NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Fordham’s Jessica Hughes was named the Atlantic 10 Softball Player of the Week while teammate Lauren Quense and La Salle’s McKenzie Peace earned Co-Pitchers of the Week. Also honored was Fordham’s Madison Aughinbaugh who was named Rookie of the Week. The awards were based off performances from games held Feb. 20-26.
Last year's Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year is off to a hot start to her sophomore campaign, batting .424 on the year through her first 12 games. This past weekend at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic Hughes batted .500 (5-for-10) with a double, triple, and three RBI. She also added four runs, four walks and three stolen bases. The Sewell, N.J., native slashed .500/.643/.800 and tallied a hit in every contest. Against #3 Florida, Hughes' single was the team's lone hit, but she went 4-for-7 over the final three games of the weekend. Against Elon, she ended the game via run rule with a bases-clearing triple in the fifth inning, coming around to score on a throwing error. Her current career on-base percentage of .479 is tops in program history by nearly 30 points.
This past weekend at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic, Quense won two of her three starts and now eight of her first nine starts on the season. The senior matched 2016 First Team All-American Delanie Gourley over the first five innings, both pitchers only giving up one hit. However, a four-run sixth gave Quense her first loss of the season. She allowed those four runs on five hits while striking out four. The Langhorne, Pa. native rebounded with wins over Elon and Georgia Southern the next two days. Against the Phoenix, Quense allowed two runs on five hits and a walk over four innings, while striking out four more, to grab win number seven of the year, then fired seven one-hit innings against Georgia Southern for her eight victory. She allowed just a lone single and one walk while striking out six. For the season, Quense is 8-1 with a 1.58 ERA with five complete games and two shutouts.
Peace appeared in three games with two starts in the Green & White Invitational, going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 9.1 innings, tallying six strikeouts. The junior tossed 3.2 shutout innings in Saturday's win over Robert Morris. The Sharpsburg, Ga. native didn’t allow an earned run in 4.2 innings against Fairfield Friday.
In her fourth start of the year, Aughinbaugh fired seven one-hit innings with no walks and four strikeouts against Oakland for her first career shutout. She also relieved Quense against Elon the day before and tossed one scoreless inning. At the plate, the freshman from Port Tobacco, Md., notched her first hit in her first official at bat, a single up the middle against Elon, also scoring two runs earlier in the contest as a pinch runner. On the year, Aughinbaugh is 2-3 with a 3.62 ERA and has dropped her ERA in every contest since allowing five earned runs against the #10 Wildcats on Feb. 9.