FAIRFIELD, Conn.— The Sacred Heart University softball team had a trio of players along with its coaching staff represented with postseason honors announced by the Northeast Conference on Wednesday. Emily Orosco headlined the group with NEC Co-Pitcher of the Year and NEC Most Improved Player to go along with All-NEC First Team honors.
Joining her on the All-NEC First Team was shortstop Hailey Desrosiers and pitcher Kristen McCann earned her second straight All-NEC Second Team honors. The Pioneers coaching staff was selected as the NEC Coaching Staff of the Year.
Orosco became the first Pioneer to be named NEC Pitcher of the Year after a breakout junior season. After pitching just 25.1 innings a season ago, she posted a 13-4 record during the regular season with a sensational 1.18 earned run average. She fired an impressive 197 strikeouts in just 136 innings of work and held opposing hitters to just a .155 batting average in 25 appearances this season.
Her stellar numbers pace the NEC leaderboard in earned run average, strikeouts, runs allowed, and opponents' batting average. Orosco also ranks among the nation's elite with 10.14 strikeouts per seven innings good for 10th overall. She also ranks 15th in the country with just 3.82 hits per game and 20th in ERA. She is the first Pioneer pitcher since Jen Russell in 2011 to be named to the All-NEC First team and is the second straight Pioneer to earn Most Improved player as McCann earned the honors a season ago.
Desrosiers had a strong junior campaign capturing her first All-NEC First Team honors at shortstop. She led the team in six offensive categories including hits, runs, home runs and runs batted in. Desrosiers recorded 50 hits on the year with 28 runs scored, seven home runs and 22 runs batted in, setting career-highs in every category. She ranks top 10 in the NEC in both home runs and total bases with 84.
McCann earned All-NEC second team honors for the second straight season as a pitcher. The 2017 Most Improved player appeared in 32 games in the circle for the Pioneers logging a team-high 168.2 innings. McCann recorded a career-high 11 wins with a 2.03 earned run average. She recorded 17 complete games and five shutouts including her second career no-hitter against Albany on March 3. Her three saves on the season led the Northeast Conference and 177 strikeouts rank second.
The Pioneers coaching staff earned its first NEC Coaching Staff of the year honors after guiding the team to a new Division I program record of 30 wins this season. The group of Co-Head coaches Pam London and Elizabeth Luckie along with assistant coaches Jen Russell and Betsy Harvey led the Pioneers to back-to-back NEC Tournament appearances for the first time in school history. London and Luckie were honored as NEC coaches of the year back in 2009 when SHU captured its first league championship.
SHU opens up its fourth NEC Tournament tomorrow afternoon with a matchup against in-state rival, CCSU. The action is set for 3:00 p.m. from Loretto, Pa. and can be seen online at NEC Front Row.