Depew, NY - Wednesday, May 1 marked a day of celebration and recognition for all of D'Youville's student-athletes at the yearly Athletics Awards Banquet at Salvatore's Hospitality.
Head coach Ona Halladay, assistant coaches Shannon Evans, Sarah Marino, Megan Asham, and graduate assistant Kalie McHenry presented the awards to their D'Youville softball team.
Catcher Victoria Purucker (North Tonawanda, NY/Starpoint) had an excellent senior season and was a leader for the women all season long, earned the team's Most Improved Player award. Victoria had a career year for the women with career highs in games played (35), runs scored (16), hits (28), and walks (10). Her production at the plate was matched by her consistency behind it as the team's everyday catcher. Always with a smile on her face, Purucker's abilities helped the team reach the postseason for the second consecutive season.
To close out her career, senior second baseman/shortstop Darian Evans (Brant, NY/Lake Shore) gave everything she had to her teammates and was the recipient of the team's Spartan Award. Evans battled through a tough shoulder injury all season long to record one of the best years of her career. Evans moved back to second base - a position she played as a freshman and then moved to shortstop for the last two seasons - to tally 25 hits, 13 runs scored, and three doubles, all of which were the second highest totals of her career. In the field, she had her second best year of her career.
Above her play on the field was Darian's presence in the dugout and her tenacity to keep herself on the field. Evans continued to work on rehabbing her shoulder and being their for her teammates as she played 33 games, the second highest total of her career. She leaves the program top-10 in hits, RBI, and home runs. The Spartan Award represents a player who exemplifies teamwork, passion and a dedication to their team.
Junior outfielder Ashley Carney (Clarence, NY/Clarence) was once again one of the best players in the conference and was the top producing Spartan as she was named the team's Most Valuable Player. Carney once again proved to be the best leadoff hitter in the AMCC as she finished the regular season second in the conference in batting average (.467), on base percentage (.544), and slugging percentage (.682), tied for third in walks (17) and triples (4), third in hits (50), and tied for ninth in doubles (9). From her leadoff spot, Carney also led the team in batting average, RBI, runs scored, home runs, hits, walks, doubles, and was second in triples.
Showcasing her dominance throughout the season, Ashley ended the season with hits in 21 of the final 22 games - including a 14-game hitting streak. In conference play, she tallied one game of 4-4 with four runs scored, a double, a triple, and two-RBI. Her impressive play did not go unnoticed as she was named an AMCC First Team All-Conference player for the second consecutive season.
(Pictured from left to right: Purucker, Evans, Carney)