May 14, 2007
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego softball team held their annual banquet Sunday night at the Warren Room in the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The event included dinner, team and player highlights, and team awards.
USD ended a stellar season with numerous records broken. The first being 20 wins over division I teams this season, the most in program history. USD posted 24 victories overall, the most since their 2000 season. The team hit 15 homeruns, a new program record on the offensive side. While the pitching staff racked up 259 strikeouts, the most since the 1999 season. Finally, Head Coach Melissa McElvain reached the century mark with her 100th career victory at USD on April 16th in an extra-inning victory against Santa Clara University.
Voted on by her fellow teammates, senior utility player Virginia Fritsch was named the 2007 Most Valuable Player. Fritsch hit a team high .390 with 13 doubles, two triples, one homerun, 27 RBI, and 22 runs scored this season. Along with her MVP award, she was named the team Offensive Player of the Year.
Junior outfielder Nichole Valenzuela was named the teams 2007 Defensive Player of the Year for her stellar performance in centerfield. Valenzuela had an incredible eight assists to go with her 45 putouts and committed only one error in 50 games.
Senior first baseman Alicia Massei earned the 2007 Coaches Award based on her attitude, effort, and heart. Massei's determination through out the season battling injury and her role as a team captain earned her the award.
Freshman shortstop Carey Casciola and freshman pitcher Jennifer Ellenbeck split Rookie of the Year honors. Casciola started all 50 games finishing with a .261 batting average, seven doubles, one homerun, 16 RBI, and 30 runs scored. Ellenbeck finished just behind Casciola with a .246 batting average starting in 47 games with four doubles, five homeruns, 27 RBI, and 17 runs scored. She also threw 100 innings as a pitcher, finishing 9-7 with 24 appearances, eight complete games, and 76 strikeouts.
The final award given was the 6th annual Homerun Trot Award. Athletes are asked to think of the best "trot around the bases" that would follow a homerun. Costumes, music, and silliness are encouraged to earn a higher score with the judges. Sophomore Kimberly Milkovich snapped teammate Danielle Treiber's two year win streak with her version of the Tootsie Roll homerun trot to take home the award.
USD awaits the announcement of the 2007 All-Conference awards which are slated to be released this week.