Vento Named LEC Player of the Year, as Softball Places Three on All-LEC Teams

Vento Named LEC Player of the Year, as Softball Places Three on All-LEC Teams

PAWTUCKET, R.I.—UMass Boston softball senior Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) was named the Little East Conference Player of the Year for the second time in three years, to lead softball's three honorees on the Little East Conference All-Conference Team.

Vento was named to the LEC First Team, while juniors Gigi Braga (Medford, Mass.) and Giovanna Bonilla (Queens, N.Y.) each were selected to the LEC Second Team.

Vento is the only player in program history to be named the LEC Player of the Year and is now a two-time honoree, after earning the award as a sophomore. She joins former men's hockey forward Colin Larkin ('18), lacrosse midfielder Chris DeMaio ('99), women's soccer forward Krista Ledin ('14), volleyball middle hitter Julia Murphy ('16) and volleyball libero Elizabeth Glavan ('16) as the only athletes to win multiple conference Player of the Year awards.

The Beacons senior catcher started all 43 games this season and led the Beacons in batting average (.395), on-base percentage (.470) and slugging percentage (.605). She also paced the team in hits (51), doubles (11), triples (two), home runs (four) and runs batted in (34). She tacked on 23 runs scored and 17 walks to finish in the top three on the team.

Overall, Vento ranked in the top six in the Little East in average (sixth), on-base percentage (sixth), slugging percentage (sixth), hits (second), RBI (second), total bases (78-second) and doubles (fourth). As a senior, Vento set the program career records in games played (169), at-bats (505), doubles (44), home runs (16) and walks (72). She also owns the program record for career RBI (127) and fielding percentage (.986) and sits second with 196 career hits.

Vento hit safely in 28 contests and recorded multiple hits 18 times. She put together one of her best and biggest games of the season on April 19, in game one against Rhode Island College. The senior went 3-4 with two runs, four RBI and a program-record tying two home runs. Her second homer of the day was a go-ahead two run homer, in the win that ultimately clinched the Beacons' playoff spot.

Braga earns her second-straight All-Conference accolades, after being named to the LEC First Team as a sophomore. The Beacons leadoff hitter started all 43 games and posted a career-best .960 fielding percentage at the shortstop position. She recorded new career-highs with 116 assists, 77 putouts and tied her career-high by turning six double plays.

Offensively, Braga tied for the team lead with 31 runs scored and 21 walks and finished third on the team with 38 hits. She finished the year hitting .284 with a .381 on-base percentage and .299 slugging percentage. Braga wreaked havoc on the basepaths, as she led the Little East with a career-high 18 stolen bases in 20 attempts. Her 18 steals rank third in program history for stolen bases in a single-season. She added eight RBI and posted her first collegiate triple.

Braga put together two of her best performances of the season in conference play. On April 2 against LEC Regular Season Champion UMass Dartmouth, she finished 4-4 with a run scored and two steals in a 5-1 game one victory. Four days later, Braga went 3-3 with two runs scored, an RBI, a walk and two steals in game one against LEC Tournament Champion Eastern Connecticut State University.

Bonilla collects her first career LEC All-Conference honors, after taking a humongous step forward as a junior. The stellar defensive center fielder became one of the Beacons top offensive weapons, as she finished first or second on the team in batting average (.373), on-base percentage (.417), hits (50), runs scored (31) and stolen bases (14). Bonilla tacked on two doubles, 11 runs batted in and 10 walks, while starting all 43 games. Her 50 hits on the season rank sixth in program history for a single-season and were the third most in the Little East this season. 

After recording just 15 hits her first two seasons (113 at-bats), Bonilla needed just 10 games to record 16 hits during the Beacons' Florida trip (.552 batting average). Overall, Bonilla recorded at least one hit in 28 contests and multiple hits 16 times, including two four-hit contests. 

She had one of her biggest games of the season on March 28 at Bridgewater State University. Bonilla went 4-5 with three runs scored, a double and a career-high three RBI. She added four hits in four at-bats, to go along with a run scored and a stolen base in a conference win over Castleton University on April 24.