2016 NESCAC Softball Players of the Week

Player of the Week - March 21, 2016
Kyra Naftel
Kyra Naftel
Amherst College
First Year • Infielder/Outfielder • Santa Clarita, Calif.

Naftel helped pace the Amherst offense during the Purple & White’s Spring Break trip, and was notably the only player to record a hit in every game thus far. In the first 11 games of the season, she has had nine multi-hit outings. Naftel leads Amherst’s offense with a .537 batting average and a .756 slugging percentage, including three triples, three doubles, and 22 hits. Naftel was a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI in the 6-3 win over the University of New England. 

Weekly Release #1 
Pitcher of the Week - March 21, 2016
Su Pardo
Su Pardo
Wesleyan University
Senior • Malverne, N.Y.

In six appearances over the team’s two-week Spring Break trip, Pardo went 5-0 in five complete games, while posting a 1.89 ERA and recording two complete game shutouts. She also tallied a save in her lone relief effort. Additionally, Pardo struck out 29 batters and surrendered just 29 hits. Earning the starting nod in the team’s season-opener, Pardo struck out eight batters to surpass the Wesleyan career strikeout record of 397. She currently has 420.

Weekly Release #1  
Player of the Week - March 28, 2016
Cassie Ruscz
Cassie Ruscz
Tufts University
Junior • First Base/Designated Player • Wolcott, Conn.

Ruscz homered in four of five games early in the week, including three on Monday with two versus Wellesley and one against West Virginia Tech. She had RBIs in seven of the eight games, including four against Stevens and three versus Wellesley and Hood. In the week’s closest win over Salve Regina on Tuesday, Ruscz’s RBI single in the top of the eighth gave Tufts an eventual 6-5 victory. Her three-run home run against Stevens in the bottom of the fifth ended the game. She then did the same thing in the next game against Allegheny with a two-run home run, which ended the game by the eight-run rule in the fifth.

Weekly Release #2 
Pitcher of the Week - March 28, 2016
Mackenzie Murphy
Mackenzie Murphy
Williams College
First Year • Diablo, Calif.

Murphy went 3-1 in the circle with a 1.59 ERA last week for the Ephs. She surrendered just five earned runs over 22 innings to go along with 12 strikeouts and three walks. Murphy posted a seven-inning, complete game win against Western Connecticut. She came on in relief against Whitworth, and gave up one unearned run in four innings to help Williams rally for a come-from-behind win. At the plate, she hit .370 (10-for-27) with 11 RBIs and four runs scored.

Weekly Release #2  
Player of the Week - April 4, 2016
Courtney Erickson
Courtney Erickson
Trinity College
First Year • Shortstop • Everett, Mass.

Erickson was 8-for-12 in three full games and through four innings of a suspended games against Bates. She was 3-for-3 at the plate in a 1-0 win over Eastern Connecticut and 2-for-3 with a run and a stolen base in a 3-2 win to help give Trinity its first-ever doubleheader sweep against the Warriors. In a 9-1 win against Bates, Erickson was 1-for-2 with two runs, a walk, a stolen base, and an RBI. In game two of the doubleheader against Bates, Erickson was 2-for-4 with a run and four RBIs through four innings with Trinity leading 13-3 as the game was suspended due to darkness. She batted .667 for the week and was perfect in the field on 12 chances at shortstop.

Weekly Release #3 
Pitcher of the Week - April 4, 2016
Brooke Bovier
Brooke Bovier
Williams College
Junior • Port Orange, Fla.

Bovier went 3-1 on the week with a 1.27 ERA, giving up only 14 hits and striking out 18 in 22 innings. In a 11-3 win over Colby, she combined to throw a no-hitter with teammate Dana Cohen (Ridgefield, Conn.), tossing 4.1 innings, walking one and striking out five. In a 6-4 win over Tufts, she tossed 4.2 innings of hitless softball while walking five and striking out one. Against conference opponents in non-divisional play, Bovier, who did not allow a hit in ten innings, walked six batters and struck out six en route to a 0.00 ERA and two wins. Bovier also added four assists and a putout without making an error.

Weekly Release #3  
Player of the Week - April 11, 2016
Christian Cain
Christian Cain
Tufts University
First Year • Shortstop • Houston, Texas

Tufts scored 52 runs in five NESCAC East games over the weekend, and Cain was in the middle of it, driving in eight runs and scoring six. Her grand slam in the top of the fifth in Saturday’s second game at Colby turned a 5-3 Tufts lead into 9-3. She had an RBI single and scored a run during an eight-run sixth inning that gave Tufts an 11-6 comeback win over Bowdoin in game one on Sunday. Her two-run home run in the fourth inning of game two helped the Jumbos turn a 3-2 deficit into a 7-3 lead in an eventual 11-3, five-inning victory. Cain finished the week with a .350 batting average and a .700 slugging percentage.

Weekly Release #4 
Pitcher of the Week - April 11, 2016
Neve Stearns
Neve Stearns
Middlebury College
Senior • Granby, Mass.

Stearns picked up a pair of complete-game wins last week for the Panthers, allowing just two earned runs for a 1.00 ERA with nine strikeouts and one walk over 14 innings of work. Her best performance of the week was a two-hit shutout with four strikeouts in Sunday’s win over Castleton.

Weekly Release #4  
Player of the Week - April 18, 2016
Raven Fournier
Raven Fournier
Tufts University
Sophomore • Catcher/Outfielder • Springfield, Mass.

Fournier drove home runs in each of Tufts’ three NESCAC East wins versus Trinity over the weekend. Her sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth in Friday’s game gave Tufts a 4-3 win. Fournier’s two-run home run in the bottom of the third in Saturday’s first game tied the score at 4-4 and the Jumbos pulled away. Fournier scored four times in the game. In the second game Saturday, she had a two-run triple and scored in the fifth inning, and one of her three walks in the game forced home a run in the sixth. Fournier finished the weekend with a .667 batting average, a .750 on-base percentage, and a 1.667 slugging percentage after ripping a double, a triple and a home run. She scored five runs and drove in six while being walked five times.

Weekly Release #5 
Pitcher of the Week - April 18, 2016
Mackenzie Murphy
Mackenzie Murphy
Williams College
First Year • Diablo, Calif.

Murphy went 3-1 in the circle for the Ephs last week. She posted a 0.35 ERA over 20 innings of work, and only allowed seven base runners during that time. Murphy struck out 20 total batters while issuing just two walks. She opened the NESCAC West series against Hamilton with a 3-1 complete game win where she allowed just one hit. On Saturday, she came on in relief in game two with Williams trailing 6-3. Over the final four innings, Murphy only allowed two base runners as the Ephs came from behind to win 13-6. She also tossed a complete-game shutout against Skidmore earlier in the week, allowing three hits. Murphy also went 7-for-11 (.636) from the plate with two doubles, three runs scored, and four RBIs.

Weekly Release #5  
Player of the Week - April 25, 2016
Mackenzie Murphy
Mackenzie Murphy
Williams College
First Year • First Base/Pitcher • Diablo, Calif.


Murphy hit .500 for the week and had a .615 on-base percentage and a 1.500 slugging percentage. She was 5-for-10 with four extra-base hits, including three home runs and a double. She drove in six runs and scored six runs and also had one stolen base. She was errorless in the field. In a three-game series against Amherst, Murphy homered in each game, and also doubled, finishing 4-for-8 with all six of her RBIs and five of her runs scored.

Weekly Release #6 
Pitcher of the Week - April 25, 2016
Raina Galbiate
Raina Galbiati
Williams College
Sophomore • Boulder, Colo.

Galbiati went 4-0 with a 0.69 ERA for the week, including two wins at Bates as Tufts earned its fifth straight perfect 12-0 season in the NESCAC East. In her two outings at Bates, Galbiati went 10.1 innings, allowing six hits and no earned runs with seven strikeouts and no walks. In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, she had to re-enter the game in the bottom of the sixth after Bates rallied to bring the tying run to the plate. She recorded the final out of that inning and then held the Bobcats scoreless in the bottom of the seventh for the win. On Tuesday against MIT, Galbiati went the distance in game two earning a win that gave Tufts an important split.

Weekly Release #6  
Player of the Week - May 2, 2016
Taylor Summers
Taylor Summers
Amherst College
Senior • Center Fielder • Upper Saddle River, N.J.

Summers was a driving force for the Purple & White offensively and defensively in helping Amherst clinch the second seed in the NESCAC West Division. She hit .474 (9-for-19) in the final five games of the regular season. Summers was 2-for-3 with a stolen base and a run scored in the 2-1 victory over Wesleyan. She had four multi-hit games and added five stolen bases. She also contributed in center field with 17 putouts and no errors. 

Weekly Release #7 
Pitcher of the Week - May 2, 2016
Mackenzie Murphy
Mackenzie Murphy
Williams College
First Year • Diablo, Calif.

Murphy was 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA, allowing five hits in 10.1 innings, while not walking a batter and striking out nine. In Saturday’s nine-inning, 3-2 walk-off win versus Middlebury, she hurled a complete game, allowed two runs on four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out seven to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NESCAC West Division for the Ephs. She helped her cause by hitting a lead-off home run in the bottom of the ninth for the win. In Friday’s 4-3 walk-off win, Murphy struck out two over the final 1.1 innings to earn the win. She also homered in the game to give her a home run in five consecutive games. Offensively, she hit .571 with a .667 on-base percentage and a 1.429 slugging percentage over the weekend. 

Weekly Release #7  
Player of the Week - May 9, 2016
Cassie Ruscz
Cassie Ruscz
Tufts University
Junior • Designated Player • Wolcott, Conn.

Ruscz set tournament records for home runs with four and runs batted in with 12 as Tufts advanced to the championship round. Her grand slam punctuated an 11-run first inning in game six against Williams as Tufts forced a deciding game seven with a 13-6 win. She then hit a two-run home run in the first inning of game seven to give Tufts a 2-0 lead. In the Jumbos’ first game of the weekend against Amherst, Ruscz’s two-run single highlighted a four-run fifth inning as Tufts came from behind for a 5-3 win in a game started on Friday and continued Saturday. She finished the weekend with a 1.056 slugging percentage, and scored five runs to have a hand in 17 of the Jumbos’ 28 total runs.

Weekly Release #8 
Pitcher of the Week - May 9, 2016
Mackenzie Murphy
Mackenzie Murphy
Williams College
First Year • Diablo, Calif.

Murphy picked up two of the three Williams wins, as the Ephs claimed their first  NESCAC championship since 2006. She walked three and struck out four over 12 innings, while giving up 19 hits in two wins over Tufts. She also batted .500 for the tournament (6-for-12) with two doubles and 5 RBIs. 

Weekly Release #8  
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