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Little East Cites Two from Eastern

Rathbun (softball), Sullinger (m-lacrosse) recognized again with awards

rathbun head 72dpi_2758.jpgsullinger_jersey_72_2011_8647.jpg

Rathbun (far left), Sullinger

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -  Eastern Connecticut State University seniors Molly Rathbun (Hebron) of the softball program and Michael Sullinger (Brookfield) of the men's lacrosse program have been recognized by the Little East Conference in its weekly awards program.

Rathbun was selected as Pitcher-of-the-Week for the sixth consecutive week while Sullinger, an attackman, was tabbed as Offensive Player-of-the-Week for the third time in the last five weeks.

Rathbun (25-1) won all five games for the Warriors last weeks as clinched their third straight Little East regular-season title with sweeps of Western Connecticut and Southern Maine. Rathbun. allowed one earned run on nine hits in 25.1 innings to post a minuscule 0.28 earned run average this past week. She threw her ninth career no-hitter against Wesleyan on April 26. Rathbun reached double figures in strikeouts twice.

A three-time All-America and two-time LEC Pitcher-of-the-Year and LEC tournament MVP, Rathbun leads the conference in virtually every pitching category. She also leads Division III in earned run average and shutouts and is second in least hits allowed per seven innings, third in strikeouts per game, fourth in total strikeouts, and fifth in wins.

Prior to the start of Thursday's LEC tournament hosted by Eastern, Rathbun had a 0.32 ERA with 247 strikeouts and 21 walks in 153.0 innings with 18 complete games and 12 shutouts in 32 starts and four saves. Opponents are hitting .108 against Rathbun, who has won her last 24 decisions and is 95-12 with 14 saves and a 0.81 ERA and 1,038 strikeouts in her career.

Top-seeded Eastern (36-1), which completed the first undefeated regular season in LEC softball history this past year with 14 victories, faces No. 6 Massachusetts Boston in the opening round of the six-team, double-elimination conference tournament Thursday at noon.

A second-team All-LEC performer last year, Sullinger recorded 14 points, on seven goals and seven assists in last week's two LEC wins to help Eastern clinch the top seed in the upcoming Little East men's lacrosse playoffs. Sullinger registered a season-high ten points, including a season-best seven markers, to power the Warriors past UMass Boston in their regular-season finale that wrapped up the program's eighth undefeated regular-season championship in 12 years. Earlier in the week, Sullinger found the back of the net four times against Western Connecticut.

In seven LEC regular-season matches this year, Sullinger is ranked in a tie for second in assists per game, is third in goals per game and points per game and is fourth in extra-man goals per game.

Sullinger leads Eastern this year in points (63) and assists (26) and is second in goals (37) and shot percentage (.474). In 57 career matches, he has 158 points on 84 goals and 74 assists.

A winner of its final five regular-season matches this year, top-seeded Eastern hosts an LEC playoff semifinal match Thursday at 7 p.m. against the winner of Tuesday's opening round game between No. 4 Massachusetts Dartmouth and No. 5 University of Southern Maine.

In this spring's LEC weekly awards program, Eastern athletes have totaled 21 awards. Softball has totaled nine and  men's lacrosse eight to lead the way.


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