NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Fordham senior Elise Fortier has been named the Atlantic 10 Conference Softball Player of the Year, in a vote conducted among the league’s head coaches. Junior Michele Daubman of Fordham and sophomore Brianna Lore of Saint Louis were named as the conference’s Co-Pitchers of the Year, while Jena Cozza of Massachusetts was selected as Rookie of the Year. In the same vote, Bridget Orchard of Fordham was named the league’s Coach of the Year.
Fortier enters this week’s championship among the league-leaders in batting average (.378), hits (54), doubles (12) and total bases (117). Fortier also currently leads the Atlantic 10 in both home runs (17) and RBI (64). A senior from Coventry, R.I., becomes just the fourth player in Fordham school history to earn A-10 Player of the Year accolades and the first since Jocelyn Dearborn in 2011.
Daubman posted a record of 15-10 this season with an ERA of 2.76 over 139.2 innings of work. The junior from North Massapequa, N.Y. was the A-10 leader in ERA during conference games (1.79) throughout the regular season and ranked second in the league in wins. Daubman is the second Fordham hurler to earn Pitcher of the Year honors following Sarah Kinney (2005).
Lore posted a record of 23-11 with an ERA of 2.72 over 221.0 innings pitched. The Sullivan, Mo., native led the A-10 in wins (23), innings pitched (221.0) and starts (33), while finishing second in strikeouts (151) and appearances (38) this season. Lore is the first Saint Louis player to be recognized as A-10 Pitcher of the Year.
Fortier, Daubman and Lore are joined on the All-Conference first team by Dayton’s Alysha Isaacson (1B) and Tiffany Ricks (DP); Fordham’s Sydney Canessa (OF), Gabby Luety (C) and Amy Van Hoven (2B); George Mason’s Brooke Blankenship (3B) and Tiffany Webb (OF); La Salle’s Alicia Aughton (DP) and Saint Louis’ Lindsay Friedman (OF).
The All-Conference second team consists of Dayton’s Rachel Archer (OF), Kayla English (P), and Kasi Vazquez (C); George Washington’s Megan Linn (2B) and Victoria Valos (SS); La Salle’s Alicia Aughton (P); Massachusetts’ Jena Cozza (3B) and Lindsey Webster (OF); and Saint Joseph’s Ashley Alden (1B) and Melissa Ruf (OF).
Cozza batted .356 on the season to lead the Minutewomen while also finishing with four home runs and 20 RBI. The Wantagh, N.Y., native recorded 10 multi-hit games and five multi-RBI games on the season and hit .442 in league play. Cozza finished off her freshman regular season campaign strong as she reached base in 22 of the 25 games while batting .410 over the same stretch. Cozza is the fist UMass player to be named A-10 Rookie of the Year since current shortstop Quianna Diaz-Patterson received the award in 2012.
Joining Cozza on the All-Rookie team is Dayton’s Gabrielle Snyder, Fordham’s Sydney Canessa and Amy Van Hoven, George Washington’s Megan Linn, La Salle’s Christina Bascara and Michelle Hagarty, Massachusetts’ Tara Klee, Rhode Island’s Marylynn Muldowney, Saint Joseph’s’ Niki Carillo and Saint Louis’ Alex Nickel and Mackenzie Peter.
The Academic All-Conference team consisting of 10 student-athletes with a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) consists of Fordham’s Michele Daubman and Kayla Lombardo; George Washington’s Courtney Martin; La Salle’s Alicia Aughton and Kendra Heyer; Rhode Island’s Sam Bedore and Jocelyn Mattison; St. Bonaventure’s Kelli Rohan and Saint Louis’ Lindsay Friedman and Brianna Lore.
After leading the Rams to a record of 13-3 in the Atlantic 10 and the number one overall seed in this week’s A-10 Softball Championship, Fordham’s Orchard was selected as the Coach of the Year. This marks Orchard’s fourth Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year honor.
The 2014 Atlantic 10 Softball Championship begins on Wednesday, May 7 on the campus of Fordham University, with No. 4 seed Massachusetts (15-20-1, 9-6-1 A-10) taking on the No. 5 seed Dayton (25-27, 9-9 A-10) at 12:00 pm. They will be followed by No. 3 seed Saint Joseph’s (20-18, 10-6 A-10) taking on No. 6 La Salle (18-22, 9-9 A-10) at 2:30 pm. Top-seeded Fordham will take on the winner of Massachusetts/Dayton, May 8 at 12:00 pm, while No. 2 Saint Louis opens against the Saint Joseph’s/La Salle winner at 2:30 pm.
The entire A-10 Softball Championship, May 7-10, can be viewed live and free of charge via the A-10 Digital Network. For complete coverage of the 2014 Atlantic 10 Softball Championship, please visit www.atlantic10.com.