The Denison softball squad landed five players on the 2014 All-North Coast Athletic Conference team, highlighted by senior Rebecca Dyer and junior Julie Rooney who earned special recognition from the NCAC coaches.
Rooney was named NCAC Player of the Year and earned first-team all-conference honors for the first time in her career after a stellar season in league play. The 2014 NCAC All-Tournament team selection is the third player in school history to be named NCAC Player of the Year, and the first since 2011. The three-time All-NCAC honoree led all players with 24 hits in NCAC games. The junior also finished in the top-10 in five different offensive categories in conference play including doubles (T-1st), total bases (T-2nd), batting average (3rd), on-base percentage (4th) and slugging percentage (10th). On the season, Rooney led the Big Red in batting average (.395), on-base percentage (.429), hits (49), doubles (9), total bases (58) and assists (71). She will also carry a 10-game hitting streak into her final season with the Big Red.
Dyer became the fourth player in NCAC history and second Denison athlete to earn Pitcher of the Year honors twice in a career, first receiving the honor in 2011 as a freshman. The senior hurler also picked up her third first-team All-NCAC accolade and her fourth overall all-conference honor after going 8-1 with a 1.00 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 10 league appearances this season. She also led all pitchers with five shutouts in NCAC play. In an 8-0 victory over La Verne on March 18, Dyer moved into sole possession of first place on the school's career shutouts list, passing DU Hall of Famer Courtney Zollars '02 (16). In the NCAC Tournament opening-round game against Wittenberg, the senior broke another one of Zollars' records, eclipsing the career strikeouts mark of 479. Dyer finished her collegiate-career with 487 strikeouts. Dyer leaves Denison as the all-time leader in career shutouts (23), strikeouts and complete games (53). She also boasts the lowest batting average against (.193) in program history and tied the career record for saves (5). Her 42 career victories and 423.2 innings pitched both rank third all-time in school history.
Senior catcher Meghan Edwards joined Rooney and Dyer on the All-NCAC first team. An honorable mention selection a year ago, Edwards started 32 of 33 games this season and posted a .284 average with five doubles, four home runs, 15 RBIs and 15 runs scored. She also recorded a .451 slugging percentage and a .330 on-base percentage in her senior campaign. In 14 conference games, Edwards hit .326 with three doubles, two home runs and six RBIs. The senior completed her collegiate career ranked second all-time in putouts (879), tied for fourth in home runs (13), seventh in RBIs (88), eighth in at-bats (489), ninth in total bases (209) and 10th in slugging percentage (.427).
Also earning all-conference honors were seniors Gretchen Staubach and Rachel Laughlin. Staubach received second-team honors after hitting .323 with 12 extra-base hits, 17 runs and 16 RBIs. She also recorded a .591 slugging percentage and a .382 on-base percentage as the team's starting first baseman. Staubach posted a .370 batting average with three doubles, two triples and two home runs in 16 NCAC contests this season. She also drove in eight runs and scored eight more times. The senior led the team in slugging percentage, triples (3) and home runs (5), and was second in runs scored and total bases (55).
Laughlin received honorable mention recognition for the second-straight season after starting all 36 games at shortstop and posting a .369 batting average, which was second-best on the team. The senior drove in 20 runs and scored 18 more, both team highs. She also finished second on the squad in batting average, slugging percentage (.485), on-base percentage (.398), hits (38) and triples (2). Laughlin ends her career ranked third at Denison in doubles (44), fourth in assists (282) and home runs (13), fifth in total bases (255), runs (97) and slugging percentage (.512), sixth in RBIs (91), seventh in at-bats (498) and hits (166), eighth in on-base percentage (.388), and ninth in batting average (.333) and walks (36).