Senior first baseman is recognized as conference's top player for second time
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - For the second time in a month, Eastern Connecticut State University senior first baseman Kelly Paterson (Southington) has been voted as the Player-of-the-Week in the sport of softball by the Little East Conference, for the week ending April 21.
A second-team All-LEC utility player as a junior, Paterson was recognized as Player-of-the-Week for the second time in her career. It marks the eighth time in six weeks that an Eastern softball player has been honored by LEC as either its top player, pitcher or rookie.
Last week, Paterson batted .667 in a 4-0 week which included a home sweep of UMass Dartmouth and road sweep of Rhode Island College which improved Eastern's record to 9-1 in the Little East Conference. Paterson, who has hit safely in 17 of her last 21 games to raise her average to .417, was 8-for-12 with three walks and two doubles for a .733 on-base percentage and .833 slugging percentage.
Paterson knocked in a team-high nine runs and scored four last week, and the first baseman was perfect on 30 defensive chances to raise her fielding percentage to .990 this year. Paterson had a hit in all four games and recorded her fourth three-hit game of the of the season and drove in five runs for the third time this year in the second-game win over Rhode Island. In that game, Paterson walked with the bases loaded in a five-run run fourth inning and had a two-run double in a six-run fifth.
Eastern batted .366 during the week and outscored its opponent 38-7, with six of the runs allowed coming in a 14-6 victory over Rhode Island in the final game of the week.
This year, Paterson is one of five players to start all 30 games for the 22-8 Warriors, and is one of four regulars with a .400-plus batting average. The right-handed hitter and fielder, who has also started four games at second base in 2013, is tied for third among regulars with a .417 batting and is first in fielding and first in putouts (170). She has 46 total bases, and a .490 on-base percentage.
In addition to Paterson this year, senior third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) has also twice been named LEC Player-of-the-Week, senior pitcher Christine Akcer (Milford) once as Pitcher-of-the-Week, freshman DP Alicia White (Colchester) twice as Rookie-of-the-Week and freshman shortstop Alyssa Hancock (Waterford) once as Rookie-of-the-Week.
When named LEC Player-of-the-Week for the first time this year on April 1, Paterson batted .563 with a .611 on-base percentage and .938 slugging percentage and fielded at 1.000 on 38 chances in a 4-2 week which concluded with four consecutive victories. She had 15 total bases and a team-leading 12 RBI and drove in five runs twice during the week and had consecutive three-hit games. When Eastern opened its Little East Conference season with a home sweep of UMass Boston, Paterson reached safely six times with four hits and two walks and handled 13 defensive chances without an error.
The three-time defending LEC regular-season and playoff champion, Eastern holds a two-game lead over Plymouth State University in the conference standings. A winer of nine of its last ten overall, Eastern visits Western Connecticut State University in an LEC doubleheader Wednesday at 4 p.m.