Cambridge, Mass.-- The NECC announced its 2021 Softball All-Conference teams and major award winners on Wednesday afternoon, leading up to the conference tournament. The awards were voted on by the conference's six coaches following the conclusion of the regular season. Five institutions are represented on the all-conference teams, while each institution also has a student-athlete honored on the Del Malloy Sportsmanship Team.
Lesley University senior Jordan Day (Seminole, Fla.) was voted the 2021 NECC Player of the Year. Eastern Nazarene freshman Jennelle Munoz (Lake Elsinore, Calif.) was named both Pitcher of the Year and Rookie of the Year, which marks the first time a student-athlete has earned both accolades in the same year. Lesley head coach Heather Ross was voted Coach of the Year by her peers.
Senior Jordan Day was a dual threat for Lesley, as both the designated player and a pitcher. She played in every conference game for the Lynx, leading her squad to a 13-5 regular season conference record, and the second seed in the conference playoffs. Overall, Day batted .532, which was good for second in the league. Her 33 hits were tops in the league, as were her 54 total bases. Day was also a force in the pitcher's circle, going 7-1 for the Lynx. Her strikeouts per game (8.57) and batting average against (.197) were each tops in the league. She finished conference play with 62 strikeouts and a 2.07 ERA, both third in the conference. Day was also the 2018 NECC Rookie of the Year. She was a one-time 2021 NECC Player of the Week selection (week ending 4/19/21).
In her fifth season at the helm for the Lynx, Ross led the Lynx to a 13-5 conference record, and the No. 2 seed in the NECC Softball Championship. Her squad recently earned the program's first NCAA Regional Ranking, landing them ranked 10th in the New England Region. Her team proved its dominance by sitting atop many conference statistical categories. On defense her team led the conference in fielding percentage (.951) and runners caught stealing percentage (.409), and her pitching staff led the conference in ERA (3.19) and strikeouts (102). Offensively the Lynx led the league in doubles (49), triples (7), homeruns (17), on-base percentage (.431) and slugging percentage (.594), and were second in batting average (.383).
In addition to Player of the Year and Coach of the Year nods going to Lesley, the Lynx also had five named to the All-Conference teams. Day was awarded All-Conference 1st team in the designated player position, and All-Conference 2nd team for her pitching performance. Joining Day on the All-Conference 1st team was junior catcher Ilana Zack (Randolph, Mass.) and junior outfielder Sam Jensen (Milton, Mass.) Junior first baseman, Antonia Kieran (Wilmington, Mass.) was named to the All-Conference 2nd team.