Warwick, R.I. – May 11, 2015: The CCRI Lady Knights softball season recently ended with their second consecutive Region XXI Title and trip to the District K tournament where they lost to Delaware tech and District Champion Mercyhurst North East. The Lady Knights did receive some very good news this week with six players being named All-Region XXI: sophomore Co-Captain Taylor Butler (North Kingstown, RI), freshman Co-Captain Maxine DeLuise (Warwick, RI), freshman Meghan Rousseau (Richmond, RI), freshman Jenna Urso (West Warwick, RI), and freshman Kristina Rodriguez (North Kingstown, RI) earned First Team All-Region XXI honors while freshman Mikayla Fernandez (Burrillville, RI) earned Honorable Mention All-region XXI honors. In addition, Head Coach Liz Afonso earned Region XXI Coach of the Year honors and the Lady Knight also received the Sportsmanship Award.
Butler earns All-Region XXI honors for the second time in her career. As a sophomore Butler was named a Co-Captain and led the Lady Knights with an impressive 2.81 ERA was 6-3 with two saves with 51 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings pitched. In addition, batting in the two-hole she had a .385 average with 20 hits including a double with 18 runs scored and 10 RBIs. As a freshman Taylor burst upon the scene for the Lady Knights in her freshman campaign. Butler served as a pitcher, outfielder and infielder. Butler was another offensive catalyst at the top of the batting order for CCRI utilizing her “slap” batting approach from the left side which made her a very tough out. Butler led CCRI with 36 hits including three doubles while adding 13 RBIs and 22 runs scored and also swiped 11 stolen bases. In the circle, Taylor led the Lady Knights with a 2.75 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 56 innings pitched and was tied for the team lead with six victories. Head Coach Liz Afonso commented on her sophomore Co-Captain: Taylor has been a huge asset to this team for the last two years as a pitcher, infielder and outfielder. She will be greatly missed next year.”
DeLuise was the Lady Knights other Co-Captain and half of the CCRI battery. “Max” was always in the heart of the CCRI line-up and was an offensive juggernaut batting an impressive .659 with 27 hits including 14 extra base hits with 10 doubles, three triples a Homerun with a team leading 21 RBIs and 18 runs scored and also led CCRI with four stolen bases. In addition, she added 10 walks making her on base percentage near the.750 mark while charting multi-hit games in 10 of the 14 Lady Knights contests this year. Coach Afonso added about her freshman Co-Captain “Maxine and Taylor made up the battery of this team and excelled us to Region Championships. Maxine is a force to be reckoned with both offensively and defensively! We hope to continue that success as she returns next year!”
Rousseau was the Lady Knights’ left fielder and lead-off hitter and often set the table for Butler and DeLuise. Rousseau used her tremendous speed and patience at the plate to get on base. She led CCRI with 13 walks while adding 17 hits, tied for third on the Lady Knights, with three doubles and a Homerun and three stolen bases while leading the Lady Knights with 22 runs scored and adding 11 RBIs. Coach Afonso added about her talented lead-off hitter, “Meghan is a great outfielder and has a great bat. She is fast on the bases and plays smart heads-up ball.
Urso started the season slowly as she battled through a minor injury but once healthy became an important contributor for CCRI taking over at the important shortstop position and batting in the middle of the batting order. Urso had a .297 batting average with 11 hits including three doubles and two triples with 13 runs scored and 11 RBIs and a stolen base. Afonso commented on her freshman shortstop “Jenna came in as a freshman this year and gave us great strength at the shortstop position and will return next year in that role.”
Rodriguez started every game for the Lady Knights in centerfield and was the premier defensive outfielder in the region utilizing her speed and tracking ability to easily snag fly balls that could have landed for extra base hits. Kristina was also a force at the plate with an impressive .316 batting average with 12 hits including four doubles and a triple with 13 runs scored and eight RBIs as she was able to flip the batting order many times batting out of the second lead-off position. Afonso added about her talented outfielder “Rodriguez’s explosive speed and tracking ability in the outfield and she was the anchor of the outfield in center.
Fernandez was another freshman who seized the opportunity to get playing time and took full advantage of her opportunity to become starter at second base. Mikayla had her best games in Region when they Lady Knights really needed it. For the season Fernandez batted .385 with 15 hits including four doubles and three triples with 13 RBIs and 11 runs scored. Afonso added this about her freshman second baseman “Mikayla took on the role of second baseman since there was a need for one on the team. She more than performed there and also helped out offensively as a solid hitter this year.”
Head Coach Liz Afonso summed up the season and looked forward to next year with “We had a very good year despite the weather and many schedule changes. We look forward to the return of Maxine, Jenna, Kristina, Meghan and Mikayla next year as we build upon the powerhouse that they already are!
The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 18,000 students in credit courses and thousands more in non-credit and job training classes. Its athletic program boasts 12 varsity programs and an academic support program for all student-athletes.