HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., May 8, 2012 – James Madison softball senior shortstop Ashley Burnham (Danvers, Mass./Danvers) became the first player in Colonial Athletic Association softball history to be named the CAA Player of the Year twice and freshman pitcher Heather Kiefer (Potomac Falls, Va./Potomac Falls) was named the CAA Rookie of the Year to highlight the awards for JMU at the pre-championship banquet in Hempstead, N.Y., on Tuesday evening.
Burnham and Kiefer were two of five players to collect 10 honors for JMU at the annual CAA Softball banquet held on the eve of the 2012 CAA Championship on the campus of Hofstra University.
In addition to being named the conference Player of the Year, Burnham earned First Team All-CAA recognitions for the third time. She was joined on the First Team by Kiefer and freshman outfielder Morgan Heath (Yorktown, Va./Grafton). Sophomore third baseman Caitlin Sandy (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) and freshman pitcher/designated player Sarah Mooney (Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg) were each All-CAA Second Team honorees while Kiefer, Heath and Mooney were all garnered All-Rookie recognitions.
Burnham won the third CAA Player of the Year award in school history and became the first player to be named All-CAA First Team three times. She finished the regular season hitting .342 with a .401 on-base percentage and a .671 slugging percentage. The senior from Danvers, Mass., led the team in doubles (14), home runs (11), runs (37) and RBIs (40). She added 13 walks, nine steals and committed just nine errors for a .953 fielding percentage. This season she broke the school record for career home runs, RBIs, total bases and doubles and became just the second player in school history to surpass 200 hits. In CAA play, Burnham hit .362 with three doubles, two home runs, 12 runs and 10 RBIs and fielded her position at a .969 clip.
Kiefer joins former Madison outfielder Lauren Curtis (2003) as the only players for JMU to be named the league’s Rookie of the Year. She also joins former pitchers Jenny Clohan (2007) and Meredith Felts (2008 & 2009) as the only players to be named First Team All-CAA as pitchers for the Dukes. Kiefer anchored a young pitching staff, going 13-5 with a 1.71 ERA with 14 complete games and five shutouts in 19 games started. She limited her opponents to a .232 batting average against and struck out 90 in 131 1/3 innings pitched. In conference play, Kiefer raised her game to a higher level, going 9-2 with a 1.25 ERA. She had 10 complete games and four shutouts in 11 CAA games started.
Heath joined Kiefer on both the All-CAA First Team and All-Rookie team after hitting .370 with 11 doubles, two home runs, 33 runs scored and 14 RBIs in 2012. She added 12 walks for a .468 on-base percentage and stole 13 bases in 15 attempts. She is one of three players to start every game this season for the Dukes and her .370 batting average currently ranks as the fifth-highest average in a season in school history. Against conference opponents, Heath hit .414 while collecting 12 of her 13 extra-base hits, including 11 doubles.
Sandy adds Second Team All-CAA honors to her First Team recognition in 2011. She started all 53 games at third base for Madison and hit .293 with a .338 on-base percentage and a .407 slugging percentage in 140 at-bats. She added 11 doubles, one triple, one home run, 23 runs scored and 13 RBIs. The second-year Duke had 11 walks, four steals and was one of the toughest players in the nation to strikeout, averaging one strikeout ever 35 trips to the plate. She led the team in assists with 124 and contributed 40 putouts against just eight errors for a .953 fielding percentage at the hot corner for the Dukes.
Mooney contributed both at the plate and in the circle for JMU to earn Second Team All-CAA and All-Rookie honors as a pitcher/designated player. She hit .312 with six doubles, eight home runs, 23 runs scored and 26 RBIs in 46 games played. She added 11 walks for a .366 on-base percentage while stealing five bases in six attempts. Her eight home runs are the second-most by a freshman in school history and is the seventh-highest total overall. In 28 appearances in the circle, she went 8-10 with a 3.57 ERA. Opponents hit .245 off the right-hander and she struck out 70 in 109 2/3 innings pitched.
Hofstra’s Olivia Galati picked up her third CAA Pitcher of the Year award while her coach, Bill Edwards, was named the league’s Coach of the Year. The Pride placed six players of the All-CAA First Team and had a league-high seven all-conference picks overall. JMU was second with its three first-teamers and five total selections while Georgia State, Drexel and George Mason placed one player each on the First Team.
Play gets underway on Wednesday at the CAA Championship with top-seeded Hofstra squaring off with fourth-seeded Delaware at 2 p.m. The second-seeded Dukes face off with third-seeded Georgia State at 5 p.m. The championship game is set for Friday with first pitch scheduled for 12 p.m.
2012 ALL-CAA SOFTBALL TEAM
(Selected by CAA Softball Coaches)
2012 CAA Player of the Year: Ashley Burnham, JMU
2012 CAA Pitcher of the Year: Olivia Galati, Hofstra
2012 Rookie of the Year: Heather Kiefer, JMU
2012 CAA Coach of the Year: Bill Edwards, Hofstra
(Pos - Player, School, Cl., Hometown/High School)
C -- Paige Collings, Drexel, Sr., Delta, British Columbia/South Delta
1B -- Lauren Coleman, Georgia State, Fr., Marietta Ga./McEachern
2B -- Brooke Blankenship, George Mason, Fr., Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run
3B – Krista Thorn, Hofstra, Smithtown, N.Y./Hauppuage
SS – Ashley Burnham, JMU, Sr., Danvers, Mass./Danvers
OF – Morgan Heath, JMU, Fr., Yorktown, Va./Grafton
OF -- Rachael Senatore, Hofstra, Jr., Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXII
OF – Tessa Ziemba, Hofstra, Jr., Wilmington, Del./St. Mark’s
DP – Erin Trippi, Hofstra, Fr., Lyndhurst, N.J./Paramus Catholic
DP/P – Olivia Galati, Hofstra, Jr., West Babylon, N.Y./St. John’s The Baptist
P – Olivia Galati, Hofstra, Jr., West Babylon, N.Y./St. John’s The Baptist
P – Heather Kiefer, JMU, Fr., Potomac Falls, Va./Potomac Falls
C – Callie Alford, Georgia State, Fr., Conyers, Ga./Heritage
1B – Jenn Reading, Drexel, Jr., Stevensville, Md./Kent Island
2B – Tori Rocha, Hofstra, So., Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth
3B – Caitlin Sandy, JMU, So., Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt
SS – Hailey Balk, Towson, Fr., West Corvina, Calif./West Corvina
OF – Megan Blank, George Mason, Jr., Leola, Pa./Conestoga
OF – Ashley Christy, Georgia State, Fr., Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge
OF – Tori Dudley, George Mason, Sr., Maple Valley, Wash./Tahoma
DP – Maddison Timoteo, Drexel, So., Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter
DP/P – Sarah Mooney, JMU, Fr., Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg
P – Katie Lingmai, Towson, Jr., Salem, Ore./North Salem
P – Kaitlyn Medlam, Georgia State, So., Bethlehem, Ga./Apalachee
Callie Alford, Georgia State, Fr., Conyers, Ga./Heritage
Hailey Balk, Towson, Fr., West Corvina, Calif./West Corvina
Brooke Blankenship, George Mason, Fr., Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run
Ashley Christy, Georgia State, Fr., Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge
Lauren Coleman, Georgia State, Fr., Marietta, Ga./McEachern
Jordan Critcher, UNCW, Fr., Asheville, N.C./TC Robinson
Jessica Grisler, Delaware, Fr., Sacramento, Calif./Foothill
Morgan Heath, JMU, Fr., Yorktown, Va./Grafton
Heather Kiefer, JMU, Fr., Potomac Falls, Va./Potomac Falls
Sarah Mooney, JMU, Fr., Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg
Erin Trippi, Hofstra, Fr., Lyndhurst, N.J./Paramus Catholic
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