May 8, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Freshman RHP Morgan Lashley made Patriot League softball history as the first player to garner a pair of major awards in the same season with her selection as both Pitcher and Rookie of the Year following a vote of the conference's head coaches in Tuesday's announcement from the league office. Lashley highlighted a group of six Army players to land on the all-league teams.
Lashley was among four Black Knights tabbed for first team honors, which is just one off the school mark of five set in 2002, with two others named to the second unit for Army's largest contingent since 2006.
Also joining Lashley in headlining the first unit are senior first baseman Alexis AuBuchon, junior second baseman Alex Reynolds and sophomore outfielder Amanda Nguyen. Reynolds, one of four unanimous choices, and Nguyen earned their second straight first-team certificates, while AuBuchon nabbed her second career all-star citation after being named to the second team in 2010. Senior outfielder Reanna Johnson and freshman utility player Rae Ann Payleitner were second-team honorees in rounding out Army's group that played an instrumental part in setting a school record 35 wins and posting the fourth 30-win season in Academy history and second in the last three years.
Lashley is just the second Black Knight to earn "Rookie of the Year" honors, joining Lindsey Gerheim (2004). She is the third Army player to be tabbed as "Pitcher of the Year" but the lone freshman as Sarah Hatton and Shauna Evans were seniors when chosen in 2000 and 2002, respectively.
The right-hander from Davidson, N.C., authored an outstanding rookie year rewriting Army's record books. Her 31 wins, 300 innings pitched, 52 appearances, 47 starts and 33 games completed shattered the school single-season Division I and overall marks, along with breaking Patriot League records. Her 223 strikeouts are a school Division I mark and just 13 off the all-time record, while listing fourth in the conference. She shows a 2.26 ERA along with a stingy 1.85 ERA in conference play where she led Army to a 14-6 mark and second place in the regular-season standings. Lashley garnered three league Pitcher of the Week citations along with a Rookie of the Week honor.
Lashley ranked No. 1 in the country two straight weeks in April (22-29), while listing second, one behind the leader, in the latest rankings. She also lists 10th in shutouts (10), to tie with two others (to include Army's Colleen McCabe) for first place in the league. Lashley fashioned a 36-scoreless inning streak during the season that started with the final game against Bucknell and ended against Yale. She leads the league in every category except opponent batting average (.240) and ERA (2.26) where she lists second and third, respectively.
Leading the Black Knights in batting for the third time in four years with impressive numbers her final year as Army's offensive catalyst is AuBuchon. The senior co-captain tops the club with a .392 batting average while hitting .475 in league play out of the cleanup spot. She also lists first on the team in runs batted in (37), total bases (87), along with slugging (.551) and on-base (.452) percentages. One of six players to start every game AuBuchon is tied for the lead in home runs (four), and ranked second in doubles (11) and hits (62). She earned Patriot League weekly honors twice.
Reynolds, hitting out of the third spot in the batting order, is tied with AuBuchon and Payleitner in home runs (four), ranks second on the team in RBI (29) and third in runs scored (29) batting .273 as a starter in all 54 games. She is hitting .302 in Patriot League games where she shows a .988 fielding percentage committing just one error in 84 chances. She ranks among the league's top 10 in hits (48), runs scored (31), RBI (29) and total bases (69). The two-time first-team pick ranks eighth on Army's career chart in runs (81) and home runs (11) and is seventh in RBI (91).
Nguyen has been Army's offensive sparkplug the past two years batting either leadoff or second in the batting order. She leads the team in hits for the second straight year and her mark of 68 is just two shy of her single season record set last year. One of the quickest players in the league, her 19 stolen bases rank second while her 15 sacrifice bunts list eighth nationally per game (0.31).
Her longest hitting streak of eight ranks second on the team. Though only a sophomore, Nguyen ranks third on Army's career list with 46 stolen bases and her .377 batting average lists second, while her 76 runs scored are tied for 10th place.
Johnson, a two-time Patriot League Player of the Week, to include this week's citation, recorded her highest batting average (.241) since her sophomore year. She has 10 multiple-hit games and five multiple RBI games, to include driving in three runs twice among the 19 she compiled in 2012. She collected 38 hits with eight doubles, a triple and a home run for 51 total bases, and was perfect in all 15 steals.
Johnson, in the starting rotation since her freshman year and one of two outfielders to start all 54 games, ranks fourth on Army's career chart with 42 stolen bases and lists fifth in games played (203).
Payleitner is just the fourth Black Knight to be named a utility player and is the first since Veronica Barth earned back-to-back honors in 2007 and 2008. The freshman from St. Charles, Ill., authored an impressive mark at the plate in 28 games batting .388 with nine of her 19 hits going for extra bases. She tied for the team lead in home runs with four, smacked five doubles and four home runs for 36 total bases and a .735 slugging percentage, along with .531 on-base percentage.
In Patriot League play, Payleitner batted .357 for a .929 slugging percentage as four of her five hits went for extra bases with a pair of doubles and two home runs. She drove in six runs and scored three times in seven appearances.
The two remaining major awards were won by Lehigh with Frank Troyan named Coach of the Year and Jennifer Colquhoun a unanimous choice as Player of the Year.
Army (35-19, 14-6 PL) returns to action Thursday, May 10, when the second-seeded Black Knights face third-seeded Colgate at 2:30 p.m. in an opening round game of the Patriot League Tournament being played at Kaufman Field on the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. The top-seeded Mountain Hawks take on fourth-seeded Lafayette in the opening game at 12 p.m.
The double-elimination tournament continues Friday with the winners' game at 11 a.m. followed by the losers' game at 1:30 p.m. The final game of the day will be played at 4 p.m. between the winner of Game 4 taking on the Loser of Game 3. The tournament concludes Saturday at 12 p.m. with a second game if necessary scheduled for 2 p.m.
Patriot League Pitcher of the Year
Morgan Lashley, Army
Patriot League Rookie of the Year
Morgan Lashley, Army
First-Team All-Patriot League
Morgan Lashley, Army, P, Fr.
Alexis AuBuchon, Army, 1B, Sr.
Alex Reynolds, Army, 2B, Jr.
Amanda Nguyen, Army, OF, So.
Second-Team All-Patriot League
Reanna Johnson, Army, OF, Sr.
Rae Anne Payleitner, Army, UT, Fr.