WORCESTER, Mass. – Nichols College freshman Alexis Ferris (Holyoke, Mass.) was named the All-Worcester Area Softball Pitcher of the Year and headlines the list of five members of the Bison program to garner local recognition.
Ferris – a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) First Team pick – was also named to the All-Worcester Area First Team, along with classmate Jessica Kuelling (Gales Ferry, Conn.) and junior Kendall Meehan (Danvers, Mass.). Sophomore Callie Andrews (Southbridge, Mass.) was named to the Second Team while former head coach Heather Korzec shared Coach of the Year accolades with Jen Lapicki of Holy Cross.
Ferris closed the season tops in earned run average (ERA) in the conference at 1.67 and second in both strikeouts (42) and wins (13). She broke the Nichols single-season strikeout mark late in the regular season against Gordon and posted five double-digit strikeout games this season, fanning 12 on three occasions: Rivier (March 10), Curry (March 30), and Wentworth (April 27). Ferris allowed two earned runs or fewer in 17 of her 21 starts and did not allow an earned run on nine occasions.
Kuelling led the Bison with 21 RBI and is second in batting average (.357), slugging (.514), and on-base pct. (.400). She tied for seventh in the CCC in doubles with eight while her 21 RBI earns her a share of 10th place. Kuelling posted six multi-hit games – including three-hit, three-RBI outings against Eastern Nazarene (April 14) and Gordon (April 24). She has also scored 10 runs and has a .986 fielding pct. at first base, making just two errors all season.
Meehan led the Bison with a .388 batting average (seventh in CCC) and also posted team-bests in hits (40 – 10th in CCC), runs (24 – eighth in CCC), home runs (two), slugging pct. (.553 – eighth in CCC), and on-base pct. (.434). She recorded 12 multi-hit games, highlighted by a 4-for-4, two RBI effort against Centenary (NJ) on March 15, and homered in both games of a doubleheader sweep of Wentworth (April 27). Meehan enters her senior campaign ranked in the top 10 in several categories at Nichols: second in average (.430), fourth in doubles (28) and home runs (10), and eighth in hits (135).
Andrews batted .307 in 32 games (27 starts). She collected 23 hits, scored 15 runs, and posted a .342 on-base percentage. Andrews hit her first collegiate home run this past season, an inside-the-park shot against the Leopards. Andrews had three hits against both Edgewood (March 10) and Western New England (April 20). She was also a perfect 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts.
Korzec – who announced her resignation earlier this year – guided the Bison to their first .500 season since 2011. They posted a 6-4 record at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic to open the season – their best start to the season since the 2007 campaign, when they posted a 6-4 mark in Florida. Korzec guided the Bison to the playoffs for the third-consecutive season, and this season secured a home playoff game for the first time since 2012.
Sydney Despres (Worcester St.) and Ama Biney (WPI) shared Worcester Area Player of the Year honors. Mackenzie Phillips of WPI was tabbed Rookie of the Year.