South Windsor Native Leads Tufts Softball

Allyson Fournier, a junior pitcher from Tufts University, repeated as the 2014 DIII Woman of the Year nominee for softball as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.

Fournier went on to win the DIII Woman of the Year award last season and once again was designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious honor this year. This award was voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE CWSA program, now in its 38th year. When the voting was announced, Fournier did not repeat as DIII Woman of the Year.

Fournier, an East Catholic graduate, is a three-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) first-team All-American and led her squad to its second straight National Championship with a 28-1 record on the mound. She was named the NESCAC Pitcher of the Year for the third straight season.

The junior from South Windsor closed her season leading the nation in earned run average (0.49) and hits allowed per seven innings (2.63). She threw three no-hitters, a combined no-hitter, 12 shutouts, and three combined shutouts.

“It’s a tremendous honor to earn this award for Division III softball again,” stated Fournier. “I had an amazing experience receiving the Honda Award as D-III Woman Athlete of the Year last June. I’m thrilled to be the softball candidate again considering how many great players there are in the nation, many whom we faced while playing for the national championship in Texas. Winning the NCAA title two years in a row against such great competition is an unreal feeling.”

“Allyson showed amazing determination pitching 28 innings in two days in the NCAA championship series against Salisbury,” said head coach Cheryl Milligan. “She pitched out of some jams, she dominated at times, and was just the epitome of a championship pitcher. She worked through an injury this season and never lost focus. Probably what we like best about her though is that she’s a great teammate. She’s as humble as she is good.”

All sports nominees from D-III and D-II become a finalist for the prestigious 2014 CWSA Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, presented in June. The sports nominees are recognized in 11 D-III and D-II NCAA-sanctioned sports: cross country, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and track and field.

The Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 37 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.8 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.

Tufts senior catcher Jo Clair and Fournier were also presented honors as National Fastpitch Coaches Association First Team All-Americans at the NCAA Softball Championship Banquet in Tyler, Texas.

Both players were picked as All-Americans for the third straight season. Fournier was selected to the First Team for the third consecutive spring. Clair received her first First Team honor after two seasons as a Second Team pick.

The Jumbo All-Americans have been the leaders of a Tufts squad that led the squad to its second straight title. The Jumbos (42-3), who have won NESCAC, NCAA Regional, and NCAA Super Regional titles this postseason went on to defeat Salisbury 6-0 in the third and final game of the best-of-three series.

This marks the first season that head coach Cheryl Milligan’s softball team has produced two First Team All-Americans. They are two of four New England players on the All-America first team, and the only two from a NESCAC school.

 

The photo and information is courtesy of the Tufts athletic department. Do you know a former scholastic athlete now competing at the collegiate level? If so, e-mail Erin Quinlan at erinq@thesportsdept.com.

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