HADLEY, Mass. – Four members of the Amherst College battery and a first year utility star were honored by the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) on Thursday afternoon, as the All-NESCAC selections were announced by the league office.
Catcher RonnieMarie Falasco '21 and pitcher Lorena Ukanwa '19 were named to the First Team, while battery-mates Gina Pagan '18 and Kate Kopatic '19 and outfielder/third baseman Audrey Hansen '21 were all Second Team honorees.
Falasco (Broomall, Pa.) is one of two first-years on the All-NESCAC First Team. She has had an immediate impact for the Mammoths, leading the team in hitting (.415), slugging percentage (.846), on-base percentage (.500), homeruns (6), and doubles (10). She is a two-time NESCAC Player of the Week this year and had five straight multi-hit games heading into Amherst's semifinals loss to Bowdoin.
Ukanwa (Morgan Hill, Calif.) leads NESCAC pitchers in strikeouts per seven innings (9.65), good for 11th in the nation, and was undefeated in the circle against conference opponents for Amherst. An All-NESCAC Second Team selection a year ago, she is 16-1 on the season with six complete games, six shutouts, 137 strikeouts and a 1.76 ERA for the Mammoths.
The 2017 NESCAC Pitcher of the Year, Pagan (Orinda, Calif.) makes another appearance on the NESCAC teams, posting an 11-5 record in her senior season. Pagan struck out 100 opposing batters, averaging 6.46 strikeouts per nine innings, and had an ERA of just over 2.00. A workhorse for the Mammoths, Pagan led the team with 108.1 innings pitched and tossed 11 complete games over the course of the year.
Hansen (Carmel, In.) drove in a team-high 32 runs in her rookie season, good for fourth in the conference. She also scored 31 times, second on the team, and batted .380 with a .438 on-base percentage and a .610 slugging percentage. Hansen hit nine doubles and fourteen extra base hits, with four homers, the biggest a grand slam during Amherst's opening round win over Bates in the NESCAC tournament.
Kopatic (Houston, Texas) provided power and consistency for the Mammoths with a .411 batting average and five home runs on the year. She drove in five runs in Amherst's final NESCAC game of the year, an 18-5 win over Hamilton, and had 11 multi-hit games and multi-RBI games on seven occasions. Kopatic is making her first appearance on an All-NESCAC team.
Amherst (27-6) will play Western New England at Williams College on Friday at 2:00 pm as they begin their NCAA Championships run. Click here for a preview of this weekend's regional.