Bickford headlines softball's six All-NE10 choices

MANSFIELD, Mass.Amanda Bickford became the Saint Anselm College softball team's first First Team All-Northeast-10 Conference selection since 2005 to headline six Hawks to receive All-NE10 accolades as the league announced its major award winners and all-conference teams on Wednesday.

NE10 Release

Bickford landed a spot on the first team after being a third-team choice each of the last two seasons to become Saint Anselm's first first-teamer since Julie Pistorino in 2005. Sam Hennequin and Megan Murrell earned the first all-conference honors of their careers as second-team at-large picks. Three freshmen were also honored, as Erin Thompson was a third-team at-large choice and was joined on the All-Rookie Team by Maggie Murphy and Michaela Kane.

In her junior season, Bickford has started 32-of-33 games in center field and is batting an even .400 (46-for-115) atop the Hawks' lineup. Her .400 batting average is the fourth-highest in the NE10, her .417 on-base percentage is tied for 11th-best in the conference and her 46 hits rank tied for 10th in the league. Bickford has hit safely in 27-of-33 games for Saint Anselm, including 14 multi-hit games and a 13-game hitting streak from April 14-29.

Hennequin has been a workhorse in the circle for Saint Anselm, going 13-5 with a 2.52 ERA in 23 appearances. The senior has gone the distance in 14 of her 18 starts, including two shutouts, logging 125.0 innings with 134 strikeouts. She ranks among the NE10's best in all the major pitching categories, leading the way in strikeouts per seven innings (7.50), sitting second in strikeouts, fifth in innings pitched, wins and complete games, and ninth in ERA. Her 7.50 strikeouts per seven innings rate ranks 28th in the country.

Murrell has started 32-of-33 games behind the plate for Saint Anselm and ranks in the NE10's top 15 in five offensive categories. The junior ranks tied for seventh in the conference in home runs (5), 10th in slugging percentage (.546), 13th in on-base percentage (.416) and 15th in both batting average (.340) and RBI (21). Murrell has reached safely in 24 of the 32 games she has played in while batting in the middle of the lineup for the Hawks.

In 28 games, Thompson sports a .305 batting average (25-for-82) in her freshman season, while totaling 12 runs, one home run and 15 RBI. She ranks third on the team in RBI and tied for fourth in runs, while recording five multi-RBI games. Thompson had a season-high six-game hitting streak from April 11-15, including going 3-for-3 with her first collegiate home run and three RBI at Franklin Pierce on April 12.

Murphy has contributed across the board for Saint Anselm in 31 games this season. The freshman is hitting .267 (27-for-101), with six doubles, three triples, two home runs, 14 RBI, 19 runs and 11 stolen bases. Murphy's three triples and 19 runs lead Saint Anselm, while her 11 stolen bases are second on the team.

Since assuming the starting job at third base, Kane has batted .309 (21-for-68) with two doubles, two triples, two stolen bases and 14 runs scored for the Hawks. Her 14 runs are tied for second on the team, while her .373 on-base percentage is fourth on the team among regular starters.

Saint Anselm (18-15, 16-8 NE10) earned the No. 2 seed in the NE10's Northeast Division and begins the tournament against Le Moyne, the No. 3 seed out of the Southwest Division, at 2:30 p.m. at Merrimack on Thursday, May 4.

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