Softball: Five From Eastern Are All-Little East; Bolduk Named Rookie-of-the-Year

Softball: Five From Eastern Are All-Little East; Bolduk Named Rookie-of-the-Year

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. –  For the first time in program history, three Eastern Connecticut State University freshman have been voted All-Little East Conference in the sport of softball in the LEC’s season-ending awards program, with five individuals in all receiving the honor.

Freshmen utility players Morgan Bolduk (Vernon) and Alexis Tyrrell (Torrington) and freshman-eligible centerfielder Sabrina LeMere (North Branford) represented Eastern on the team and were joined by sophomore catcher Megan Hodgdon (Cheshire) and sophomore shortstop Sara Pisanelli (Wallingford). Until this year, Eastern’s last All-LEC freshman selection was Arielle Cooper (later named first-team All-America) in 2010.  

LeMere and Bolduk were selected to the first team. Bolduk, also played corner infield, was named as a pitcher and also became the program’s 13th major award-winner by becoming the program’s fourth Rookie-of-the-Year – first since shortstop Megan Godwin in 2011. Hodgdon, Pisanelli and Tyrrell gaining second-team honors, with Tyrrell being voted to the utility position.

It was the first season-ending LEC award for the two sophomores.

Statistically speaking, Bolduk was Eastern top pitcher and hitter. She led the staff in virtually every pitching category, among them wins (10), earned-run average (1.95), innings (133.0), strikeouts (101), starts (18) and appearances (23). The team’s primary leadoff hitter who started games at first base, third base and DP, Bolduk boosted a team-leading .376 batting average with additional team-highs in hits (tied/44), runs (29), and on-base percentage (.407). She led the squad with 16 multiple-hit games. LeMere, whose on-base streak of ten straight was second on the team ,

Bolduk, named LEC Rookie-of-the-Week in each of the first three reports and in  and in four of the first six during the year, is ranked among the LEC top ten in 13 hitting, pitching and fielding categories, including second in pitching strikeouts and ERA and fourth in slugging (.547)

In 14 LEC regular-season games, Bolduk had a 0.56 ERA in 50 1/3 innings over nine appearances and 6-3 record with three shutouts and six complete games, 45 strikeouts and eight walks. In those games, she batted a team-high .478 with a .510 on-base percentage and .981 fielding average.

LeMere, a two-year basketball letterwinner playing softball for the first season, batted .323 – one of four players over .300 -- with 13 runs and ten RBI. She made 30 of her 32 starts in center field and batted in six different spots in the order.  Batting .279, LeMere hit at a .404 clip through the remainder of the regular season to raise her average  65 percentage points to .344. In 14 conference regular-season games, she hit .391 with nine runs and seven RBI.

Hodgdon started 37 of the team’s 39 games behind the plate, throwing out 12 runners. She was second on the team with 177 putouts and raised her average over 200 percentage points from her freshman season to .283. In two LEC tournament games, she batted .500 (3-for-6) and handled 13 chances without an error. At .306, Hodgdon was one of six regulars to bat over .300 in 14 conference regular-season games and led the squad with 77 putouts.

The only player to appear in all 39 games, Tyrrell started 36 at five different position in her first season and batted .293 with 27 runs (second to Bolduk), 12 RBI and a team-leading 12 stolen bases in 14 tries. The lefty-hitter averaged only one strikeout every 14.5 at-bats and shared third-best on the team by reaching base in nine straight games. Tyrrell started 28 games in the outfield and eight in the infield and batted either leadoff or No. 2 34 times. She settled in as the team’s starting rightfielder and No. 2 hitter in the order.

Against LEC competition in the regular season, Tyrrell batted .381 with 12 runs scored and seven RBI.

The team’s two-year starter at shortstop, Pisanelli led the Warriors in assists again, and also topped the team in RBI (30), doubles (12), extra-base hits (16), and total bases (68), shared the team lead with 44 hits, and was second only to Bolduk with  a .352 batting average. Her RBI total was twice as high as her closest teammate. Pisanelli batted third in the order throughout the year and led the team in multiple-RBI games (8) and also had the team’s longest hitting streak (10) and longest on-base streak (16). She was the only Eastern player during the season named LEC Player-of-the-Week when she batted.400 with seven RBI, six runs and three extra-base hits in six games in early April.

In 14 LEC regular-season games, Pisanelli batted .400 with three doubles and two home runs, 17 RBI and nine runs. She is the active career leader in batting average (.336), hits (85), RBI (51) and assists (166).

Eastern closed out its 17th season under head coach Diana Pepin with a 17-22 overall record, 10-4 in the Little East.