Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2002

HONORS ALL AROUND FOR TUFTS UNIVERSITY SPRING TEAMS

MEDFORD – As usual at this time of year, a gaggle of individual honors have been awarded to Tufts University spring sport student-athletes. Prepare for dizziness, here's what's been announced over the last two weeks:

The Tufts Baseball team, which finished third at the NCAA New England Regional tournament on Cape Cod May 16-20, will be represented by two players in the New England College All-Star Game to be played at Fenway Park on Thursday, May 30 @ 12 noon. By virtue of their selection to the All-New England Division III First Team, junior SS Brian Shapiro (Swampscott, MA/Swampscott) and junior CF Evan Zupancic (Lake Oswego, OR/Lakeridge) will play for the Division II-III team against a squad of Division I All-Stars. Shapiro, a fluid 6'3" fielder, hit .343 with seven home runs and 39 runs batted in for Tufts. Zupancic set single-season records with 11 home runs and 47 runs scored while hitting .359 for Head Coach John Casey's Jumbos.

Senior RF Dan Callahan (Medfield, MA/Medfield) was named to the All-New England Second Team after leading the Jumbos with a .404 average. He hit nine doubles, seven triples and five home runs, drove in 36 runs, and set the team's career records for hits (219), runs (153), runs batted in (130), doubles (45), and triples (14). His seven triples this spring are a new single-season mark. Callahan graduated from Tufts on May 19, though he missed the ceremony while playing right field for the Jumbos at the NCAA Regional. He was an International Relations major with a grade point average better than 3.5, academic achievement that earned him a spot on the 2002 Verizon Academic College Division All-District team.

Callahan, Zupancic, and Shapiro were three of the four Jumbos recognized on the All-NESCAC Baseball Team. The other was junior P Dave Martin (Arlington, MA/Arlington), a First Team selection whose 0.85 earned run average is ranked third nationally in the May 12 NCAA Statistics. He was 5-1 overall before breaking his pitching hand late in the season. Tufts finished 27-10-1, a team record for victories. They were the NESCAC champions and earned their first NCAA berth since 1995.

The Tufts Softball team swept the NESCAC individual awards, with senior SS Jen Mackey (Swampscott, MA/Bishop Fenwick) earning Player of the Year, senior P Jodie Moreau (Clarksburg, MA/Hoosac Valley) taking Pitcher of the Year, outfielder Courtney Bongiolatti (Locust, NJ/Middletown) named Rookie of the Year and Kris Talon honored as Coach of the Year. The Jumbos won the NESCAC for the second straight year, finished 29-9, and made their sixth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Mackey hovered around .500 all season before finishing at .451 with 38 runs scored. Her 51 hits are new single-season team record. She played a good shortstop with only 10 errors in 142 chances (.931). For all that she was also selected as a National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Third Team All-American, an NFCA First Team All-New England and All-NESCAC First Team.

Moreau had the best season by a pitcher in Tufts history, going 20-3 with a 0.56 earned run average that currently ranks in the top five nationally. She pitched shutouts in all three games at the NESCAC Tournament as Tufts successfully defended its title. She was the only Jumbo named to the NCAA Regional Tournament Team after throwing 27.2 strong innings in two days, including 20.2 in the first round on May 10. Her name now sits atop the lists of 13 team records, including 58 career wins, a 1.42 career era and 436 total strikeouts. She was named an NFCA Second Team All-American, an NFCA First Team All-New England and All-NESCAC First Team.

Bongiolatti blossomed late in the season and finished with a .352 batting average, five home runs and 22 RBIs. She was also picked as an NFCA All-New England Third Teamer. Junior C Lis Drake (Chelmsford, MA/Chelmsford) hit .336 with a single-season record nine home runs, improving her career record Tufts total to 24. She led the Jumbos with 37 RBIs and made just two errors behind the plate. She was named NFCA All-New England and All-NESCAC First Team. Sophomore Julie Fox (Willow Springs, IL/Lyons Township) emerged a versatile presence in the lineup, playing primarily in the outfield, but also catching and playing second base when necessary. She hit .350 with two home runs and 32 RBIs. The NFCA New England and NESCAC both included Fox on their First Teams. Senior 1B Tiffany Trahan (Chelmsford, MA/Chelmsford) supplied her usual pop with the bat, finishing at .344 with six home runs and 34 RBIs. She set the career record for RBIs (110) and total bases (249), while tying the all-time doubles mark (33). She was named NFCA All-New England Second Team and All-NESCAC First Team.

Talon, in her 15th season as Head Coach at Tufts, earned her 300th career victory with the team, a 2-1 win over Eastern Connecticut on April 14.

Junior defender Kathy Kenney (Needham, MA/Needham) was the best player on a young Tufts Women's Lacrosse team that finished with a 7-5 record. She was named a Brine Division III New England Regional Second Team All-American and to the All-NESCAC Second Team. Dynamic through the midfield with the ball, she also has the capability to shut down the opponent's best attackers. Tufts' 7.99 goals against average was 23rd in the country, and Kenney also scored two goals with an assist.

Last, but by no means least, senior J.R. Cruz (Centereach, NY/Centereach) was one of 10 runners named to the Verizon Academic All-District 1 Men's Cross Country/Track & Field team. He was the only member of a NESCAC school on the team. Cruz led the cross country team to its fourth straight NCAA National Championship race with a seventh-place finish at the New England Championship race. Indoors he was second in the 5,000 Meter Run (14:45.25) at the All-New England Championships hosted by Boston University. Outdoors he was also second in the 10,000 Meter Run (31:44.26) at the All-New England meet at Northeastern.

That's all for now.

#