LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's Malorie Sassaman has been named Centennial Conference (CC) Softball Player of the Year, headlining a group of five Diplomats who earned All-CC recognition. Along with Sassaman, Sam DeNoville landed on the first team, while Kaitlin Zampino was named to the second team with Justine Lohrey and Rachel Laufer nabbing honorable mention. Head Coach Mike Cooperstein was named coach of the year to round out the impressive list.
Sassaman (Pottstown, Pa. / Pottstown) led the CC this season with a .455 batting average, the fifth-best in a season in F&M history. She finished her career atop several F&M categories, including first in hits (175), first in career batting average (.414.), fourth in slugging percentage (.544), fourth in on base percentage (.452), tied for third with 126 games started, while also tying for second in doubles (30) and total bases (230). This is Sassaman's third time landing on the All-CC first team and she is the second F&M player to earn POY honors as Jen Fried received the recognition in 2004.
Cooperstein guided F&M to a 25-14 overall record, including a 10-6 CC mark. The Diplomats narrowly missed out on the playoffs, but swept top-team Muhlenberg to end the season. The seven-year head coach now has 112 wins during his time at F&M, the second-most in school history behind only Ray Oswald (1984-93) with 144. This is Cooperstein's first COY honor.
DeNoville (Jackson, N.J. / Msgr Donovan) was named to the first team and led the Diplomats with 10 doubles on the season and compiled 45 total hits, good for second on the squad. The senior utility player's .395 average ranked second on the team, as did her .570 slugging percentage to earn her first All-CC recognition.
Kaitlin Zampino (Millburn, N.J. / Millburn) was named to the second team as a designated player for the first time. This season, she tallied 19 total hits including three homeruns and seven doubles. Inside the circle, she threw 94.2 innings totaling seven wins with a 2.88 earned run average.
Justine Lohrey (West Chester, Pa. / Westtown School) was fifth in the CC with a 1.62 earned run average and third in the conference with 12 wins to earn honorable mention for the first time. The junior righty only surrendered 25 earned runs in 108.1 innings pitched to anchor the Diplomat pitching staff.
Laufer (North Potomac, Md. / Thomas Wootton), who received honorable mention for the first time in her career, tied for third on the team in hits with 34 and was tied for the lead in homeruns with three. In addition to having the third-best batting average on the team, the senior outfielder led the Diplomats with 27 RBIs, and seven stolen bases.