Buffalo, New York – Seniors Nikki Barba (San Diego, California) and Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Florida) headlined a group of nine Quinnipiac softball student-athletes on Wednesday night, as the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference released its conference award winners for the 2015 season at the annual banquet, hosted by Canisius College in Buffalo.
The two seniors were named to the All-MAAC First team while freshmen Casey Herzog (Wappingers Falls, New York) and Miranda Magana (Santa Paula, California) were selected to the All-Rookie Team. In addition to the athletic awards, six Bobcats were recognized for their academic achievements and named to the All-Academic team.
Barba's All-Conference accolade is the third consecutive such honor for the Bobcats' second baseman. As a sophomore, she was named to the All-Northeast Conference First Team before being selected to the All-MAAC second team as a junior. She served as the team's most consistent offensive player in 2015, leading Quinnipiac in several categories including, batting average (.353), hits (55), doubles (10), walks (18) and runs (33). The senior will leave Quinnipiac after cementing her name among the program's all-time greats, ranking fifth in career hits (183), doubles (37) and runs (101).
After breaking multiple Quinnipiac program records, Paolucci was named to the All-Conference First Team for the third time in her career. As a freshman, she was named the NEC Rookie of the Year while also being selected to the First Team. She joined the All-NEC First Team for the second straight year as a sophomore. Paolucci played in just 21 games for the Bobcats as a senior, but immediately made an impact at the plate. She ranked second on the team in batting at .352 and led Quinnipiac in on base percentage (.463) and slugging percentage (.556). Paolucci will join Barba as one of the best ever to put on a Quinnipiac uniform, holding multiple program records. She broke the single-season homerun record with 15 in her freshman year and now occupies the career mark with 40. Against UConn this year, Paolucci doubled in the fifth inning to record her 125 career RBI and gain sole possession of the record.
Magana earned All-Rookie honors as the starting third baseman for the Bobcats. She was one of just four players to appear in all 50 games, ranking third on the team with a .279 batting average. The freshman ranked second on the team with 38 hits and 18 RBI, while adding a .320 on base percentage and a .331 slugging percentage.
Herzog was tabbed an All-Rookie after an impressive end to the season in the circle for Quinnipiac. In her last five appearances on the mound, she allowed just three earned runs while picking up three saves and a win. The freshman led the team with four saves while adding three victories on the year. In her second to last start against Rider, Herzog pitched seven shutout innings, giving up just four hits and striking out five.
The MAAC also released the All-Academic Team which saw six Bobcats on the list: Paolucci, Brittney Cyr (Southington, Connecticut), Molly Jarrett (Northport, New York), Sydney Robey (Glenmoore, Pennsylvania), Kathryn Vitale (Cheshire, Connecticut), and Abby Johnson (Chelmsford, Massachusetts). To be eligible for the MAAC All-Academic Team, a student-athlete must have completed two semesters at their institution and hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 on a 4.0 scale.
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