Softball Announces 2011 Award Winners At Annual Banquet

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HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University softball program held its annual banquet on Saturday, Oct. 15 in honor of the 2010-11 season. Quinnipiac softball head coach Germaine Fairchild announced the 2011 season award winners at the banquet. Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) was named the team's Most Valuable Player, Ashley Heiberger (Sioux Falls, S.D.) was selected Defensive Player of the Year, Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) was named the Offensive Player of the Year, Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) was chosen Most Improved Player of the Year, and Joelle Jacobsen (Flemington, N.J.) received the Spirit of the Bobcat Award.

"It was an honor to have two of the three seniors from last year's team return to Hamden for our banquet in honor of last year's season and team," said head coach Germaine Fairchild. "Each member of the team made crucial contributions to a highly-successful 2010-11 campaign. It was wonderful to see them recognized for their accomplishments."

Schwartzburg, the 2011 Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Year, was also named NEC Pitcher of the Week five times during the 2011 season. The current senior received All-NEC first team honors and was selected to the NFCA All-Region second team, qualifying her for All-American consideration.  Schwartzburg broke the Quinnipiac single-season record for wins and the university and league’s single-season strikeout record, ending the year with 22 wins and 286 strikeouts.  She also led the league in lowest ERA (1.31), opponents' batting average (.179), innings pitched (219.1), strikeouts (286), and saves (3).

Heiberger led Quinnipiac softball's defensive efforts in the spring and was named last year’s NEC Golden Glove Defensive Player of the Year. The catcher led the team with a .993 fielding percentage and ranked first in the NEC in runners picked off (2), in defensive chances (367), and in runners caught stealing (16).

Paolucci greatly contributed to the Bobcats' offense in 2011 as she held the team's highest batting average of .351. The rookie led Quinnipiac in runs (40), homeruns (15), RBI (36), total bases (106), slugging percentage (.702), and on-base percentage (.497).  She was named NEC Rookie of the Year, All-NEC first team, and NEC All-Tournament Team in 2011. Additionally, Paolucci received NFCA All-Region second team honors, qualifying her for All-American consideration.

Salgado improved from sixth on the team in batting average her freshman year to third in her sophomore year with a .293 batting average last season.  She also led the team and the conference in stolen bases (18) and hit .326 with runners in scoring position, second only to Paolucci. 

Jacobsen received the Spirit of the Bobcat Award, which is presented to the student-athlete who transcends athletic performance achievement, going above and beyond in the classroom, in the community, in a leadership role, and in her daily interactions with all those she comes into contact with.  The senior 2011 captain set an example for all those around her that is regularly discussed and emulated in our program on a daily basis.

Contact: Lindsay Oliveri, lmoliveri@quinnipiac.edu