WORCESTER, Mass. – Worcester State University's senior third baseman, Rachel Couto (Chelmsford, Mass.) has been named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Player of the Year and heads the all-conference squad which is voted on by the coaches from around the conference.
Couto helped the Lancers to a 9-5 record in MASCAC play and the fourth seed in the conference tournament. She closed out the regular season third in the league in batting average at .408 with a .436 on base percentage and .495 slugging percentage. She also hit six doubles and a home run while bringing in 16 runs and scoring 17 of her own. Defensively, she was unstoppable and collected 48 putouts and 69 assists.
Joining Couto on the All-Conference first team are Sydney Despres (Sterling, Mass.) and Courtney Salisbury (Cranston, R.I.). 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 the league in walks with 23.
Salisbury completed the season with a .350 batting average, .391 on base percentage, and a .520 slugging percentage. She recorded a league-high 15 doubles, conference-best four sacrifice flies, two home runs, 31 runs, and 21 RBI. She concludes her career at Worcester State at the top of career singles (137) and doubles (47) categories, second in the record book with 192 career hits and second in career runs with 131.
Earning a spot on the second team was Dakota Smith-Porter (Montague, Mass.) as both the designated player and the utility player. Smith-Porter helped the Lancers offensively with a .341 batting average, .408 on base percentage, and a .549 slugging percentage. She registered 22 runs, four doubles, five home runs, and 25 RBI. In the circle, she led the team with a 5-3 record and a 2.33 ERA. Smith-Porter pitched 57 innings and struck out a team-high 41 batters.
Framingham State's Kelsi Gunarathne (N. Providence, R.I.) and Mycala Moody (N. Attleboro, Mass.) were tabbed MASCAC's pitcher and rookie of the year, respectively. The league voted Larry Miller, also of Framingham State, as the Champion's Choice Coach of the Year, leading his team to the regular season and tournament titles.