rookie of the Week ranks second in runs batted in (43), third in home runs (11) and third in slugging percentage (.654). In addition, Hebert boasts the second-best fielding percentage in the conference (.995) and is second in putouts (373). She becomes the ninth Boston University player to win this award, but the first since 2002.
With one of the best records in recent history, it’s no surprise that Boston University’s head coach Shawn Rychcik collects America East Coach of the Year, completing the Terrier sweep of the annual awards. In just his third season with the Terriers, Rychcik helped lead the team to an impressive 34-12 record highlighted by a 17-3 mark in America East. The Terriers have qualified for the post season in every season with Rychcik at the helm. This season they capture the conference regular season title and top-seed for the first time in his tenure. Rychcik hopes to guide Boston University to the title at the America East Championship, which takes place May 10-12 at Boston University softball field.
Leath, Currier and Hebert were all first-team all-conference selections. They are joined on the squad by teammates Melissa Dubay and Chiya Louie, Albany’s Michelle Connors, Amber Maisonet and Kelly Ogden, Hartford’s Brittney Stratton, Maine’s Alexis Souhlaris and UMBC’s Melanie Denischuk, the 2006 America East Player of the Year, and Amanda Fefel.
The second-team is comprised of Albany’s Casey Halloran, Boston University’s Shayne Lotito, Brooke Hudson and Brandi Shields, Hartford’s Kristie Rochette, Maine’s Kristie Hawkins and Whitney Spangler, UMBC’s Ashley Gray and Reilly Ward, Stony Brook’s Kelsi Fanelli and Marissa Fleury.
Connors, Currier, Hebert, Stratton, Souhlaris, Spangler, and Fefel are joined on the All-Rookie squad by Albany’s Leah McIntosh, Hartford’s Amanda Dilworth and Rachel Clonick, UMBC’s Lauren O’Malley, and Stony Brook’s Vicki Kavitsky.
The 12-member all-academic team, which honors the conference’s top athletes with a 3.0 grade-point average or higher, was highlighted by first-team selections Maisonet, Ogden, Leath, Louie and Denischuk and second-teamers Halloran, Rochette and Fleury. Also on the squad is Maine’s Ashley Water, UMBC’s Kali Shirk and Stony Brook’s Ashley Westphal and Sarah Hoffman. Amber Maisonet boasted the highest GPA amongst the 12 honorees with a 3.91.
The All-Academic team is a product of the June 2005 Athletics Director meetings. Faculty representatives and athletics directors from each of the conference’s nine member institutions decided to honor some of the league’s top athletes that are also quality students.
The All-Academic Team has been selected based on the student-athlete’s academic and athletic accomplishments. Academic achievement for consideration requires student-athletes to have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 entering the season. Athletically, student-athletes are required to be a nomination on the postseason awards ballot, which is determined by the league’s head coaches. Team size for team sports is based on the number of athletes that participate in a contest at one time (e.g., 10 on the field for men’s lacrosse). Freshmen are not eligible for the all-academic teams and grade-point averages are taken from the semester prior to the competing athletic season.
Eleven first-team all-conference selections, seven second-team picks and nine all-rookie members will be in action at the America East Softball Championship on May 10-12 at Boston University softball field in Boston, Mass. The first round of the four-team, double-elimination tourney gets underway on Thursday at 1 p.m. as the host and No. 1 seeded Terriers then take on No. 4 Albany. No. 2 UMBC faces No. 3 Hartford. at 3:30 p.m.
Be sure to follow all action of the America East Softball Championship on the web via www.AmericaEast.com’s Championship LIVE!