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Five AU players earn Empire 8 all-conference softball honors
5/11/11

ALFRED, NY — Five members of the Alfred University softball team have been named Empire 8 Conference all-stars, the conference announced today.

Junior utility player Nicole Hedrick (Albany, NY/Catholic Central) and junior third baseman Molly Shepherd (Camillus, NY/West Genesee) were named to the all-conference First Team; junior leftfielder Angela Netta (Rahway, NJ/Mother Seton Regional) was named to the Second Team; and senior designated player Shanna Ewoldt (Tuscon, AZ/Waubansie Valley) and sophomore second baseman Maressa Mistretta (Shirley, NY/Longwood) earned Honorable Mention.

Only statistics from Empire 8 regular season games were used for all-conference consideration. All-stars were chosen in a vote by conference coaches.

Hedrick, the 2010 Empire 8 Player of the Year earned First Team all-conference honors for a third straight year. In 14 conference games, she batted .426 with 20 hits (two doubles, one triple, one homerun), 18 runs scored, five RBIs and three stolen bases. Overall, she batted .423 with 27 runs scored (tops on the team), 12 driven in and four steals, and had a pitching record of 6-5 with a 3.80 earned run average.

Shepherd earned all-conference honors for a third time; she was a Second Team pick last year and earned honorable mention as a freshman in 2009. She batted .435 and had a .522 slugging percentage in conference play, with 20 hits (two doubles and a triple among them), while driving in 13 runs and scoring 11. She also had a .932 fielding percentage in Empire 8 games, tops among conference third basemen. Overall, Shepherd batted .438 with 17 runs scored and a team-leading 21 RBIs. She was also five-for-five in stolen base attempts.

Netta, a First Team conference all-star in 2010, earned Empire 8 honors for a second time. In 12 Empire 8 games, she batted .297 with three doubles, a triple and a homerun, and had a slugging percentage of .514. Netta scored five runs and drove in eight, and had a 1.000 fielding percentage. Overall, she hit .286 with four doubles, a triple and two homers, with 12 RBIs.

Ewoldt earned all-conference honors for the first time in her career. In 13 conference games, she batted .361 with 13 hits (five doubles, one homerun) and had a .583 slugging percentage. She drove in five runs and scored five as well. Overall, Ewoldt batted .368 with a team-leading .605 slugging percentage. She had seven RBIs and six runs scored, and led the team with six doubles.

In her first season at AU after transferring from Farmingdale State — where she was a Skyline Conference Second Team all-star as a freshman in 2010 — Mistretta batted .270 in 14 conference games. She hit a pair of doubles, scored seven runs and drove in nine, and had a .983 fielding percentage, best among E8 second basemen. Mistretta batted .314 overall with 10 runs and 13 RBIs.

Each season, the Empire 8 honors students-athletes from each conference school, who play on conference-sponsored teams, with Sportsperson of the Year awards. Honorees, chosen by their coaches, exhibited outstanding sportsmanship in keeping with the conference’s mission of “competing with honor and integrity.” Mistretta is Alfred’s honoree from the softball team.

Alfred finished the 2011 season with a 16-9 record, including a 7-7 mark in Empire 8 play. The Saxons were tied for fourth in the conference but with tiebreakers missed qualifying for the four-team Empire 8 championship tournament. AU earned a bid to compete in the ECAC championships for the fourth time in the last five years.