Cooper named to NFCA regional team for third time in her career
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Eastern Connecticut State University softball program was well-represented with five selections - the most of any institution - on the 2013 National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA) All-New England Region Team.
Senior All-America third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) was named to the all-region team for the third time and was joined on the first team by sophomore DP Sam Rossetti (Shelton) and third-team picks Kelly Paterson (Southington), a senior, and juniors Mattie Brett (Waterford), and Megan Godwin (Manchester). All third-team picks are selected on an "at-large" basis. Paterson played primarily first and second base this season and Godwin second base and outfield. Brett started all but one game in center field.
Fifteen players were named to each of the first, second and third teams, with first-team honorees eligible for NFCA Division III All-America consideration. That team will be announced Thursday.
Cooper was a first-team repeater, while Godwin was voted to the third team for the second time in three years. As a freshman in 2011, Godwin was the team's starting shortstop.
All five selections were earlier named first-team All-Little East Conference, with Cooper additionally recognized as LEC Player-of-the-Year.
All except Rossetti started all 42 games for Eastern (28-14), which claimed its fourth straight LEC regular-season title and finished third in the LEC tournament.
Batting primarily leadoff, Cooper put the finishing touches on a sterling career and brilliant final season. She led Eastern in virtually every offensive category, among them batting (.538), slugging (1.076), total bases (142), on-base percentage (.629), runs (61), hits (71), RBI (43), home runs (16), doubles (13), and walks (34). Her marks for batting, slugging, total bases, on-base percentage, runs, hits and home runs represented program season records, and her final season batting average was 99 points above her previous-season best, set last year.
Through post-season conference tournament competition, Cooper is ranked second nationally in on-base percentage, third in slugging, fourth in home runs, home runs per game and batting, and seventh in walks and runs per game.
Paterson batted a career-high .356 this season to push her career average over .300 to .309. She was second to Cooper with 42 RBI - more than twice as many as her previous high total in a season. Playing primarily first base, but also second, she completed her career ranked fifth all-time with 642 putouts and tied for sixth with a .984 fielding average.
Brett was second to Cooper in most offensive categories, batting .378 (73 percentage points better than her sophomore season) with 41 runs, 51 hits and 12 stolen bases (in 12 attempts).
In her first season as a starter, Rossetti also played first base and right field and batted .368 - third best on the squad - with five home runs and 35 RBI. Godwin started 20 games in the middle infield and 16 in left field. She posted career-highs in batting (.344), hits (42), RBI (26), runs (28) and on-base percentage (.434).
In the last six years, 22 Eastern players have been named to the all-region team, with this year's total of five equaling the most since six were tabbed in 1993.
A total of 21 institutions were represented with at least one all-region pick, with regional champion Tufts University, as well as Wellesley College and Springfield College all garnering four. The Little East Conference was also represented by first-team pitcher Mariah Crisp of Keene State, second-team second baseman Sue Killilea of UMass Boston, second-team selection Julia Bocek (at-large/1b) of Western Connecticut, and third-teamer Allie Sabith (pitcher/at-large) of Western Connecticut.