Softball's Heather Schwartzburg Named 2011 NEC Pitcher Of The Year

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Quinnipiac softball junior Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) was named the Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Year, while junior Ashley Heiberger (Sioux Falls, S.D.) picked up the Golden Glove award and freshman Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) received the Rookie of the Year honor, as announced at the NEC Banquet on Thursday, May 12. In addition, Schwartzburg and Paolucci were both selected to the All-Conference first team, while junior second baseman Jacqueline Ristow (Seal Beach, Calif.) earned a spot on the All-NEC second team.

Schwartzburg, the 2009 NEC Rookie of the Year, continued to lead the Bobcats with record-breaking performances in her third season with Quinnipiac. The right-handed hurler nabs a spot on the All-NEC first team for the second year in a row and was a five-time NEC Pitcher of the Week recipient this season. Schwartzburg currently leads the Bobcats and league in several statistical categories, including ERA (1.31), opposing batting average (.171), innings pitched (219.1), strikeouts (286) and wins (22). The Mission Viejo native recently broke the Quinnipiac and NEC single-season strikeout record with a season total of 286 batters. She also eclipsed the Bobcats' single-season record for wins, which stood at 21. Additionally, the junior's ERA and strikeouts per seven innings (9.1) is ranked 22nd nationally.

Heiberger earns the Golden Glove award in her first season with the Bobcats. The Quinnipiac junior catcher posted a .992 fielding percentage and committed just one error against conference opponents for a near-perfect .994 fielding mark. Heiberger currently leads the NEC as she's caught 16 players attempting to steal and is second amongst conference players in putouts (333).

Quinnipiac wins its third consecutive NEC Rookie of the Year honor as Paolucci picks up the accolade alongside a spot on the All-Conference first team. Sophomore Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.) and Schwartzburg received the award in 2010 and 2009, respectively. Paolucci currently leads all Bobcats with a .338 batting average, and in slugging percentage (.683) and on-base percentage (.486). She's also scored a team-high 35 runs and tallied a team-leading 33 RBI. Her 97 total bases ranks first among Quinnipiac and NEC competition. The third baseman's 14 season home runs leads Quinnipiac and the NEC and broke the Bobcats' single-season home run record. Paolucci was named Rookie of the Week twice this season.

Ristow represents Quinnipiac on the All-NEC second team after making 52 starts for the Bobcats this year. The junior second baseman has contributed a team-high 52 hits and ranks second on the team with 22 RBI. She's third amongst all Bobcats in batting average (.301), runs scored (22) and total bases (65). Additionally, Ristow hit eight doubles.

The No. 3 Bobcats kick off the 2011 NEC Softball Championships with first round play against second-seeded Sacred Heart on Friday, May 13 at 12:15 p.m. at the North Athletic Complex in Moon Township, Pa. Prior to the game, 2011 Regular Season Champion Robert Morris will face Central Connecticut State at 10 a.m. Live stats and video will be available by clicking on the appropriate links on the official website of Quinnipiac Athletics,

2011 NEC Softball Award Winners 

Player of the Year
Taylor Froelich                   OF           Sr.           Sacred Heart

Golden Glove
Ashley Heiberger                 C              Jr.            Quinnipiac

Pitcher of the Year
Heather Schwartzburg      P              Jr             Quinnipiac

Rookie of the Year
Jordan Paolucci                   3B           Fr.           Quinnipiac

Most Improved Player
Nicole Sidor                         UT           So.           Sacred Heart

Coaching Staff of the Year
Robert Morris

2011 All-NEC First Team

Taylor Froelich                   OF           Sr.           Sacred Heart

Jordan Paolucci                   3B           Fr.           Quinnipiac

Nicole Sidor                         UT           So.           Sacred Heart

Heather Schwartzburg      P              Jr             Quinnipiac

Jen Russell                            P              Sr.           Sacred Heart

Emily deLong                      C              Sr.           Monmouth

Christine Scherr                   2B           So.           Monmouth

Bianca Mejia                         SS            Sr.           Long Island

Caitlin Bradac                      1B           Jr.            Fairleigh Dickinson

Allie Patton                           OF           Jr.            Robert Morris

Jaci Timko                            OF           Jr.            Robert Morris

Annie Dubovec                    DP           Sr.           Robert Morris

2011 All-NEC Second Team

Lauren Sulick                       P              Jr.            Monmouth

Alexa Bryson                        P              Jr.            Robert Morris

Kendall Corder                     C              Fr.           Bryant

Courtney Lee                        1B           Sr.           Sacred Heart

Jacqueline Ristow               2B           Jr.            Quinnipiac

Maritza Jimenez                  3B           So            Robert Morris

Aubrey Mable                      SS            Fr.           Bryant

Kate Murray                         OF           So.           Bryant

Arielle Bruno                       OF           FR.          CCSU

Courtney Zingle                   OF           Jr.            MSM

Liz Tsipouras                       DP           JR            SHU

Maire Shaughnessy             UT           So            FDU