Softball Sweeps NJAC Awards

Montclair , NJ (4/30/08) – The Montclair State softball team swept through the NJAC regular-season. On Wednesday, the Red Hawks swept the conference’s post-season awards as MSU placed a total of six selections, all on the First Team as the league unveiled its All-Conference Team.    

Senior third baseman Jackie Ferranti ( Bergenfield, NJ / Bergenfield) was named the Co-Player of the Year while righthander Carolyn McCrea ( Wharton, NJ / Jefferson) was selected as the Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season. Also chosen for a second consecutive year was head coach Anita Kubicka, who was tabbed as the Coach of the Year. Meanwhile, freshman leftfielder Leslie Gonzalez ( North Bergen, NJ / North Bergen) was named the Rookie of the Year.    

Ferranti, McCrea, Gonzalez, designated player Kelly Karp ( Edison, NJ / Edison), second-baseman Megan Durkin ( West Orange, NJ / West Orange) and shortstop Jennifer Jimenez ( Linden, NJ / Linden) were all named to the First Team as Montclair occupied six of the 15 selections.    

All six were instrumental in helping the Red Hawks to one of its most successful regular-seasons in program history as MSU posted a 37-3 mark, one win shy of the school record while going 18-0 in conference play, capturing the NJAC regular-season championship for the second straight year. Montclair State also set a school record with 22 consecutive wins and climbed up to No. 6 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Top 25.    

Ferranti earned her fourth straight All-NJAC honor as she currently leads the conference in virtually every offensive category. In the 18 NJAC contests, Ferranti hit .404 with 23 hits, 17 runs and 12 RBI while drawing 14 walks. Overall, the Second-Team All-American pick is batting .443 with 54 hits, 50 runs scored and 24 extra-base hits, including 15 doubles and five home runs while also driving in 32 runs. She has a slugging percentage of .754 and an on-base percentage of .561 while also handling 103 of 105 chances in the field successfully. Ferranti currently leads the league in batting average, slugging and on-base percentages, runs, hits, total bases (92) and walks (34). She is second in hits (54), doubles and home runs.    

McCrea recorded her second straight First-Team honor as she went 10-0 during league play during the regular season. Overall, the 2007 All-American is 19-2 with a 0.82 ERA and five saves. In 137 innings of work, she has struck out 165 batters and has recorded nine shutouts. McCrea currently leads the NJAC in ERA, wins and saves and is second in innings pitched and strikeouts. She currently ranks 10th in the NCAA in ERA, 9th in strikeouts per 7 innings; eighth in victories; and second in saves while earning NJAC and ECAC Player of the Week honors. McCrea, who set the MSU single-season record for saves, tossed her second career perfect game and the sixth in MSU history against John Jay on March 25 and broke the MSU career record for strikeouts as she has 561 in her career.    

Gonzalez came up with plenty of clutch hits during her first season with Montclair as she batted. 388 in conference games with nine runs scored and 11 RBI. Appearing in 37 games this season, Gonzalez is second on the team in batting average at .404 with 36 hits and 17 RBI while scoring 19 times and stealing nine bases in 10 attempts.    

Kubicka was selected as the 2008 NJAC Coach of the Year by her peers, marking the second consecutive season that she was garnered with the league’s top coaching honor. In 18 seasons at the helm of the Red Hawk program, Kubicka has registered a career coaching record of 578-200-2.

Karp is now a two-time First-Team All-NJAC selection while Jimenez also earned her second First- Team honor.    

Karp hit .373 with 14 runs and 14 RBI in NJAC play at the plate. Overall, the lefty-hitting junior , who ranks fourth in the NJAC in triples, is batting .324 with five triples and 25 RBI while drawing 13 walks and scoring 28 runs. During the season, she had nine multiple-hits contests, including five games with three of more hits and five games of two or runs batted in. Karp has come up clutch in key situations for Montclair State this season recording 15 two-out RBI.    

Jimenez had another outstanding season as she hit .400 with four homers and 12 RBI in conference play while scoring 20 runs and posting an on-base percentage of .515. The all-time home run leader at MSU with 35, Jimenez is hitting .393 with six home runs, 32 RBI, 39 runs scored and 30 walks as she currently leads the NJAC in home runs and is ranked second in on-base percentage, run scored and walks while ranking fourth in RBI, sixth in slugging and seventh in batting average and total bases (73). Eighteen times this season, Jimenez has posted multiple-hit contests, including three with three or more and has nine multiple RBI games. She also recorded seven games in with two or more walks, including three games with three.  

Durkin had a breakthrough season as she batted .327 during league play with 12 runs scored and 12 RBI while posting an on-base percentage of .405. The sophomore also played an outstanding second base successfully fielding 68 of 69 chances (.985). Overall, Durkin is hitting .365 with 42 hits, 12 of them extra-base hits in addition to scoring 29 times and registering 31 runs batted in. Durkin currently ranks fifth in the NJAC in on-base percentage, sixth in RBI and fourth in walks. She has 11 multiple hits contests, including four with three or more and eight games with multiple runs batted in and put together an 11-game hitting streak from March 15-March 25.