Wednesday, May 6, 2009

University of Albany Softball's Butsch Named America East Co-Player of the Year; McIntosh Chosen Top Pitcher - UAlbany Sports 2009

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Cambridge, Mass. – University at Albany’s Meagan Butsch has been named the America East Conference Co-Player of the Year and Leah McIntosh earned conference pitcher of the year honors, as announced on Wednesday, May 6 by the league office. Butsch and McIntosh were members of the All-America East first team for the second straight season.

Butsch is the second player to garner player of the year honors, joining Andee Lindgren who was the program’s first honoree in 2004. The third baseman is batting .379, which ranks fifth among the league’s top hitters, and has broken school records for home runs in a career (29) and a single season (14). Butsch, who started all 50 games, also ended the regular season leading the conference in home runs, on-base percentage (.491) and slugging percentage (.780). In addition, her 50 hits, 45 runs scored, 41 RBI and 24 walks were team highs. Batting in the heart of the order, she only struck out just six times in 132 at-bats.

McIntosh becomes the fourth Great Dane player to be named the league’s pitcher of the year after Lindgren, Amanda Morin and Casey Halloran. She has hurled a national-best four perfect games this season. The junior holds Division I program records for career strikeouts (610) and no-hitters (6), while boasting a league-best 1.27 ERA and an 18-4 record. McIntosh, who posted 10 shutouts, is second among the NCAA leaders nationally in strikeouts per seven innings (11.02). She needs18 more strikeouts to break the single-season record of 252 held by Halloran, who established that standard when she the league’s pitcher of the year in 2006.

Sophomore Kristine Bill, who appeared in all 50 games and made 48 starts, was one of three Great Danes to be placed on the all-conference second team. After collecting eight hits in her first collegiate campaign, the center fielder has 25 RBI and is batting .306 with 41 hits this year. In addition, two of her three home run provided victories in the team’s most recent America East wins to close out the regular season.

Gina Mason makes her first appearance on the all-conference second team after garnering all-rookie team honors last year. She started all 50 games at first base and finished the regular season with a .297 batting average, six home runs and 37 RBI. The sophomore was also the team’s second-best slugger with a .523 percentage and 16 extra-base hits. Mason joined Butsch and Bill as one of three Great Danes to belt a grand slam in an eight-day span this season.

Kat Smith, a catcher who has started 49 contests this spring, is being recognized on the second team for the first time. From behind the plate, she has been a key figure in helped the UAlbany pitching staff account for five no-hitters, four perfect games and 20 shutouts this season. Offensively, she hit .264 with two home runs and 18 RBI. One of her homers decided a 4-3 eight-inning victory against league opponent UMBC.

Freshman Katie Wambold was voted by the coaches to the league’s all-rookie team, marking the seventh consecutive season that at least one Great Dane has been honored. Wambold made 36 appearances and 28 starts, the most of any freshman on the squad, as the team’s designated player. She totaled 15 hits, including four doubles, and drove in seven runs while scoring eight times.

UAlbany has produced 54 all-conference players, including 28 first-team selections, since joining the America East Conference in 2002.

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