Softball Places Five on NJAC All-Conference Teams
PITMAN, N.J. (5/3/12) – The Kean University softball team placed five players on the New Jersey Athletic Conference All-Conference Squads, as freshman Maria Scopellito and senior Alicia Banz led the way with first-team nods, as voted on by the league's 10 head coaches and announced Thursday morning.
Junior Courtney Melchionna, sophomore Sandra Binkiewicz and freshman Courtney Yard were each tabbed second-team honorees, as the Cougars posted a 10-8 NJAC record and earned the fifth seed in the NJAC tournament.
Scopellito (pictured left) has started all 41 games in centerfield this season and ranked third in the NJAC with a .426 batting average in the 18 conference games. The rookie hit safely in all but two conference games, as she has 23 hits and 11 runs scored in NJAC action and has not committed an error in 19 opportunities. Scopellito was also the only freshman on the 13-member first-team.
A four-year starter, Banz was an at-large selection to the first-team after posting a .333 batting average (18-of-54) with 18 hits, 12 runs scored and 12 RBI from the top of the lineup. The shortstop has also added five doubles, two triples and two homeruns in the 18 NJAC games.
Binkiewicz (pictured right) earned NJAC second-team honors for the second straight season, as she has started all 41 games in left field for the Cougars. In 18 conference games, Binkiewicz has a .340 batting average (18-of-53) with 10 runs scored and nine RBI.
A two-time NJAC all-star, Melchionna is a three-year starter at third base and led the Cougars with 13 RBI in conference games, including three homeruns. In 18 games, she batted .283 (15-of-53) and scored nine runs, while only committing one error in 38 opportunities.
Also named the NJAC Rookie of the Year, Yard posted a 1.66 earned run average and an 8-7 record for the Cougars, as she led the NJAC with 88.2 innings pitched in 16 appearances in NJAC games. Yard allowed three or fewer hits in five of her 12 starts in the conference.
The Cougars look to defend their back-to-back NJAC championships, as they face third-seeded Rowan University in the NJAC playoffs on Friday afternoon at Montclair State University. The Cougars defeated #2 The College of New Jersey in the opening round on Tuesday afternoon of the double elimination tournament.