TUFANO; CAUTELA HEADLINE CUNYAC SOFTBALL ALL-STAR LINEUP

The College of Staten Island women’s softball team is primed for another NCAA run after its CUNYAC Championship this weekend, and CSI added to its list of accomplishments with a rousing eight selections to the CUNYAC postseason recognitions. Sophomore slugger Christina Tufano headlined the honors with the CUNYAC Player of the Year award, while freshman hurler Jacqueline Cautela walked away with top pitching honors. From there, CSI enjoyed another six All-Star citations, three each for the first and second team. Stefanie Solari, Victoria Procopio and Brittany Smith were first-teamers, while Chyanne Gilliam, Maxine Jasko, and Danielle Locke were second team honorees.

Tufano has had a great season on her way to winning Player of the Year. The sophomore who has made every start at third-base batted a hefty .403 this season, leading the squad in doubles (10), while placing second in hits (48) and RBI (32). Tufano all placed second on the squad in multi-hit games, multi-RBI games, and hitting streak at 9 games. She hit safely in all three games of the CUNYAC tournament this past weekend and currently has hit safely in the last six games, currently a team high.

Cautela has been equally potent at the plate, but was recognized for her outstanding job in the circle this season, landing her CUNYAC Pitcher of the ear honors. The right-hander boasted a 16-6 record this season with a 2.90 ERA, logging 135 innings pitched, allowing just 56 earned runs and 50 walks, while fanning 114 batters, the second-highest in CSI single season history. Opponents batted only .233 against her and in on her biggest stage, Cautela pitched all 21 innings for CSI in the CUNYAC Tournament, going 3-0 with 1.00 ERA, walking away with the conference’s Tournament Most Valuable Player award.

Ranked 55th nationally in hitting, CSI’s collection of All-Stars did plenty of it in 2014. Solari, the lone four-year senior on the squad, batted .339 on the season, leading the team in RBI with 39, leaving her two shy of tying the school’s all-time career record in the category. Speedy Brittany Smith, an outstanding defensive centerfielder, led the squad with 20 stolen bags while batting an outstanding .345 with 40 runs scored and a team-high 18 bases on balls. Procopio, who earned five wins in the circle, posted a .275 batting average, pacing the squad with 30 hits, 21 RBI and six doubles.

Few second-teamers boasted the numbers of sophomore Chyanne Gilliam. The every-day right fielder had a torrid second half of the season, finishing with a .385 batting average with 12 extra bases and seven stolen bags. She also boasted the team-best hitting streak at 10 games. Danielle Locke made two outstanding defensive plays to clinch the CUNYAC Championship on Saturday, and earned honors by virtue of her .309 average at the plate with 30 hits and 19 runs scored. Rounding out the honors was shortstop Maxine Jasko, who chimed in with a .287 average, adding three triples, 18 runs scored and five thefts.

Winning the CUNYAC’s Rookie of the Year awards was Hunter College’s Taylor Croft, while first-year skipper Mike Ponsiglione from Brooklyn College earned the CUNYAC’s Coach of the Year honor. Like CSI, Brooklyn has six all-stars don the teams, while Hunter was next in line with three honorees.