NEW ROCHELLE, NY – The Iona College softball program took home three major awards Wednesday night at the annual Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Softball Awards Banquet. Sophomore Alana Evans has been named the MAAC Pitcher of the Year, and junior Tori Danner has been voted the MAAC Defensive Player of the Year. Fifth year Head Coach Melissa Inouye was also selected as the MAAC Coach of the Year.
Amongst the other accolades earned by the Maroon & Gold, senior first basemen Kristen Turner earned her fourth consecutive All-MAAC First Team honor. Following up on her 2016 All-Rookie season, sophomore outfielder Marisa Gergel also took home All-MAAC First Team distinctions. Evans was voted to the All-MAAC First Team while her battery mate Danner takes home All-MAAC Second Team accolades.
Evans finished the 2017 season with a conference-high 16 wins and five shutouts. During MAAC play, the three-time MAAC Pitcher of the Week held opponents to a league-best .132 opponent batting average while maintaining a 1.04 ERA. Throwing 67.1 innings and recording 73 strikeouts, Evans ended the regular season with a conference-best 10 league victories.
Evans' highlight of the season came against the Monmouth Hawks on Saturday, Apr. 15 in West Long Branch, NJ. The second-year righty hurler struck out 10 batters while dealing the Maroon & Gold's first no-hitter since 2010; her efforts secured a doubleheader split against the Hawks.
Danner's career-best offensive season overshadowed her efforts behind the plate. The Clarksboro, NJ native allowed just six pass balls, the second lowest in the MAAC. She also threw out 12 possible base stealers, the second highest in the league. Danner committed two errors, and finished the regular season with a .993 fielding percentage.
Offensively, Danner batted a personal best .293 while starting in all of Iona's 46 games. She has hit nine home runs, tied for the eighth most in a single-season in Gael program history. Batting behind Turner in the order, her 34 runs batted in ranked tied for sixth in the MAAC.
Hitting primarily in the two hole, Gergel made best of her position by building upon an incredibly strong freshman campaign. Her .324 batting average ranks second on the team, and its built upon with a team-best and eighth ranked .419 on base percentage.
Skinner earned her first MAAC Rookie of the Week award on Tuesday, May 9; the accolade acted as a precursor with her being named to the All-MAAC Rookie Team along with designated player, Temple.
Skinner rallied of 10 complete games this season, eighth highest total in the MAAC. In league play, she threw 60.0 innings and held opponents to a .249 average; both rank top 10 entering the MAAC Tournament.
Temple served the Gaels as a strong middle of the order presence throughout the season. She played in 44 games, starting in 38 contests. Batting .236, she hit three home runs and bashed six doubles. She slugged .373 while maintaining a .328 on base percentage.
Head Coach Inouye earned her MAAC Coach of the Year award by elevating Iona from its seventh place in the MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll. It is coach Inouye's second-career MAAC Coach of the Year award.
Riding the effort of a young pitching staff and a veteran lineup, she and her team finished the regular season with a 26-20 overall record, and 15-5 MAAC finish. It is Iona's highest win total since 2012 when they went 35-26. It's .750 winning percentage in league play is the highest since that same year when they went 12-4.
Iona ranks amongst the top four teams in the league in seven major batting categories and 11 major pitching areas. The Gaels enter the MAAC Championship winners of eight out of their last 10 games played.
Coach Inouye is aided by assistant coaches Matt Klampert and Katie Jansson. Lead Dior continues to serve as the Maroon & Gold Athletics trainer and senior Lauren Filardi remains vital on Inouye's bench as a student manager.
Siena sophomore Madysen Cossack was voted the 2017 MAAC Player of the Year. She was selected to the All-MAAC First Team at infield and named MAAC Player of the Week twice this season (April 18 & May 2). The Agoura Hills, CA native is the second student-athlete in Siena's program history to be named MAAC Softball Player of the Year and the first since Shannon Jones was named Co-Player of the Year in 2012.
Manhattan freshman Nicole Williams was named the 2017 MAAC Rookie of the Year. She went 12-6 with a 1.80 ERA (26 earned runs/101.0 innings pitched) in 20 appearances (15 starts). Her 1.80 ERA was the lowest in the MAAC amongst qualified pitchers. Williams held opponents to a .162 batting average, the lowest mark in the league.
The full list of the All-MAAC award winners and team selections is below.