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SOFTBALL: Emmanuel's Ramirez-Tejeda, Kieselback Take Home GNAC Major Awards


GNAC announces annual
All-Conference Teams

WINTHROP, Mass. – Emmanuel College, which went 15-1 overall in league play en route to a No. 1 seed in the playoffs, has earned two major award winners as the 2019 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Softball All-Conference Teams were announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Junior outfielder Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda has been selected as the GNAC Player of the Year, while senior right-hander Megan Kieselback has been named the GNAC Pitcher of the Year, as voted upon by the league's 12 head coaches.

EC's Fenway Boston rival Simmons College, which earned the other No. 1 seed in the GNAC Tournament, saw freshman right-hander Maddie Castigliego named the GNAC Rookie of the Year, while fourth-year head coach Brook Capello was voted the GNAC Coach of the Year.

For the complete list of all-conference and all-sportsmanship selections, please see below.

Ramirez-Tejeda, a two-sport standout who was also a 2018-19 GNAC Women's Basketball All-First Team choice this past winter, led the GNAC with a gaudy .814 slugging percentage as 20 of her 37 hits went for extra bases, including a league-leading 10 home runs. She hit .381 with 33 runs, 33 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 15 attempts.

Kieselback was the runaway strikeouts leader in the GNAC, punching out 117 in 118.1 innings pitched, posting a 12-7 record with a 2.24 ERA for the Saints.

Castigliego threw more innings than any other GNAC pitcher (139.0), posting a 3.12 ERA while going 14-6 in the circle. At the plate, the rookie hit .389 with a stellar 1.131 OPS, swatting four homers, five doubles and three triples to go with 18 runs and 28 RBI in just 72 at-bats.

Capello earns the Coach of the Year award after guiding the Sharks to a 13-3 GNAC mark before advancing all the way to the GNAC Championship this past weekend. Her student-athletes also took home seven 2019 GNAC All-Conference accolades.

Also from Simmons, junior outfielder Lauren Del Vacchio earned First Team recognition, as she hit an even .400 with 40 runs scored and 28 RBI.

The University of Saint Joseph (Conn.), which captured its first GNAC Championship since 2000 on Saturday night over Simmons, had junior Amaria Sharon named to the All-Conference First Team as an infielder and to the Second Team as a pitcher.

Sharon posted a 2.22 ERA and 14-5 record with 75 strikeouts in 135.1 innings in the circle for USJ. Offensively, she was third in the GNAC with a .430 batting average, registering three homers, 13 doubles, 36 runs and 28 RBI for the Blue Jays, who will open up NCAA Regional play against Tufts on Friday, May 10.

Johnson & Wales University (RI), which had won the last four GNAC Championships dating back to 2015, placed three on the First Team in senior Meghan Gavin, freshman Megan Antaya and junior pitcher Kristin Frost.

First Team
C – Devin Scales, Johnson & Wales (RI) (So., Mount Airy, Md.) 
1B – Melodie Bailey, Saint Joseph's (Me.) (Sr., Lebanon, Maine) 
2B – Amaria Sharon, St. Joseph (Conn.) (Jr., Tolland, Conn.)
3B – Meghan Gavin, Johnson & Wales (RI) (Sr., Wallingford, Conn.) 
SS – Jaclyn Flint, Suffolk (Sr., Medfield, Mass.) 
OF – Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda, Emmanuel (Mass.) (Jr., South Boston, Mass) 
OF – Megan Antaya, Johnson & Wales (RI) (Fr., Somerset, Mass.) 
OF – Lauren Del Vacchio, Simmons (Jr., Murrieta, Calif.) 
DP – Maddie Castigliego, Simmons (Fr., Bristol, R.I.) 
UTIL – Ellery Rasmussen, Regis (Mass.) (Jr., Kingston, N.H.) 
P – Megan Kieselback, Emmanuel (Mass.) (Sr., Wethersfield, Conn.) 
P – Kristin Frost, Johnson & Wales (RI) (Jr., Pearl City, Hawaii)

Second Team
C – Christie Bott, Simmons (So., Seaford, N.Y.) 
1B – Kelly Keane, Suffolk (So., Hamilton, N.J.)
2B – Ally Mishol, Johnson & Wales (RI) (Sr., Longmeadow, Mass.) 
3B – Alex Morang, Simmons (Fr., Windham, Maine) 
SS – Jess Stettinger, Albertus Magnus (Fr., East Haven, Conn.) 
OF – Olivia Burgos, Emmanuel (Mass.) (Sr., Newington, Conn.) 
OF – Madisyn Charest, Saint Joseph's (Me.) (Jr., Sidney, Maine) 
OF – Caitlin Murphy, Suffolk (Fr., Abington, Mass.) 
DP – Grace Orcutt, Emmanuel (Mass.) (Fr., Lexington, Mass.) 
UTIL – Kayla Resto, Albertus Magnus (Fr., Shelton, Conn.) 
P – Amaria Sharon, St. Joseph (Conn.) (Jr., Tolland, Conn.)
P – Maddie Castigliego, Simmons (Fr., Bristol, R.I.) 

Third Team
C – Ashley Zulla, Suffolk (Jr., Columbus, N.J.) 
1B – Kayla McKinnon, Johnson & Wales (RI) (Sr., Cambridge, Mass.) 
2B – Libby Pomerleau, Saint Joseph's (Me.) (Jr., Limerick, Maine) 
3B – Renae Lacroix, Emmanuel (Mass.) Fr., Cumberland, R.I.) 
SS – Audrey Esakoff, Emmanuel (Mass.) (Sr., Ventura, Calif.) 
OF – Sarah Hoisl, Emmanuel (Mass.) (Jr., West Hartford, Conn.) 
OF – Danielle Carson, Simmons (So., Ashland, Mass.) 
OF – Grace Boehler, Suffolk (So., East Freetown, Mass.) 
DP – Naomi Rinaldo, Norwich (Sr., Middlefield, Conn.)
UTIL – Michelle Cilley, Anna Maria (So., Dracut, Mass.) 
P – Hailey Yabroudy, Simmons (So., Amherst, N.H.) 
P – Kennedy Reyes, Suffolk (Fr., Taunton, Mass.) 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda, Emmanuel (Mass.)
Megan Kieselback, Emmanuel (Mass.)     
Maddie Castigliego, Simmons
Brook Capello, Simmons
Rivier University

Cam Johnson, Anna Maria (Sr., Worcester, Mass.) 
Briana Ong, Emmanuel (Sr., Coventry, R.I.) 
Julie Saliba, Johnson & Wales (Sr., Bayport, N.Y.) 
Nicolette Genkos, Lasell (So., Worcester, Mass.) 
Brittany Vandergroef, Norwich (So., Lodi, N.J.) 
Sarah Fawcett, Regis (Fr., Londonderry, N.H.) 
Mikayla Ramsdell, Rivier (Sr., Salem, N.H.) 
Alessandra Milardo, St. Joseph (Conn.) (So., Plantsville, Conn.) 
Libby Pomerleau, Saint Joseph's (Me.) (Jr., Limerick, Maine) 
Sydney DeVogt, Simmons (So., Exeter, N.H.) 
McKenzie McGrath, Suffolk (Sr., Exeter, N.H.) 

The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.