Murphy, Lee named Worcester Area Softball All-Stars

Murphy, Lee named Worcester Area Softball All-Stars

Worcester, Mass. --- The first annual Worcester Area Softball All-Star team has been announced after a vote by sports information directors representing nine Worcester area colleges and universities. In addition, six major award winners were also named for their respective contributions to the success of their softball programs.


Hailing from Becker College, sophomore outfielder Vasia Murphy (Dracut, Mass. / Dracut) made the All-Worcester First Team while senior pitcher Samantha Lee (Prospect, Conn. / Woodland) took Second Team honors. Murphy had a breakout season for the Hawks, hitting .351 with a team leading five home runs and 27 RBI. Lee concluded her storied career with the Hawks, ranking second in the NECC in ERA at 2.68, winning 11 games and accumulating 103 strikeouts. 


Sharing the award for Player of the Year were junior Ama Biney of WPI and junior Sydney Despres of Worcester State.


Biney, a three-time NFCA All-New England first team honoree and All-NEWMAC selection, returned to the conference's first team after leading the league in walks (23), triples (5), stolen bases (25), stolen bases per game (0.60), runs (50) and runs per game (1.19) while boasting a perfect fielding percentage in 50 total chances. The junior also batted .370 with 17 extra base hits, 35 RBI and an OPS of 1.079. Biney enjoyed a 14-game hitting streak, including five multi-hit games and a 4-for-4 performance versus Becker, from April 9 until April 22.


Despres batted .410 on the season with a .526 on base percentage and a .743 slugging percentage. She hit 12 doubles, one triple and a league-best seven home runs while tallying 27 runs and 28 RBI. She also led her league in walks with 23.


Freshman Mackenzie Phillips of WPI was named the Rookie of the Year. Phillips, the NEWMAC Softball Rookie of the Year and All-Conference second team member, boasted a 12-5 record with seven complete games, a NEWMAC-best three saves and a 2.32 ERA in 114 2/3 innings over 28 appearances. She was second overall in strikeouts with 112 and fifth in conference contests with 46. During the regular season, Phillips' ERA dropped to 1.66 and batting average against went down .16 to .215 in conference matchups. The newcomer totaled a season-best 10 strikeouts three times, including her season finale against Wheaton, a 5-1 victory, in the NEWMAC tournament.


Freshman Alexis Ferris of Nichols was named the Pitcher of the Year. Ferris closed the regular season tops in earned run average (ERA) in the conference at 1.67 and second in both strikeouts (137) and wins (13). She broke the Nichols single-season strikeout mark earlier this week against Gordon and posted five double-digit strikeout games this season, fanning 12 on three occasions: Rivier (March 10), Curry (March 30), and Wentworth (April 27). Ferris allowed two earned runs or fewer in 16 of her 20 starts and did not allow an earned run on nine occasions.


Sharing the award for Coach of the Year were Jen Lapicki of Holy Cross and Heather Korzec of Nichols.


Lapicki, in just her first season at the helm of the Crusaders, lead the team to its first Patriot League Tournament berth in six seasons. In her first season, Holy Cross posted a record of 13-30 with an 8-10 mark in conference play. Lapicki coached a pair of student-athletes to All-Patriot League honors, and had three selected to the Academic All-Patriot League team.


Korzec guided the Bison to a 16-16 mark this season – their first .500 season since 2011. They began the season winning six of their 10 games at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic and posted their highest win total in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) (eight) since the 2012 campaign.


Major Awards


Player of the Year (co)

Sydney Despres / Jr. / Worcester State

Ama Biney / Jr. / WPI


Rookie of the Year

Mackenzie Phillips / Fr. / WPI


Pitcher of the Year

Alexis Ferris / Fr. / Nichols


Coach of the Year (co)

Jen Lapicki, Holy Cross

Heather Korzec, Nichols


First Team

Pos.     Name                           Institution                   Cl.        Hometown / High School

1B        Sydney Despres             Worcester State Jr.        Sterling, Mass. / Wachusett Regional

2B        Emily Krisanda            Holy Cross                   Sr.        Oak Hill, Va. / Oakton

3B        Rachel Couto               Worcester State Sr.        Chelmsford, Mass. / Chelmsford

SS        Kendall Meehan           Nichols                        Jr.        Danvers, Mass. / Danvers

C          Courtney Salisbury       Worcester State Sr.        Cranston, R.I. / Cranston West

P          Alexis Ferris                 Nichols                        Fr.        Holyoke, Mass. / Hampshire Reg.

P          Dakota Smith-Porter     Worcester State Sr.        Montague, Mass. / Turners Falls

P          Mackenzie Phillips       WPI                             Fr.        Gill, Mass. / Turners Falls

OF       Ashley Clark                Assumption                  Sr.        Pawtucket, R.I. / William E. Tolman

OF       Ama Biney                   WPI                             Jr.        Worcester, Mass. / Holy Name

OF       Vasia Murphy              Becker                         So.       Dracut, Mass. / Dracut 

DP        Cassie Graca                WPI                             Fr         Somerset, Mass. / Somerset-Berkley

Util.     Jessica Kuelling            Nichols                        So.       Gales Ferry, Conn. / Ledyard


Second Team

Pos.     Name                           Institution                   Cl.        Hometown / High School

1B        Renee LeClaire            WPI                             So.       Merrimack, N.H. / Merrimack

2B        Katie Gildea                 Fitchburg State             Jr         Bedford, Mass. / Bedford

3B        Mandy McCarthy         Holy Cross                   Jr.        Pearl River, N.Y.  / Pearl River

SS        Taylor Wahler              Holy Cross                   So.       Inman, S.C. / Landrum

C          Lindsay Gurska            WPI                             Sr.        Revere, Mass. / Revere

P          Samantha Lee              Becker                         Jr.        Prospect, Conn. / Woodland

P          Kendal Roy                  Assumption                  Jr.        Grafton, Mass. / Grafton

P          Galen Kerr                   Fitchburg State             Sr.        Concord, Mass. / Concord-Carlisle

P          Alexandra Held            Holy Cross                   So.       Houston, Texas / Clear Lake

OF       Callie Andrews            Nichols                        So.       Southbridge, Mass. / Oxford

OF        RiAnna May                WPI                             Jr.         Westminster, Colo. / Standley Lake

OF       Damari Grossi              Fitchburg State             So.       Medford, Mass. / Medford

OF       Lauren Mackey            Clark                            Sr.        Dublin, N.H. / ConVal Regional

DP       Jessalynne Brown         Fitchburg State             Sr.        Malden, Mass. / Malden

Util.     Kaitlyn Moran              Anna Maria                  Sr.        Leicester, Mass. / St. Peter-Marian


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