May 1, 2009

Gagnon, Ellis Named to First Team; Schwager Coach of the Year

NORTH ANDOVER, MA – After a 17-win improvement from last season, the Merrimack softball team reaped its award Friday as Jill Gagnon (Manchester, NH) and Kelsey Ellis (Vancouver, BC) were named to the Northeast-10 All-Conference first team, while Elaine Schwager earned Coach of the Year honors.

Gagnon, who has thrown two straight no-hitters including a 1-0 victory Wednesday in the Northeast-10 First Round against Southern New Hampshire, is second in the conference with a .413 average and is tied for second with 36 RBIs. Perhaps the best two-way player in the league, the senior captain is third in the NE-10 with 145 strikeouts on the mound, while compiling a 13-8 record with a 2.06 ERA and 17 complete games.

Ellis, a sophomore, ranks third in the conference, right behind Gagnon, with a .410 average and has five homers and 27 RBIs. Her 24 steals in 29 attempts also lead the Northeast-10.

Schwager, who notched her 200th career win in Wednesday’s victory, earned her first Coach of the Year honor in her fourth season at Merrimack. After a 9-27 record in 2008, Schwager turned the 2009 Warriors, who were picked to finished 12th in the Northeast-10 preseason poll, around with a similar squad, en route to a 26-17 record and a fourth-place regular-season finish.

Le Moyne’s Jennifer Farrelly was named the Player of the Year, while New Haven’s Breanne Gleason earned Pitcher of the Year honors. Bentley’s Jasmine Ortiz picked up Freshman of the Year honors.

The Warriors (26-17) battle top-ranked Le Moyne in the first game of the double elimination Northeast-10 Tournament Saturday at 9 a.m. in Syracuse.