Eight Great Danes Honored at Annual America East Awards Banquet
HARTFORD, Conn. – The University at Albany softball team was well represented at the 2019 America East Awards Banquet at the University at Hartford on Tuesday evening. Three Great Danes were tabbed to the America East First Team, while a total of eight UAlbany student-athletes combined for 11 All-Conference honors.
Senior Sarah Petzold and sophomores Katie Falotico and Amelia Ely were tabbed to the America East All-Conference First Team. This marks the second consecutive First Team bid for Petzold and the first for Falotico and Ely, after both were named to the All-Rookie team in 2018.
Petzold is in the midst of her strongest season as a Great Dane, batting a career-high .336. Petzold is just one of two Great Danes to start all 41 games this season. She is slugging a career-best .534, while her personal-best 13 doubles are tied for fourth in the conference. One of the team’s most consistent hitters this season, Petzold’s biggest moment came in an extra inning victory against Stony Brook, where she roped a two-run, walk-off homerun in the eighth inning to lift her team to a 5-3 victory. The senior finished the contest 2-for-3 with two RBI and three runs scored.
Falotico is pacing all hitters on UAlbany with a .360 batting average. Her 41 RBI, 15 doubles and .593 slugging percentage place among the top five in the conference rankings. The Emerson, N.J. native has hit a career-best four homeruns in 2019, including two in the same inning in a 13-5 win against Binghamton (April 10) and her first career grand slam in a 7-0 win against Niagara (April 25). She joins Petzold as the only other Great Dane to start all 41 games this season.
Ely came on strong towards the later half of the regular season, batting an impressive .412 in conference play. The Vienna, Va. is currently riding a six game hit streak that began with a 3-for-3 performance against UMBC on April 27. Ely has logged six multi-hit games this season and has matched a personal-best with six doubles.
Celeste Verdolivo and Chelsea Henige each earned a spot on the All-Conference Second Team. Verdolivo is tied for first in the America East with 17 wins and ranks among the league’s top five in opposing batting average (.219), ERA (2.69), strike outs (81) and saves (2). Henige who started 40 games for the Great Danes behind the plate, is hitting .258 and has thrown out eight base runners.
Two freshman were named to the America East All-Rookie Team in Chloe Lewis and Love Drumgole. Lewis came on strong towards the end of the season, posting a 2.41 ERA and a 2-0 record in conference play. Drumgole has been a regular in the Great Danes lineup, starting 36 games at shortstop. The infielder had a breakout game against Niagara on April 25, as she racked up two doubles and scored two runs to help the Great Danes to a 7-0 win.
Four Great Danes earned All-Academic Team honors, as well. Petzold, who owns a 4.00 GPA in Mental Health Counseling, has been named to the All-Academic Team for the second straight year. The senior is a three-time America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll and CoSIDA Academic All-District I squad honoree. Kelly Barkevich earned her first bid on the All-Academic Team with a 3.95 GPA in business administration, while Falotico and Verdolivo rounded out the honorees. Falotico owns a 3.81 GPA in business administration, while Verdolivo is posting 3.49 GPA as a biology major.