Boston, Mass. - May 8, 2017 - Four student-athletes from the Springfield College softball program were recognized for their impressive seasons thus far, as they each earned New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Softball All-Conference recognition, announced on Monday afternoon.
Along with earning All-Conference recognition, junior infielder Kirsten Drobiak (Griswold, Conn.) was named the 2017 NEWMAC Softball Athlete of the Year, while junior pitcher Talia Loda (East Haven, Conn.) was honored as the 2017 NEWMAC Softball Pitcher of the Year. Additionally, in the midst of a season in which the Pride earned its first at-large bid into the NCAA Championship Tournament since 1999, first-year head coach Kate Bowen was named the 2017 NEWMAC Softball Coach of the Year.
Drobiak and Loda automatically earned NEWMAC First Team All-Conference accolades, while junior outfielder Carianna Gasdia (Wakefield, Mass.) also garnered First-Team All-Conference recognition. Freshman outfielder Allie Wheeler (Agawam, Mass.) earned NEWMAC Second-Team All-Conference recognition.
It has been a sensational year for Drobiak, as the junior infielder has posted career numbers in batting average (.439), slugging percentage (.734) and on-base percentage (.497). Drobiak currently sits atop the conference in RBI (49), doubles (20) and total bases (102), as her 49 RBI broke the Springfield College softball program's record for RBI in a single season. The previous mark was 47, set by Jenna Webb '16 in 2013.
Loda has been equally as impressive in the circle for the Pride, as she has posted an overall record of 19-4 thus far. Loda's 19 wins is the most wins from a Springfield College pitcher since Nan Duga '01 went 19-10 in 1999. Loda leads the NEWMAC in ERA (1.34) and wins (19), and is No. 4 in strikeouts with 97. Earlier this season, Loda was one of 25 student-athletes in Division III to be named a finalist for Schutt Sports/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III National Player of the Year honors.
In her third season in maroon and white, Gasdia has been a force at the plate for the Pride, as she leads the team in batting average (.453), runs (46), hits (62) and stolen bases (21). Wheeler has also put together an impressive freshman campaign, as the clean-up batter has produced 38 RBI on 51 hits, including 11 doubles and six home runs. Wheeler is batting .408 with a slugging percentage of .640.
In her final season with the Pride, senior Nicole Cring (Cooperstown, N.Y.) was recognized to the Inaugural NEWMAC All-Sportsmanship Team. New to the conference this year, the award is intended to recognize one student-athlete from each team, in every sport that best demonstrates the ideals of the NEWMAC and its Code of Conduct, regardless of his/her overall performance or statistics for the season.