HADLEY, Mass. – The Amherst College softball team had four players selected to the All-NESCAC teams including Kyra Naftel '19 and Gina Pagan '18 who were named First Team All-NESCAC selections while Sammy Salustri '19 and Lauren Tuiskula '17 were named Second Team All-NESCAC Tuesday, as voted on by the conference coaches. Salustri was crowned the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year and is the only player in league history to receive the honor in consecutive seasons, while Pagan is just the second Mammoth pitcher to secure the NESCAC Pitcher of the Year laurel.
Naftel, a repeat First Team selection, had a phenomenal year as the Mammoth's shortstop appearing in all 38 games of the season. Logging 15 multi-hit games and totaling 61 bases, the sophomore leads the league in hits with 56, which ranks third all-time on the program's single-season hit list, and also ranks third in the conference stolen bases (10) and batting average (.431). The Santa Clarita, Calif. native is second on the team in runs scored (31), RBI (25), and on-base percentage (.457).
Pagan was awarded the NESCAC Pitcher of the Year and earned her first all-conference nod after posting a 1.43 ERA which ranks second in the league. Tossing the most innings of any NESCAC pitcher with 127.1, the junior struck out a league-best 129 hitters and averaged 7.09 strikeouts per seven innings. Owning a 17-4 record in the circle, the Orinda, Calif. native tossed four complete two-hit games and a one-hitter to help the Mammoths earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in program history.
Salustri made league history as the only player ever to earn back-to-back honors as the Defensive Player of the Year while also garnering Second Team honors. Impeccable in the field, the sophomore recorded 53 assists and 78 putouts while committing just three errors for a .978 fielding percentage. Ranking fifth in conference action, the sophomore posted a .447 batting average and notched 17 hits in league play.
Tuiskula earned her first all-conference laurel with a Second Team nod as the Mammoth's designated hitter. Ranking second in the league and first on the team in runs scored with 36, the senior also sits in fourth place in hits (51) and batting average (.425). The Leicester, Mass. native ranks second all-time in the program's career on-base percentage (.451) and is one run shy of ranking third all-time on the single-season runs list.
The Amherst College softball team had its best season since 2012 advancing to the NESCAC Championship tournament for the second straight year and finished as the NESCAC Runner-Up for the first time ever. Earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament with a 28-10 overall record and a 9-2 mark in league action, the Mammoths head to Springfield College Friday, May 12 to take on UMass Boston in First Round action at 3:30 p.m.