Jean Stevens is the first America East softball Player of the Week of the 2012 season after batting .500 last week.
Jean Stevens is the first America East softball Player of the Week of the 2012 season after batting .500 last week.
Courtesy: America East Communications

Stevens, Friis Earn First Weekly Accolades of 2012 Softball Season

Release: 02/20/2012
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Maine's Jean Stevens and Binghamton's Caitlin Friis are the first America East softball award winners of the 2012 season. Stevens earned Player of the Week honors while Friis took home Rookie of the Week accolades. The inaguaral awards were announced Monday afternoon.

Stevens (Albany, Ore.) batted .500 during the Black Bears' opening weekend at the USF Invitational Feb. 7-9. The sophomore catcher/designated player batted .500 (6-for-12) with a three extra-base hits, including a pair of home runs, two RBI and two runs scored. She nearly carried her team to victory in its season opener against Illinois State going 2-for-2, both solo homers, and reached base twice more via a walk. For the week, Stevens had a .600 on-base percentage.

Friis (Newtown, Pa.) hit .429 over her first five games as a collegian, including  4-for-4 performance in a win over Delaware Friday. She also was perfect in the field, converting all 19 of her chances at shortstop.

Team Notes
Albany (0-0
) will start its season in the Eagle Classic ,which is hosted by Georgia Southern, this weekend ... Head coach Chris Cannata is three wins away from accruing 500 wins as a head coach at UAlbany ... Cannata has coached the Great Danes to four America East Tournament titles and four NCAA appearances ... Notable returnee first-team all-conference and all-rookie selection sophomore pitcher Brittany MacFawn (Orlando, Fl./Timber Creek) will look to continue her dominance on the mound ... MacFawn went 15-8 last season with a 2.37 ERA, 146 strikeouts in 162.2 innings and tallying six shutout ... UAlbany's first game is against North Florida on Friday, Feb. 24 (930 am) in the Eagle Classic in Statesboro, Ga.

Binghamton (2-3) freshman shortstop Caitlin Friis (Newtown, Pa./Council Rock) batted a team-best .429 at the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament this past weekend. She went a perfect 4-for-4 against Delaware on Feb. 17 and hit safely in three of the five games. In addition, she recorded a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 19 chances, all at the shortstop position ... sophomore first baseman Mikala King (Binghamton, N.Y./Chenango Valley) finished the week with a .412 batting average. She went 4-for-5 with two runs and a pair of RBI against Delaware on Feb. 17 and finished the the week with a pair of mulitple-hit games and two multiple-RBI performances ... the Bearcats opened the season with back-to-back shutouts, something they last did during the 2010 season. Binghamton blanked Boston College 2-0 and Delaware 8-0. In 2010, the Bearcats swept a doubleheader from Marist by scores of 8-0 and 9-0, both in five innings.

Boston University (0-0) welcomes back 14 letterwinners from last year’s squad that led America East in team batting average (.287), runs scored (5.7 per game) and earned run average (2.30) ... Holli Floetker, the league’s reigning Pitcher of the Year, will lead the Terriers on the mound. The sophomore went 14-5 while posting a league-best 1.69 ERA in 26 appearances last year ... The lineup will have last season’s Rookie of the Year, Chelsea Kehr in its middle. She batted .336 and drove in a league-high 46 runs last year ... The Terriers also return four other players who have claimed all-conference honors in the past in Jayme Mask, Emily Roesch, Erin Schuppert and Megan Volpano ... Shawn Rychcik’s team opens its season at the NFCA Leadoff Classic on Feb. 24.

Hartford (0-0) hopes to return to the conference tournament after a four-year absence ... The Hawks’ roster will be young again in 2012 and features 11 freshmen and sophomores ... Kate Wacyk, who tied for the team lead with four homers, and Shannon Simpkins, who batted .294 last year, which is tops among returnees will lead the team ... Hartford, which led the conference in field percentage last year (.965), begins its 2011 campaign with a doubleheader at Central Connecticut on March 3. 

Maine (1-4) kicked off the 2012 season at the USF Invitational hosted by South Florida in Tampa ... Maine went 1-4 on the weekend as it won its last game, a 1-0 complete game shutout victory thrown by junior hurler Beth Spoehr (Appleton, Wis.) ... The complete game shutout win was Spoehr's second of her career with the last coming against Toledo on March 5, 2011 ... Jean Stevens (Albany, Ore.) paced the Maine offense as she went 6-for-12 on the weekend with two runs scored, two RBIs, three walks a double and a pair of home runs ... Stevens homered twice in the opener against Illinois State with her first coming in her first at-bat of the season for the first home run of her career ... The Black Bears led Illinois State 3-2 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh before a solo home run tied it for Illinois State and Maine would lose 4-3 in extra innings ... Four newcomers got their first career hits over the weekend for Maine as freshmen EmJ Fogel (Vienna, Va.) and Jessica Burk (Warrenton, Va.) each had four hits to lead the freshmen ... The Black Bears hung tough with #2, and current #1, Florida for a couple of innings but dropped the contest 8-0 in five ... Maine returns to action on Feb. 27 with a doubleheader against Oregon State at Fullerton, Calif.

UMBC (1-3) won one game, while dropping three at the Lancer Lead Off Tournament at Longwood over the weekend... The Retrievers dropped a season-opening doubleheader to the hosts on Friday... On Saturday, UMBC split with a pair of Big East teams, defeating Seton Hall, 2-1, before falling to St. John's, 7-0... Freshman Courtney Reinfeld (Parkland, Fla./Stoneman Douglas) drove in the game-winning run for her first career RBI in the win over the Pirates... Junior Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) pitched a seven inning complete game, striking out three for her first win of the season... In game two against Longwood, freshman Kaila Balatgek (Reading, Pa./Exeter Township), senior Katie Ferguson (North East, Md.North East/Cecil CC) and freshman Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) each hit homeruns for the Retrievers... UMBC now heads to Charleston, S.C. to take part in the Charleston Southern Tournament next weekend... The Retrievers begin play on Friday against Wright State, starting at 9 a.m.

Stony Brook (2-2) opened its season at the Charlotte Classic and posted a 2-2 record, including a split against the host 49ers, a win over Middle Tennessee and a loss to Kansas...sophomore Jess Combs (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) led the Seawolves with a .417 average over the weekend...freshman Shayla Giosia (Runnemede, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) smacked her first-career HR with a three-run bomb against Charlotte on Saturday to give the Seawolves a 4-2 lead in the sixth (won 4-3) the circle, Stony Brook received large contributions from a pair of newcomers: freshman Allison Cukrov (Irvine, Calif./Irvine) struck out 14 batters in 15.1 IP and posted two saves, while sophomore Christine Lucido (Melville, N.Y./Walt Whitman) picked up a win in 7.1 IP...the Seawolves were a perfect 9/9 in stolen bases over the weekend, including two apiece by senior Suzanne Karath (Fishkill, N.Y./Ketcham), senior Bernadette Tenuto (Audubon, N.J./Paul VI) and senior Alyssa Hawley (Spokane, Wash./University)...sophomore Nicole Schieferstein (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford) notched three RBI in Charlotte; she had two RBI in 31 total games last year...Stony Brook will return to action on March 2-4 at the George Washington Colonial Classic in Washington, D.C.