Nicole Williams Named MAAC Rookie of the Year
NEW ROCHELLE, NY – Pitcher Nicole Williams (Ansonia, CT) of the Manhattan College softball team was recognized as the 2017 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Rookie of the Year during the conference's annual Postseason Awards Show at Iona College's Hynes Athletic Center on Wednesday night. She becomes just the second player in program history to earn MAAC Rookie of the Year honors, and the first since Jennifer Fisher in 1996.
Williams, who was also named to the All-Rookie Team, posted a 12-6 record during the regular season, and she leads the conference in both ERA (1.80) and opponents' batting average (.162). She's also fourth in the league with 114 strikeouts. Williams has thrown four shutouts, including the first no-hitter in program history against Saint Peter's on April 12. She was selected MAAC Pitcher of the Week and MAAC Rookie of the Week twice each.
She was one of five Jaspers to receive All-MAAC recognition. Infielder Lauren Pitney (Ansonia, CT) was selected to the All-MAAC First Team, while Briana Matazinsky (Valley Falls, NY) was named to both the All-MAAC First Team and the All-MAAC Second Team. She earned First Team honors as a utility player and was chosen to the Second Team as a pitcher. Outfielder Shannon Puthe (Mullica Hill, NJ) joined Matazinsky on the Second Team, and first baseman Christine Gebhardt (Middletown, NJ) was a unanimous All-Rookie Team selection.
Pitney has started every game this season at second base, and she leads the Jaspers with a .333 batting average, including a .364 mark in conference play. Her six home runs and 34 RBIs are also team-highs. This is her first career All-MAAC selection.
Matazinsky received her second straight First Team nod. She was chosen at designated player in 2016, and including her Second Team selection as a pitcher, she's earned All-MAAC honors at three different positions during her career. Matazinsky has made 16 starts in right field and 12 at designated player to go along with her 23 starts in the circle. Entering the MAAC Tournament, she had a .273 batting average with 39 hits, 32 runs scored and 19 RBIs.
As a pitcher, Matazinsky ranks second in the MAAC in both wins (14) and ERA (2.17). She has also struck out 65 opposing hitters. A two-time MAAC Pitcher of the Week, Matazinsky has hurled four shutouts this season.
Puthe, who was named to the First Team last season, leads the league in runs scored (48), stolen bases (25) and triples (7). She's hit leadoff in every game and put together a .297 batting average. Puthe's 52 hits are a team-high, and she's tied for second on the squad with nine doubles.
Gebhardt is one of five Jaspers to have started every game this season. She's hitting .261 with three home runs and 28 RBIs, which is tied for third-most on the team. The MAAC Rookie of the Week on March 14, Gebhardt has made just one error in nearly 400 defensive chances at first base.In addition, the MAAC All-Academic Team was announced. Matazinsky, Rachael Mumma (Mechanicsburg, PA) and Victoria Ross (Bloomfield, NJ) were all honored for the second straight year, while Alexa Dawid (Milford, CT), Stephanie Kristo (San Jose, CA) and Kat Prevo (San Diego, CA) received their first All-Academic Team nods. To be eligible for the MAAC All-Academic Team, student-athletes must have completed at least two semesters at their institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or higher.