Sage announces 2012 Softball Award Winners
The Sage Colleges' department of athletics recently honored members of the varsity teams at the Athletic Awards Banquet. Junior outfielder and pitcher Rachel Smith (Valatie, NY/Ichabod Crane), a member of the softball team at Sage was named the recipient of the 2012 Gator of the Year Award as the team Most Valuable Player. In addition to her selection as the Gator Award winner in softball, Smith was also named Sage's Female Athlete of the Year for her efforts during the 2011-2012 academic year.
Head coach Jamie Brown said of Smith, "Her amount of success this season was based upon her drive and work ethic." Brown added, "She is hands down our MVP for her commitment to the team, on and off the field. We wouldn't have been as successful this season without her."
Smith penned her name to Sage single-season records for home runs (8), at-bats (141), and runs scored (41). She is also a record holder as this year's team has played in more games than any other Sage squad with 41 appearances to her credit. For the year, Smith is batting .369 with 52 hits, including 12 doubles and 8 home runs. She has 35 RBIs with a. 638 slugging percentage. She has also turned a strong performance as a Sage pitcher. She is 11-8 with a 2.64 ERA in 98 innings of work with 72 strikeouts. She hit successfully in all but five games this season and had nine games with multiple RBIs, including a personal-best five RBIs in the Gators' 16-2 win over Skidmore. She was named to the 2012 Skyline Conference All-Star First Team and is also a candidate for the ECAC All-Star Team.
Sophomore catcher Tricia Gaulin (South Glens Falls, NY/South Glens Fall), a member of the softball team at Sage was named the recipient of the 2012 Coaches' Award for her contributions to the team and the program.
Brown said of Gaulin, "She is a player who is willing to do whatever it takes for the team, even if it includes personal sacrifice." Brown added, "Tricia is definitely all about the team and in doing what it takes to win."
Over the course of the 2012 season, Gaulin connected on a personal-best eight doubles and posted a .298 batting average with 14 RBI's. She started 31 of 34 games played and despite a mid-season injury worked hard to return to the line-up and contribute to the team's success. She added a home run this year and had a .429 slugging percentage on the season.
Rookie infielder and catcher Kristen Beikirch (Brockport, NY/Brockport), a member of the softball team at Sage was named the recipient of the 2012 Rookie of the Award.
Brown said of Beikirch, "She was an obvious choice for Rookie of the Year." Brown continued, "With her numbers, she has made a case for being one of the best players in our conference. And she will only get better as her career continues."
In addition to earning Rookie of the Year honors as picked by Sage's coaching staff, she was also tapped as the 2012 Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year, while also garnering a spot on the 2012 Skyline Conference All-Star First Team at second base. Her selections to the all-star team and as Rookie of the Year are both the first for a Sage's softball player.
A multiple weekly award winner this spring, she set a Sage single-season hit record with her team-best 57 hits. She also leads the Gators with her .445 batting average in 41 games started. She has scored 36 runs and driven in another 29, while sporting a .641 slugging percentage. She also leads the Gators with her 16-18 effort on stolen bases. She hit successfully in 37 of Sage's 41 games this year and tied together a 19-game hit streak mid-season as well as 19 games with a multiple-hit effort at the plate.
Junior outfielder and pitcher Kelsey Newberg (New Britain, CT/New Britain), a member of the softball team at Sage as well as president of Sage's Student Athletic Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) was named the recipient of the 2012 Eastern College Athletic Conference Merit Medal.
Newberg, who is an accomplished scholar-athlete at Sage, has been instrumental in her role as president of Sage's S.A.A.C., which participated in a number of community service projects as the New York State Special Olympics Fall Games, the Special Olympics' Polar Plunge. This spring, while in season, she participated and organized a spirit lifting project at the pediatrics wing of nearby Albany Medical Center.
Brown said of Newberg, "She is a committed student-athlete, who has the ability to lead in all aspects." Brown added, "She is a wonderful student with commitment to the classroom, to the community and to the team and our department as a whole."
Newberg distinguished herself on the playing field this spring with her record setting efforts. She became one of Sage's first players named to the 2012 Skyline Conference All-Star First Team as a utility player. This talented junior also put herself into the Sage softball annuls with her 2012 performances. Newberg broke a pair of long-standing Sage strikeout records for both a season and career. She has fanned 108 batters this season alone and now has 176 career strikeouts. She is 15-7 this year and her 15 wins in a season is another active Gator record. In the circle for Sage this year, Newberg fanned 10 or more batters twice, including an 11-strikeout effort as Sage bested Cazenovia in the team's home opener. Newberg's success this season has not limited to her time as a pitcher as she has also batted .295 with 38 hits and 23 RBIs.