Softball Posts Record Five All-Conference Honorees

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass.—UMass Boston softball set a program record with five student-athletes named to the Little East Conference All Conference Teams led by senior Sue Killilea (Abington, Mass.), the league office announced Tuesday morning.

Killilea becomes the second player in school history to become a three-time honoree and first softball player to be named to the First Team on three occasions. The 2010 Little East Rookie of the Year was named to the First Team as a catcher in 2010 and to the utility position in 2012, before earning a spot this year as the top second baseman in the Little East.

Fellow seniors Taryn Asta (Marshfield, Mass.) and Kelsey Souza (Braintree, Mass.), along with junior Erika Vecchiet (Pequannock, N.J.) and sophomore Kristina Bove (Medford, Mass.) were recognized on the All-Conference Second Team.

It is the first time any of the four players have been honored by the Little East Conference for a postseason award. The five award winners easily broke the previous program record of three All-Conference members that was set in 2004, 2006 and 2007. UMass Boston tied regular season champion Eastern Connecticut State University for the most players named to the All-Conference teams.

Killilea enjoyed another tremendous season to finish off the best four-year career in program history. The senior infielder from Abington, Massachusetts led the Beacons in batting average (.398), on-base percentage (.465) and slugging percentage (.628), while pacing the team with 11 doubles, six triples and 71 total bases.  She finished the season second in the LEC in triples and fifth in batting average and total bases. In addition to serving as one of the Beacons top hitters, Killilea also played fantastic defense and served as the Beacons leader on-and-off the field.

Over the course of her four-year career, Killilea set eight program records, including the school marks for games played (147), hits (197), runs scored (132) and RBI (89). She also finished her career in the top-10 in Division III history for career triples with 31 three-baggers.

Asta picked up her first All-Conference honors after starting all 42 games at shortstop for the Beacons. A year after missing all but three games due to an injury, the senior from Marshfield, Massachusetts proved to be one of the Beacons best players offensively and defensively.

She finished the season hitting .290 in a team-high 138 at-bats, and ended the year amongst the team leaders with 40 hits, 15 runs scored, 14 RBI and five stolen bases. In the field, Asta set the single-season UMB record for assists in a year with 108 and shattered the program mark for career assists by almost 70, with 297 assists for her career.

Souza was one of the biggest stories for UMass Boston, earning All-Conference honors after taking four years off from collegiate softball. The senior third baseman from Braintree, Massachusetts carried the Beacons offense at several points during the year, while playing strong defense at the hot corner and serving as a vocal leader for UMB.

In her first year with the team, Souza led UMass Boston with 47 hits, 26 runs scored and seven stolen bases, while finishing second on the squad with 56 total bases. Souza also broke the school record for assists in a single-season with 105, before finishing the year second to Asta.

After two strong seasons to start her career, Vecchiet earned her first All-Conference honors with a huge year at the plate. The junior from Pequannock, New Jersey flirted with .400 for much of the season, while standing amongst the league leaders in hits and total bases.

Vecchiet earned a spot on the Second Team as the designated player, after finishing the year hitting .354 with 17 runs scored and 16 RBI in 42 starts. She ended the year second on the team with a .404 on-base percentage and tied for second with 45 hits, while splitting time between second base and the designated player spot.

Bove was the surprise of the group for UMass Boston, after the sophomore transfer grabbed the left field starting spot and made a huge impact in her first year in Beacons Blue. The sophomore from Medford, Massachusetts provided tremendous power at the bottom of the order, while playing terrific defense.

The Beacons every-day left-fielder blasted three extra-base hits in her first five games of the year and carried that momentum all season long finishing tied for second with eight extra-base hits. She wrapped up the season fourth on the team with a .323 batting average in 37 starts, and added 11 runs scored and 14 RBI. Bove ended the year second on the team with a .473 slugging percentage and did not commit an error in her first 24 appearances.   

UMass Boston returns all but three players next year from a squad that made their program-record third consecutive Little East Conference Tournament appearance.