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Mustangs Tie Program Record with Four All-Conference Selections

Mustangs Tie Program Record with Four All-Conference Selections

2016 GNAC Softball All Conference Release

WINTHROP, Mass. – For just the second time in program history, Mount Ida College had four members of their softball team selected as Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) All-Conference honorees, as the teams were announced on Monday afternoon by the conference office.

Sophomore utility Hayley Microulis (Pawtucket, R.I.) became just the second player in the program and the first since 2008 to be named to the GNAC First Team, while juniors Michele MacDonald (N. Dighton, Mass.) and Nicole Handzel (Palmer, Mass.) earned Second Team honors and freshman Kelsey Weston (Hampstead, N.H.) was named a Third Team member.

This is the second straight selection for Microulis, a Third Team member a year ago, who hit .402 during the regular season and even a tick higher in conference play. Microulis was tied for seventh in the conference with ten doubles, drove-in a team-high 26 runs, and smacked the only home run of the year for the Mustangs.

MacDonald, who also represented the Mustangs on the All-Sportsmanship team, gets her first well deserved All-Conference nod after setting the table at the top of the lineup all year. She used her speed to get on base at a .447 clip, and co-led the team with 17 stolen bases while also scoring a team-high 28 runs. MacDonald played a solid center field as well, making just two errors and posting a .960 fielding percentage.

Handzel makes her return to the All-Conference team, improving on her Third Team selection from her freshman year after missing much of last season with an injury. The junior hurler did not seem to miss a beat, as she broke her own program record for strikeouts in a season with 197, including a GNAC-high 135 strikeouts in conference play. Handzel also led the conference with 169.0 innings pitched, and posted a 2.07 earned run average, good for fourth in the GNAC. She tossed her second career no-hitter this year, threw 21 complete games, and earned nine wins and one save.

As a freshman, Weston settled into the first base position for the Mustangs and made an impact immediately, earning GNAC Rookie of the Week honors in the first week of the regular season. She would go on to hit. 321 for the year with seven doubles, fifteen runs batted in and eleven runs scored.

Mount Ida ended their season with a 13-22 record and a 9-13 mark in the conference, earning them their second straight trip to the GNAC postseason. Their nine conference wins marks the best total in the last four years, and is tied for the second best conference win total in program history.

The Mustangs last had four softball players named All-Conference in 2010, when they made their first appearance in the GNAC postseason.