GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) released its 2012 softball all-conference awards on Wednesday and Gallaudet University had three honorees, one first-team and two second-team selections, selected to the South Division all-conference teams. Senior outfielder Easter Faafiti (Pittsburg, Calif.), who made her debut with the softball team this year, was named the NEAC South Division Rookie of the Year.
Junior outfielder Alicia Johnson (San Jose, Calif.) was named to the all-conference first team a year after earning second team honors. Faafiti and sophomore outfielder/pitcher Rachel Sweigart (Big Rock, Ill.) were picked to the second team. GU finished the season with an 8-28 record and 6-14 in conference play.
Johnson led Gallaudet in 11 different offensive categories as she started all 36 games. In the conference she ranked third in the NEAC in RBI (32), on base percentage (.500), sixth in hits (42), seventh in batting average (.420), walks (16), ninth in runs (31), 10th in total bases (57), 11th in stolen bases (14), games played (36), 12th slugging percentage (.570), 13th in doubles (eight) and 15th in triples (two). The San Jose, Calif., native had 13 multiple hit games and drove in six runs against Penn St.-Abington on March 31 as Gallaudet won 11-3. She went 4-for-4 with a double and three runs against St. Elizabeth on April 1 as GU won 11-5.
Faafiti, a two-time All-American for the Gallaudet women's basketball team, started and played outfield in 36 games. She was second in the NEAC in walks (21) and ranked 47th in Division III for walks. Faafiti ranked fourth in the NEAC for home runs (three), fifth in stolen bases (17), hit by pitch (four), 11th in games played (36), 18th in runs (27), 21st in on base percentage (.431), 23rd in plate appearance (117) and 33rd in RBI (17). In the outfield she made 38 put outs and had one assist. In two consecutive games this season Faafiti slammed home runs and drove in six runs against Penn St.-Berks.
Sweigart started 33 games and played in 34 games for the Bison in the outfield and in the pitching circle. She led the team in triples (two), second on the team in batting average (.321), slugging percentage (.464), hits (27), home runs (one) and total bases (39). In the NEAC she was ranked 15th in triples, 17th in home runs, 21st in games (34), 26th in walks (11), 33rd in RBI (17), doubles (five), on base percentage (.400), 34th total bases, 35th in batting average. She also made 19 pitching appearance (started 15) and won five games for the Bison to lead the pitching staff. Her win total is the 11th best in the league. Sweigart also posted a .938 fielding percentage with 24 putouts and 21 assists. On March 26, she went 3-for-3 against Valley Forge Christian in an 18-0 win as she drove in six runs, hit a home run, a double and scored twice. She was a triple shy of the cycle.
Gallaudet in two seasons in the NEAC has accumulated eight all-conference awards (two first team honorees, six second team selections). This year between the NEAC and the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference the Bison athletics department has received 50 all-conference honors.
Note: Statistics, national rankings and conference rankings are through May 1.
2012 Gallaudet University Softball All-NEAC South Division Honorees
NEAC South Rookie of the Year
All-NEAC Second Team