2006 Softball All-Conference Teams Announced

Tufts' Lopez Honored as Player of the Year

HADLEY, Mass. - Tufts sophomore second baseman Danielle Lopez has been named the 2006 NESCAC Player of the Year, as determined by the conference coaches. Lopez, the 2005 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, joins a long list of Tufts players to have earned Player of the Year recognition, as the annual honor has been awarded to a member of the Jumbos roster in each of the last six seasons.

Lopez also earned NESCAC All-Conference First Team honors for the second consecutive year. The sophomore second baseman enters NCAA Tournament action this weekend having already shattered multiple single-season records at Tufts. Lopez has set the single-season mark for runs scored (41), RBIs (47) and total bases (94) this year, leading the NESCAC in each of those categories, while her 51 hits ties the Tufts record in a single year. Lopez has started every game this season for the Jumbos, averaging .392 from the plate with a league-high 11 home runs. Defensively, Lopez sports a .969 fielding percentage, committing only six errors on 193 chances at second base.

Of the 11 members of the 2006 NESCAC All-Conference First Team, eight players earned First Team accolades in 2005. Among the seven institutions represented on the First Team, Tufts had the most players with three. Joining Lopez on the First Team from the Jumbos are sophomore catcher Megan Cusick (Albany, N.Y.) and first year outfielder Samantha Kuhles (Somerville, N.J.). Cusick earned First Team honors in her rookie season with Tufts last year, batting .333 with a .981 fielding percentage. Kuhles is second among her teammates in average this season, batting .380.

Seniors Alana Frost (Oakland, Calif.) and Clara Hard (Seattle, Wash.) both represent Williams on this season’s All-Conference First Team. Frost has earned First Team honors in each of her four seasons with the Ephs, receiving the conference’s Rookie of the Year award in 2003. The second baseman for the Ephs, Frost leads the NESCAC in most offensive categories this season, averaging .454 from the plate while holding a .486 on-base percentage. During the 2006 NESCAC Softball Championship, Frost was 6-for-9, driving in the decisive run in a critical victory over Tufts, 1-0. Hard, who also earned All-NESCAC First Team honors for a second-straight year as a pitcher, ranks among the statistical leaders this season in the league with an earned run average of 1.72, 106 strikeouts, and holding opponents to a league-low .186 batting average. Hard (13-3) was once again chosen by the coaches as the NESCAC Pitcher of the Year, the third year in a row that she has earned the honor.

Amherst senior pitcher Miya Warner (Berkeley, Calif.) came away with All-NESCAC First Team honors for the third time in her career, after first receiving the honor in 2003 and again in 2005. Warner (14-5) led the NESCAC in strikeouts this season with 147 while posting an ERA of 1.59 and stifling opponents by holding batters to a .188 average, both figures second among league pitchers.

Junior Sara Dougherty (Long Valley, N.J.) and senior Lindsey Freeman (Lancaster, Mass.) make an appearance on the First Team from Trinity. An All-Conference Second Team selection the past two seasons, Dougherty started all 33 games this season for the Bantams, splitting her time between pitcher and first base. Dougherty went 11-6 with a 1.90 ERA from inside the circle while batting .349 from the plate, second offensively for Trinity. Freeman was not far behind her teammate, as the senior catcher averaged .348 and finished in a two-way tie for second in the NESCAC with nine home runs.

Rounding out the NESCAC All-Conference First Team are Bowdoin senior shortstop Danielle Chagnon (Windsor Locks, Conn.) and juniors Katie Franklin (New Preston, Conn.) of Bates and Molly Gaebe (Miami, Fla.) of Wesleyan, all of whom earned 2005 First Team recognition. Chagnon started all 40 games for the Polar Bears in 2006, leading the team with a .426 batting average. Gaebe led her team this season as well, posting a .380 average while knocking in a team-high 17 runs for the Cardinals. Franklin averaged .365 from the batter’s box, hitting a team-best 14 doubles for the Bobcats.

Rookie of the Year honors went to Bates’ Stacia Saniuk (Sharon, Mass.). In her first season with the Bobcats, Saniuk posted a batting average of .371, second among her teammates, collecting 36 hits and a team-best 28 RBIs. Saniuk swatted nine home runs in 2006 while garnering a slugging percentage of .753, numbers that place her in second among all league players in both of those categories.

Williams head coach Kris Herman was the choice among the coaches, earning Coach of the Year honors for the third time in the last four years (2003, 2004). Herman has guided the Ephs to a school-record 29 wins so far this season (29-8) along with Williams’ third consecutive NESCAC Softball crown. 

2006 NESCAC Softball All-Conference Team

  First Team School Yr. Hometown
SS Danielle Chagnon Bowdoin Sr. Windsor Locks, Conn.
C Megan Cusick Tufts So. Albany, N.Y.
1B/P Sara Dougherty Trinity Jr. Long Valley, N.J.
CF Katie Franklin Bates Jr. New Preston, Conn.
C Lindsey Freeman Trinity Sr. Lancaster, Mass.
2B Alana Frost Williams Sr. Oakland, Calif.
OF/P/DP Molly Gaebe Wesleyan Jr. Miami, Fla.
P Clara Hard Williams Sr. Seattle, Wash.
OF/3B Samantha Kuhles Tufts Fy. Somerville, N.J.
2B Danielle Lopez Tufts So. Danvers, Mass.
P Miya Warner Amherst Sr. Berkeley, Calif.
  Second Team School Yr. Hometown
P/DP Erica Bailey Tufts So. Scottsdale, Ariz.
C/DP Lauren Battaglia Middlebury Sr. Framingham, Mass.
OF Laura Chapman Tufts Fy. Seattle, Wash.
OF Cathleen Clark Williams Jr. Plymouth, N.H.
1B Kyla Decato Bates Sr. Paris, Maine
OF Beth Gostanian Trinity So. Windham, N.H.
SS Joey Lye Williams Fy. Scarborough, Ontario
1B Laura Noel Williams Sr. Houston, Texas
C/3B Amber O'Connor Hamilton Fy. Pembroke, Ontario
P Lauren Olmsted Colby Sr. Lexington, Mass.
P Margaret Ryan Williams So. Clarksburg, N.J.
C/3B Stacia Saniuk Bates Fy. Sharon, Mass.
  Player of the Year      
2B Danielle Lopez Tufts So. Danvers, Mass.
  Pitcher of the Year      
P Clara Hard Williams Sr. Seattle, Wash.
  Rookie of the Year      
C/3B Stacia Saniuk Bates Fy. Sharon, Mass.
  Coach of the Year      
  Kris Herman Williams