May 7, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Lehigh sophomore third baseman Morgan Decker becomes the first player in 12 years to win back-to-back Patriot League Player of the Year honors, it was announced by the League office. Not since Army's Nicki Robbins won three straight from 2000-2002 had a player repeated a recipient of the award.
Voting was conducted of the League's seven head coaches who could not cast a ballot for their own student-athletes or themselves.
The Mountain Hawks took four of the five major awards following a 30-win season and a 15-3 mark atop the Patriot League standings. Junior Emily Bausher captured Pitcher of the Year honors, Fran Troyan was named Coach of the Year and sophomore second baseman Alexis Watanabe receives the Defensive Player of the Year Award, which is being given for the first time in 2014. Boston University freshman third baseman Brittany Younan was named the League's Rookie of the Year.
Teams that qualified for the Patriot League Softball Tournament garnered 21 of the 24 spots on the All-League teams. The double-elimination tournament will take place over three days beginning on Thursday and will be hosted by the top-seeded Mountain Hawks.
Lehigh led with seven All-League selections, including a League-best six on the first team. Boston University Army was second with six All-Leaguers, followed by Bucknell's five and three for Army. Colgate placed two on the All-League squad and Holy Cross had one.
Decker leads the Patriot League in six statistical categories -- slugging percentage (.724), on base percentage (.547), home runs (9), total bases (92), walks (30) and hit by pitch (11). The slugging percentage is more than 100 points higher than the next player in the Patriot League and the on base percentage ranks 11th nationally among all NCAA Division I players. The Jamison, Pa. native was the 2013 Player and Rookie of the Year and was also the 2014 Patriot League pre-season Player of the Year. Lehigh has won six of the last eight Player of the Year Awards and Decker becomes the eighth overall Mountain Hawks player to win and the second in school history to be honored twice (Kim Miller, 1995-96).
In 19 starts for Lehigh, Bausher earned 13 wins while holding opposing batters to a .201 batting average, striking out 99 and pitching to a 2.20 ERA. The New Egypt, N.J. native led all pitchers with nine wins and 55 strikeouts in Patriot League contests. Bausher has been recognized on the All-Patriot League team in all three of her seasons, with back-to-back first team appearances after earning second team honors as a freshman.
Watanabe becomes the first recipient of the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year Award. The sophomore successfully handled 170 of 172 chances at second base for the Mountain Hawks for a .988 fielding percentage. She recorded 83 putouts and 87 assists while committing only two errors.
Troyan picks up his third consecutive Coach of the Year trophy and sixth overall. He is the first coach in League history to garner the honor in three straight seasons. Troyan thus far has guided the Mountain Hawks to a 30-18 overall mark. The team's 15-3 League record won the conference regular season by two games. Lehigh is hosting the League Tournament for the third straight season and will be seeking its seventh championship in the last 10 years.
Younan prevented a Lehigh sweep of the major awards by receiving League honors as the top rookie. The Chico, Calif. native finished fifth among Patriot League players with a .389 batting average in 51 starts for Boston University. Younan scored 38 runs while knocking in 34 and counted 10 doubles, 5 triples and 1 home run among her 61 hits. The third baseman also stole 17 bases in 18 attempts on the year.
Decker and Bausher were both named first-team All-Leaguers by the head coaches. Joining them on the top squad at first base was Lehigh junior Cassie Waggy (.269, 3 HR, 27 RBI), a three-time honoree, while teammate Watanabe (.371, 35 runs) moves up from second team a year ago to earn the nod at second. Bucknell junior Cydnee Sanders (.464, 41 R, 26 RBI) is a repeat performer at shortstop with Decker rounding out the first-team infield.
Colgate sophomore Mariel Schlaefer (.255, 5 HR, 16 RBI) is the first-team catcher for the second consecutive season and Boston University sophomore Lauren Hynes (.341, 14 R) is the designated player. Army senior Amanda Nguyen (.353, 35 R, 28 SB) makes the first team outfield for the fourth time and is joined by Boston University senior Jayme Mask (.399, 41 R, 33 SB) and Lehigh freshman Vicky Lattanzio (.316, 14XBH, 28 RBI). Boston University sophomore pitcher Melanie Russell (.202 ERA, 9 W, 90 Ks) and at-large selection Jessica Calvini (.286, 24 R, 28 RBI), a Lehigh sophomore, round out the top squad of 12.
Making the second team were Boston University senior Chelsea Kehr (.280, 25 RBI) at first base, Bucknell freshman Jacee Almond (.351, 28 R) at second base, Lehigh junior Emma Capetz (.347, 17 RBI) at shortstop and Army sophomore Kasey McGravey (.392, 7 HR, 43 RBI) at third base. The second team catcher is Bucknell sophomore Cheyanna Young (.218, 20 RBI) and the designated player is Holy Cross sophomore Colleen Ahern (.293, 13 RBI).
The outfield is comprised of Boston University freshman Moriah Connolly (.333, 32 R, 23 SB), Bucknell junior Kristen Zahn (.371, 33 R, 32 RBI) and Colgate freshman Katie Bushee (.322, 29 R, 17 SB). Younan, the Patriot League Rookie of the Year, is the at-large selection. Rounding out the second team in the circle is Army freshman Caroline Smith (2.97 ERA, 12 W) and Bucknell freshman Lara Bean (2.76 ERA, 7 W). Second-team performers Ahern, Capetz, McGravey, and Zahn are all making their second appearance on the All-Patriot League team.
The 2014 Patriot League Tournament is slated to begin Thursday with No. 1 seed Lehigh taking on fourth seed Army at 12:05 p.m. and second-seeded Boston University battling No. 3 Bucknell at 2:35 p.m. Lehigh's Kaufman Field will serve as the host site.
2014 Softball All-Patriot League and Major Awards
Player of the Year - Morgan Decker, Lehigh
Pitcher of the Year - Emily Bausher, Lehigh
Defensive Player of the Year - Alexis Watanabe, Lehigh
Rookie of the Year - Brittany Younan, Boston University
Coach of the Year - Fran Troyan, Lehigh
First Team All-League
1B - Cassie Waggy, Lehigh, Jr.
2B - Alexis Watanabe, Lehigh, So.
SS - Cydnee Sanders, Bucknell, Jr.
3B - Morgan Decker, Lehigh, So.
C - Mariel Schlaefer, Colgate, So.
DP - Lauren Hynes, Boston University, So.
OF - Amanda Nguyen, Army, Sr.
OF - Jayme Mask, Boston University, Sr.
OF - Vicky Lattanzio, Lehigh, Fr.
P - Melanie Russell, Boston University, So.
P - Emily Bausher, Lehigh, Jr.
At-large - Jessica Calvini, Lehigh, So.
Second Team All-League
1B - Chelsea Kehr, Boston University, Sr.
2B - Jacee Almond, Bucknell, Fr.
SS - Emma Capetz, Lehigh, Jr.
3B - Kasey McCravey, Army, So.
C - Cheyanna Young, Bucknell, So.
DP - Colleen Ahern, Holy Cross, So.
OF - Moriah Connolly, Boston University, Fr.
OF - Kristen Zahn, Bucknell, Jr.
OF - Katie Bushee, Colgate, Fr.
P - Caroline Smith, Army, Fr.
P - Lara Bean, Bucknell, Fr.
At-large - Brittany Younan, Boston University, Fr.