WORCESTER, Mass. - Worcester State's Sydney Despres and Dakota Smith-Porter have been named the 2018 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Softball Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, and head up the all-conference squad which was voted on by the coaches from around the conference.
Despres, a senior catcher from Sterling, Mass., helped the Lancers to the MASCAC Regular Season title and top seed in the tournament. She ended the regular season first in batting average (.570), slugging percentage (.877), on-base percentage (.609), doubles (11), runs scored (47) and total bases (100). She was second in hits (65) and home runs (8) while also tallying the third-most RBI in the conference (35). Behind the plate, she had 159 puts outs and was a part of four double plays. Four times this season, she was 4-for-4 at the plate, including most recently against Massachusetts Maritime where had had three RBI and three runs scored in the win.
Smith-Porter, a senior from Montague, Mass. is the 2018 MASCAC Pitcher of the Year. Over 88 innings pitched, she netted a 3.58 ERA with 51 strikeouts, 10 wins, nine complete games, including three shutouts with an opponent batting average of .289 and averaged 4.06 strikeouts per game. In the 3-1 win over Framingham State, she pitched a complete game, only allowing five hits with one run and four strikeouts. Offensively, Smith-Porter batted .455 with a .500 on base percentage. She led the league in doubles (11) and RBI (37).
Also earning First-Team All-Conference Honors is sophomore outfielder Kaiulani Ennis (Swansea, Mass.). Ennis batted .390 with a .445 on base percentage and a .705 slugging percentage. She compiled 36 runs scored, 41 hits, eight doubles, two triples and seven home runs while racking up 30 RBI. In the last 14 regular season games, she hit a home run in 5-of-7 doubleheaders.
Senior third baseman, Kaci Panarelli (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and sophomore utility player, Becky Brandeberry (Phillipston, Mass.) were named to the All-Conference Second Team. Panarelli batted .312 with a .365 on base percentage this season. She collected 29 hits, nine doubles, and three homers with 20 RBI and 15 runs scored. Defensively, she logged 38 putouts, 57 assists with a .922 fielding percentage, and was a part of five double plays. Brandeberry, a sophomore utility player, batted .292 with a .330 on base percentage. She collected 28 hits, three doubles, one homer and batted 23 runs in. She scored 16 runs.
Other major award winners were Alexandra Ruprecht of Bridgewater State who was tabbed the MASCAC Rookie of the Year, and Colleen Bannister of Westfield State who was named the Champion's Choice Coach of the Year.