NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Paced by two all-league first team honorees and a second team nod, the Merrimack softball team placed three players on the Northeast-10 All-Conference Teams, as announced by the league offices Thursday.
Leading the way for the Warriors are a pair of NE-10 All-Conference First Team members: senior infielder Tawny Palmieri (Peabody, Mass.), who led the team in nearly every offensive category while making the switch from shortstop to third base this season, as well as junior outfielder Jessica Fugazzotto (Newton, Mass.), whose slap-hitting expertise sparked the team from the bottom of the lineup.
Making an appearance on the NE-10 All-Conference Second Team was junior first baseman Keaira Monet Perry (Bellingham, Mass.). The corner infielder ranked second on the team in most offensive categories behind only Palmieri, providing power from the No. 3 spot in the lineup while also boasting sound defense at first base.
"I'm proud of all three players on their well-deserved honors," head coach Jim Cardello said. "Each was invaluable to our lineup in many different ways, not just from a sheer statistics perspective, but as leaders and motivators. For Tawny, it's one more honor to cap off a great career here, and for Jess and Key, it's a great motivator for them to be even better next season as seniors."
Wrapping up a three-year career with the Warriors after transferring to Merrimack in 2011, Palmieri – a one-time all-league first team and Daktronics All-Region Second Team member – posted eye-popping numbers in her final year with the program. The shortstop-turned-third baseman led the Warriors and ranked at the top of the conference with a .432 batting average, .728 slugging percentage and a .510 on-base percentage. The Peabody, Mass., native led the way with 31 runs, 54 hits, nine doubles, eight homers, 34 RBI, 21 walks drawn and 11 stolen bases. Palmieri also shared the team lead with two triples.
Joining Palmieri on the all-conference first team was Fugazzotto, who was a threat to get on base in nearly every at-bat. The speedster finished the year with a career-high 31 hits while adding two doubles and scoring 18 runs – a mark that ranked fourth on the team. The Newton, Mass., native posted a .374 on-base percentage while finishing 4-for-7 in stolen bases.
Rounding out the trio was Monet Perry, who found a spot on the all-league second team. Moving from third base to first base this spring, Monet Perry enjoyed her best season to date, ranking second on the team in most offensive categories behind only Palmieri. The Bellingham, Mass., native smashed 43 hits and six homers while totaling 26 RBI. The junior also ranked third in runs scored (19) and stolen bases (6) while owning .574 SLG% and .424 OBP.