GANSEVOORT, N.Y. — The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has announced its 2017 Softball South Division All-Conference selections with the top 20 student-athletes in the division receiving honors on the first and second team. Each All-Conference team consists of 10 student-athletes regardless of position. Four individuals were also honored by the NEAC with annual awards that are selected in a vote by the conference coaches.
For the second-straight season, Penn State Berks senior Jenna Heffner, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has been named NEAC South Division Player of the Year. Heffner wrapped up the regular season with a .491 batting average, good for third in the NEAC. She leads the conference in runs scored (35), doubles (15), triples (8), RBIs (41), total bases (86) and slugging percentage (.768). The Nittany Lions’ outfielder also ranks third in the league with 55 hits and fourth with 16 stolen bases. Heffner has recorded at least one hit in all but six games this season and has amassed 16 multi-hit games, including three games with four hits. In the field, she has recorded 29 putouts with one outfield assist for a .938 fielding percentage. Heffner leads a trio of players from Penn State Berks to receive South Division All-Conference First Team honors.
Penn State Berks sophomore Jessica Rozick, of Bensalem, was selected as the NEAC South Division Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season. Rozick, who was named NEAC Pitcher of the Week on two occasions, led the league with a 0.94 ERA. Even more impressive, Rozick boasts a miniscule 0.35 ERA with just three earned runs in 12 conference games. The Nittany Lions’ right-hander has a 14-3 record with one save, 15 complete games, six shutouts and two perfect games. In 104.2 innings pitched, Rozick ranks second with 130 strikeouts and has held her opponents to a .177 batting average. With another stellar season in the books, Rozick was also honored with a spot on the South Division All-Conference First Team.
Penn State Abington’s Isabel Hoch, of Philadelphia, received NEAC South Division Rookie of the Year honors after a strong first season for the Nittany Lions. The rookie catcher ranked seventh in the NEAC with a .432 batting average, going 41-for-95 at the plate in 30 games. Hoch ranks fifth in the league with four triples and sixth with three home runs. She finished the regular season with 11 doubles, 22 RBIs and 30 runs scored with a .500 on-base percentage. Hoch’s .726 slugging percentage is the second highest among all NEAC softball players. Behind the plate, Hoch has a .953 fielding percentage and has caught two runners on the base paths.
Penn State Berks Head Coach Donna Ference receives back-to-back NEAC South Division Coach of the Year accolades after leading the Nittany Lions to the South Division Regular Season Title. Ference and the Nittany Lions finished the regular season with a 25-7 overall record, which includes a 19-1 mark in NEAC play and a 21-game winning streak. Ference’s squad leads the NEAC with a .350 team batting average and a 1.69 ERA. In her fourth season at Penn State Berks, Ference had five players receive All-Conference honors.
2017 NEAC Softball South Division All-Conference Team
NEAC Softball South Division Player of the Year: Jenna Heffner, Penn State Berks
NEAC Softball South Division Pitcher of the Year: Jessica Rozick, Penn State Berks
NEAC Softball South Division Rookie of the Year: Isabel Hoch, Penn State Abington
NEAC Softball South Division Coach of the Year: Donna Ference, Penn State Berks
The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has fourteen NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Bryn Athyn College, Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Penn State Abington, Penn State Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Morrisville State College, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Wells College, and Wilson College. Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (women's swimming), D’Youville College (men's volleyball), Hilbert College (men's and women's lacrosse, men's volleyball), Medaille College (men's and women's lacrosse, men's volleyball), Penn State Altoona (men's volleyball), and Rutgers University – Camden (men's golf). The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sports of field hockey and men’s and women’s tennis. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.