Crane named to All-NAC Team

Crane named to All-NAC Team

LYNDON CENTER, Vt. - Dakota Crane, a sophomore infielder with the Lyndon softball program, has been named to the All-North Atlantic Conference Team for her performance throughout the 2015 season.

The Central, S.C. native, who majors in Atmospheric Science, batted an impressive .485 overall and had a sizzling mark of .528 in NAC play. She had 32 hits in 66 at bats, scored 13 runs and collected 43 total bases. Her efforts earned her a spot on the All-NAC Second Team.

Crane also had two stolen bases, five walks, nine doubles, one triple and 15 runs-batted-in. She started 22 of 30 games in an injury-plagued season and had on-base and slugging percentages of .528 and .652, respectively. In the field she recorded a fielding percentage of .907 playing second base, primarily, and short stop.

Husson senior pitcher Kayla Merrill was selected as the North Atlantic Conference Softball Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, while New England College freshman outfielder Shawnie Clark earned the Rookie of the Year honor to headline the 2015 All-Conference announcement.

Castleton head coach Eric Ramey was named Coach of the Year and the Johnson State Badgers were voted to receive the Team Sportsmanship Award.

NAC All-Conference selections are determined by a vote of the conference coaches.

Merrill has been a consistent force for the Eagles and has earned NAC Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season. Against conference opponents, the senior led the league or tied for the top in four offensive categories including runs, hits, home runs, and RBI. Merrill recorded a .476 batting average in conference play on 20 hits, while also compiling a .511 on base percentage and slugging .762.

The utility player scored 16 runs, earned 12 RBI, tagged three home runs, and hit three doubles. Impressively, the senior only struck out twice in 45 plate appearances against NAC opponents and recorded four stolen bases.

In the circle in conference play, Merrill posted six wins, one save, and one loss. She made eight appearances and recorded six complete games to combine for 46.2 innings of work. The pitcher struck out 28 batters and allowed just five earned runs for a 0.75 ERA.

Clark had an impressive rookie campaign for the Pilgrims as she ended her first year ranked in the top 20 in several offensive categories. In conference play, the outfielder posted a .324 batting average on 11 hits including three doubles and one triple. Clark recorded eight RBI, scored six runs, recorded a .378 on base percentage, and slugged .471 against NAC opponents.

Ramey is being recognized for the first time as Coach of the Year. His Spartan squad finished the NAC regular season in the top two for seven offensive categories, including leading the league in triples and finishing second or tied for second in runs, hits, home runs, RBI, batting average, and slugging percentage.

In the circle, Castleton topped the league with allowing the fewest hits, tied for first in strikeouts, and ranked No. 2 in ERA. According to the most recent NCAA DIII rankings, the Spartans are ranked 41st in the country for ERA.
 
Joining Merrill on the All-Conference First Team were Eagle teammates Casey Lopes,  Lyndsay Merrill and Deb Colpitts, Castleton's Jessica Babcock, Brittany Brayman and Kayla Wood, New England College's Kiley Williams and Thomas' Alyssa Eugley.

Second team selections included Crane, Clark, Castleton's Kayla Daigle and Katie Gagne, UMaine-Farmington's Meryl Bond, Husson's Nicole Andrade, Johnson State's Anna Bingham and Andrea Williams and Thomas' Sonja Morse.

2015 Softball All-Conference Teams
First Team
C - Casey Lopes, Sophomore, Husson
SS - Jessica Babcock, Junior, Castleton
3B - Brittany Brayman, Junior, Castleton
SS - Lyndsay Merrill, Junior, Husson
OF - Deb Colpitts, Senior, Husson
OF/SS-  Alyssa Eugley, Senior, Thomas
OF - Kiley Williams, Junior, New England College
P - Kayla Merrill, Senior, Husson
P - Kayla Wood, Sophomore, Castleton

Second Team
2B - Nicole Andrade, Sophomore, Husson
SS - Anna Bingham, Sophomore, Johnson State
C - Meryl Bond, Junior, UMaine-Farmington
OF - Shawnie Clark, Freshman, New England College
2B - Dakota Crane, Sophomore, Lyndon
2B - Kayla Daigle, Senior, Castleton
1B - Katie Gagne, Sophomore, Castleton
P/SS - Sonja Morse, Sophomore, Thomas
P - Andrea Williams, Junior, Johnson State

Player & Pitcher of the Year - Kayla Merrill, Husson
Rookie of the Year - Shawnie Clark, New England College
Coach of the Year - Eric Ramey, Castleton
Team Sportsmanship - Johnson State