NEW YORK — Leading the Skyline Conference in most offensive categories, St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) freshman third baseman Ashleigh Hartwig (Santee, Calif./West Hills) has been named the 2019 Skyline Conference Softball Player of the Year and to the All-Conference First Team, announced by the league office today.
Senior Victoria Mahoney (Allenwood, N.J./Saint John Vianney) and freshman Jessica Mecham (West Jordan, Utah/Copper Hills) join Hartwig on the first team, while rookie shortstop Alexis Buchanan (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta) landed on the second team.
Behind the quartet's strong play, the Bears finished their season at 16-20 overall and earned a program-best fifth place finish with an 8-8 league record to secure the program's second-straight appearance in the Skyline Conference Softball Championship.
Hartwig becomes the first freshman to receive Softball Player of the Year honors since the start of league records in 2004. The four All-Skyline selections match the highest single-season garnered by a Bears squad and Hartwig, Mahoney, and Mecham mark the first trio of first-team honorees in any sport since the Bears joined the Skyline in 2015-16.
The second Bear in any sport to be named Player of the Year, Hartwig started in all 35 games at third base and finished as the Skyline leader in batting (.468), slugging (.739), hits (52), RBI (37), doubles (16), and home runs (4). The toughest hitter to strike out in the league, she struck out just three times in 120 plate appearances, primarily at cleanup, and didn't strike out in the final 23 games of the season. In conference play, she led the league in slugging, doubles and home runs and is second in batting and runs scored, hitting successfully in all but three league games.
Mahoney earned the second All-Skyline accolade of her career as a first-team outfielder after being named a second-team pitcher in 2017. The senior co-captain maintained a .343 average batting at leadoff and the two-hole and she finished top five in the Skyline in stolen bases (15), runs scored (29), and triples (3), while her 21 RBI ranked sixth. As the team's leading hurler In the circle, she compiled six wins with a 4.05 ERA and had a team-best 80 strikeouts.
An all-around player who was second on the team in innings pitched and split time between outfield and designated player, Mecham was selected as a first-team utility player. The one-time Pitcher of the Week had six wins to her credit and shared the league lead in shutouts with four, compiling a team-low 3.38 ERA. At the plate, she ranked second on the team in hitting with a .385 average that placed her eighth in the league, while her .508 on-base percentage ranked third.
Along with Hartwig as one of two Bears to start in every game, Buchanan is honored as a second-team shortstop, compiling a .372 average while hitting out of the three-hole was top 10 in the league. The rookie's 29 runs scored were a Skyline second best and she stole nine bases (7th in Skyline) without getting caught. Her average improved to .392 in Skyline play where her 20 hits were seventh best in the league.
The all-conference teams and Player, Rookie, and Coach of the Year awards are voted on by the Skyline Conference's nine head softball coaches based on regular season play.
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2019 Skyline Conference Softball All-Conference Team
C - Allana Alioto-Reyes, Mount Saint Vincent
1B - Kassandra Tibbetts, St. Joseph's-Long Island
2B - Julianna Prescia, Farmingdale State
SS - Emily Lang, Mount Saint Mary
3B - Ashleigh Hartwig, St. Joseph's-Brooklyn
3B - Sierra Cardenales, Farmingdale State
OF - Jenna DeFina, St. Joseph's-Long Island
OF - Kelly Hayes, Purchase
OF - Victoria Mahoney, St. Joseph's-Brooklyn
OF - Priscilla Rivera, Farmingdale State
UT - Jessica Mecham, St. Joseph's-Brooklyn
P - Bridget Bennett, Mount Saint Mary
P - Madeleine Smith, Farmingdale State
P - Catherine Zucker, St. Joseph's-Long Island
C - Lindsay Ness, St. Joseph's-Long Island
1B - Katie Moos, Mount Saint Vincent
2B - Sophia Herrera, Mount Saint Vincent
SS - Alexis Buchanan, St. Joseph's-Brooklyn
3B - Lyndsay Smocer, St. Joseph's-Long Island
OF - Lexie Collard, Farmingdale State
OF - Tiffany McBrayer, Sarah Lawrence
OF - Breeze-Lyn Morita, Mount Saint Vincent
UT - Kelly Agostini, Purchase
P - Jaxie Collard, Farmingdale State
P - Baylie Nguyen, Sarah Lawrence
Player of the Year: Ashleigh Hartwig, St. Joseph's-Brooklyn
Pitcher of the Year: Madeleine Smith, Farmingdale State
Rookie of the Year: Jenna DeFina, St. Joseph's-Long Island
Coach of the Year: Lisa Jusino, St. Joseph's-Long Island