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Heteniak Named BIG EAST Conference Pitcher of the Year



LOUISVILLE, Ky. For the second time in two years, a DePaul pitcher has been named the BIG EAST Conference Pitcher of the Year.  Sophomore All-American Becca Heteniak was named the league’s Pitcher of the Year, while Connecticut junior Micah Truax collected her second-consecutive BIG EAST softball Player of the Year. The awards were announced at the conference’s annual championship banquet held at the Marriot Downtown Louisville on May 7. USF’s Capri Catalano took Rookie of the Year while the Bulls Coaching Staff garnered BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year honors.
 
The 2007 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, Heteniak is the second-consecutive DePaul pitcher to take the conference award, as Tracie Adix earned the honor last season. The righty finished with a 28-6 overall record, an 11-1 mark in conference play, and led DPU in nine statistical categories, including ERA (1.11) and strikeouts (254), both BIG EAST bests. She also was a force at the plate this season, as she ranked second on her squad in RBIs (30) and third in batting average (.279) and slugging percentage (.471). She threw two no-hitters this year, including her fourth career gem in DPU’s 9-0 (five inning) win at Syracuse on May 2. Heteniak concluded the season with two straight BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week honors, bringing her season total to three and five during her career. Sandwiched between her conference awards was national recognition, as Heteniak was named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA and USA Softball Player of the Week on April 29.  
 
Truax becomes the fourth player to win consecutive Player of the Year awards. The center fielder finished the BIG EAST regular season with the league’s best batting average (.508) and slugging percentage (.831), as well as having the most hits (33). She concluded the season with an overall batting average of .354 and overall slugging percentage of .592, both team-bests. Additionally, she is the only unanimous selection to this year’s All-BIG EAST First Team.

Catalano is the second Bulls player honored as the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, as pitcher Cristi Ecks earned the award in 2006. The rookie righty finished the regular season with the league’s best ERA (0.96) and the most saves (6). Catalano’s four saves during conference play also ranks as No. 1. Additionally, she finished the BIG EAST schedule with the third-best ERA at 1.28. On a team laden with pitching talent, Catalano led the Bulls in six statistical categories, including ERA (0.96), win-loss percentage (.938) and strikeouts (162). She was most recently named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll on May 5 following a sweep at Providence on May 3 in which she went 1-0 with a save. Catalano’s extraordinary play earned her BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week honors on March 24 and April 14.
 
USF Head Coach Ken Eriksen and his staff earn their first BIG EAST coaching honor after leading the Bulls to their first BIG EAST regular season championship with a 16-4 conference record. The championship is the first regular-season title for the school in any sport since joining the conference in 2005.
 
Sandy Vojik and Amber Patton joined Heteniak on the league’s first team.  Vojik was named to the first team at the utility position getting starts at second and in right field.  Vojik led DePaul in BIG EAST play with a .695 slugging percentage.  Patton picked up her third All-Conference honor but her first as a first-team honoree.  Patton, the Blue Demons third baseman, led the team and the league with a .403 average.

Blue Demon designated player Lauren Frankiewicz was named to the second-team.  Frankiewicz batted .293 during league play tallied seven RBI during conference play.

Freshman infielder Tara Voss was named to the league’s third team as an at-large selection.

The Blue Demons take to the Championship Field on Thursday, May 8.  DePaul squares off with Pittsburgh at 11:30 a.m. (CST). at Louisville's Ulmer Stadium. 
 
 
All-BIG EAST First Team
Brittney Bargar, Notre Dame, Jr., P
Samantha Card, Pittsburgh, Jr., C
Jessica Dignon, Pittsburgh, Sr., 3B
Kit Dunbar, USF, Sr., OF
Allie Gendron, Connecticut, Sr., DP
Britta Giddens, USF, Jr., SS/2B
Becca Heteniak, DePaul, So., P
Jillian Ortega, Connecticut, Jr., IF
Amber Patton, DePaul, Jr., 3B
Sarah Smith, Notre Dame, Sr., OF
Micah Truax, Connecticut, Jr., OF*
Sandy Vojik, DePaul, Sr., Utility
* - unanimous selection
 
All-BIG EAST Second Team
Capri Catalano, USF, Fr., P
Ashley Ellis, Notre Dame, So., OF
Lauren Frankiewicz, DePaul, Jr., DP
Amanda Heller, Rutgers, Jr., OF
Brianna Jorgensborg, Notre Dame, Fr., OF
Amy Kelley, Syracuse, Jr., C
Jamie Kelling, Syracuse, Jr., 2B/SS
JoJo Medina, USF, So., 1B
Courtney Mosch, USF, Sr., Utility
Sarah Totten, Louisville, Sr., 1B
Kristen Wadwell, Louisville, So., P
Kealan Waldron, Seton Hall, Jr., 1B/3B
 
 
All-BIG EAST Third Team
Jenna Best, Seton Hall, Sr., OF
Jackie Dempsey, Villanova, Sr., Utility
Katie Fleury, Notre Dame, Fr., 2B/SS
Linda Kohan, Notre Dame, Jr., IF
Christine Lux, Notre Dame, So., IF
Melissa Roth, Louisville, So., C
Kassie Stanfill, Louisville, Jr., OF
Tara Voss, DePaul, Fr., 2B/SS
Colby Wherry, Louisville, Fr., IF
Kayla Zinger, Pittsburgh, So., P