CASTLETON, Vt. – After reaching its second-consecutive North Atlantic Conference Championship Game last weekend, the Castleton softball team has landed five players on NAC All-Conference Teams.
Senior Kayla Wood and junior Timi Carone highlight the Spartans' five honorees, as Wood garnered NAC Pitcher of the Year recognition to cap off a stellar career with Castleton, while Carone earned NAC Player of the Year honors. Wood and Carone were each named First Team All-Conference in addition to their major awards, while rookie shortstop Sara Baker joined them on the First Team. Sami Carlo and Taylor Paquette each earned Second Team All-Conference honors for their play this season.
Wood was named the Pitcher of the Year after dominating conference opponents, registering a 0.78 earned-run average and holding opposing batters to just a .157 average. Wood tossed a pair of shutouts in conference play, holding Johnson State and Husson scoreless in a pair of wins on her home field. Her best performance of the season came in the 1-0 victory over Husson, as she struck out 15 batters in a Senior Day victory. Her 48 strikeouts in NAC action led the team and the conference, and she tied Paquette for most wins in NAC play with five. She had the top ERA in the conference among pitchers with 20 or more innings pitched, allowing just four earned runs to league opponents in 36.0 innings of work. She buckled down in clutch situations, allowing opposing batters to hit just .114 with runners on base and only .122 with two outs in an inning. Wood wraps up her four years at Castleton as one of the program's top pitchers all-time, topping the charts in ERA, batting average against and strikeouts per seven innings while ranking in the top five in wins, appearances, starts, complete games, shutouts, innings, and total strikeouts.
Carone was a force for the Spartans for the entirety of the NAC schedule, batting an impressive .526 in conference action with just four strikeouts in 12 games. The junior outfielder also stole 10 bases, drove in seven runs and tallied a perfect fielding percentage in NAC play. She ranked among the NAC's leaders in hits, triples, total bases, steals, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage in conference play, while leading the conference with 16 runs scored in 12 games. She elevated her game when it mattered most, driving in three runs when batting with two outs and raising her batting average to .571 (8-for-14) with runners in scoring position during league action. After wrapping up her third season with Castleton, Carone already ranks among the Spartans' all-time leaders in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs scored, triples and stolen bases.
Baker impressed as a rookie for the Spartans, batting an even .300 in conference play while ranking among the league leaders in doubles, triples and RBIs. The freshman drove in 11 runs in 12 conference games while knocking four doubles and a pair of triples. She clubbed five home runs on the season, though all five came in non-conference action. Her 32 total RBIs this season were the most by any Spartan since 2011 when Shannon Jipner drove in 38 runs. She excelled with runners on base, batting .368 with runners in scoring position during NAC play. With runners on third and less than two outs, Baker was 5-for-7 (.714).
Carlo put together a strong senior season, setting personal bests in nearly every offensive category. The every day second baseman posted a .400 average in league play, reached base at a .471 clip and scored 10 times. She set career-high marks in nearly every offensive category, and finished just outside of the top five in the league in overall batting average.
Paquette put together yet another outstanding season for the Spartans, leading the NAC in overall wins (11) and tying Wood for the lead in conference wins, with five. Her 10 total complete games were the most of her career, as were the 94.0 total innings pitched. She struck out a career-best 49 batters, with 18 of those coming in conference action. She held NAC hitters to a .219 batting average and posted a 1.70 ERA in league play. She finished the regular season ranked 10th in all of Division III in walks allowed per seven innings, as she walked just eight batters in 94.0 innings of work.
Brooke Naylor was named to the league's Sportsmanship Team, an honor reserved for those who have distinguished themselves through demonstrated acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior. The honorees are individuals who have positively affected the softball culture and environment and whose behavior clearly demonstrates sportsmanship and integrity that go beyond the playing rules and etiquette.
Husson's Bri Brochu was named Rookie of the Year, while the Eagles' Terren Allen was voted as Coach of the Year. Jennie Moore of Johnson State was named the Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year. To view the full NAC release, click here.
Castleton finished the season with a record of 20-10-1, marking the second consecutive year the team reached the 20-win plateau.