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Musson, Rathbun, Vasil, Berube cited for performances last week

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 NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. --  Four members of the Eastern Connecticut State University LEClogo-1WEB.jpgspring athletic teams have been recognized with weekly honors by the Little East Conference for the week ending April 25.

At left: Will Musson

In baseball, senior right-handed pitcher Will Musson (Wethersfield) was named Pitcher-of-the-Week and in softball, sophomore All-America righty Molly Rathbun  (Hebron) received the identical honor; and in men's lacrosse, junior faceoff specialist Eric Vasil (Southington) was named Defensive Player-of-the-Week and freshman goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) was tabbed Rookie-of-the-Week.

rathbunCGA_5510.jpgMusson was honored for the first time in his two-year Eastern career, Rathbun for the ninth time in her two-year career, Vasil for the fourth time in his three-year career and Berube for the third time this season. Rathbun has been named Pitcher-of-the-Week six times in her career, Player-of-the-Week once and Rookie-of-the-Week twice. Vasil is being recognized as Defensive Player-of-the-Week for the second time this year.

At right: Molly Rathbun

Musson (3-0-1, 5.65) appeared in three of the team's games five games last week, winning one and saving one. He defeated Trinity College, 8-1, pitching the first seven innings, striking out a career-high 13, allowing three hits and three walks and one run to avenge his only loss at Eastern in 13 decisions. In a 6-5  win over Rhode Island College Saturday which moved the Warriors into first place in the LEC, the All-New England Region pitcher tossed the final inning to earn his first save of the season. He fanned 16 and walked three with a 1.04 ERA in 8 2/3 innings. Ranked fourth in New England, Eastern (23-8) visits top-ranked Tufts University Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Below: Eric Vasil

vasil 180_0748.jpgA freshman All-America, Rathbun won all six games in a 6-1 week last week - four as a starter and two in relief to equal her 16-win total (against one loss) of a year ago. During the week, she struck out 58 batters in 32 innings with only seven walks. She struck out at least ten batters in three of her four starts and  fanned nine in the other. In a 3-2 win over Brandeis University --- ranked No. 1 in New England - Rathbun pitched a complete-game two-hitter with 13 strikeouts and one walk and drove in all three runs - two coming on a first-inning two-run home run In a span of less than 24 hours, she pitched two complete games with 28 strikeouts. Saturday, she fanned 16 in an 8-3 win over Southern Maine in Gorham, ME - tying the program's 33-year-old record for strikeouts in a game, and Sunday pitched a five-hitter at Keene State College with 12 strikeouts. In 19 appearances this year, Rathbun has a 0.65 ERA with 166 strikeouts and 28 walks in 107 1/3 innings with 14 complete games in 14 starts and seven shutouts.

Offensively last week, Rathbun batted .350 with a team-high nine RBI and three home runs Berube_4900.JPGand  a .500 on-base percentage and .850 slugging percentage.  She currently leads the team with a .417 batting average and with five home runs, 52 total bases, 27 RBI and a .722 slugging percentage.

Eastern visits Trinity College Tuesday at 3 p.m. in a non-conference makeup doubleheader.

At right: Donald Berube

On Tuesday, Vasil was also named co-recipient of the ECAC New England Defensive Player-of-the-Week. In two Little East Conference wins last week, Vasil won 35 of  44 faceoffs (79.5 per cent) and picked up 28 ground balls. Against UMass Boston, he won 20 of 22 faceoffs and scooped up 20 groundballs. During the week, he exceeded 200 ground balls for the second straight season (208) - becoming the only player to have reached that total in a season in program history. Last year's national leader in ground balls per game and faceoff percentage, Vasil is currently ranked first nationally in ground balls (17.3) and second in faceoff percentage (.743)  in Division III this year.

Berube (8-3) backstopped the Warriors with a 7.01 GAA and .633 save percentage in conference wins over UMass Dartmouth and UMass Boston that improved Eastern's all-time record in conference regular-season games to 56-3. He made 19 saves in 94 minutes, a career-high 16 coming in the home win over UMass Dartmouth over the first 49 minutes.

Eastern hosts conference foe Western Connecticut Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. on Seniors' Night.