DEARBORN, Mich. - The University of Michigan-Dearborn softball team won the first Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference regular season title in program history over the weekend. The Wolverines continued the momentum with nine postseason WHAC awards, it was announced by the conference on Tuesday.
Kassidy Butler (SO/Parchment, MI) earned the WHAC Player of the Year, the first award of its kind for any softball player at UM-Dearborn, after an explosive first season with the Wolverines. She was also one of four Wolverines on the All-WHAC First Team, while two more landed on the Second Team. First-year head coach Vince Alessandrini was named the league's Coach of the Year, the first UM-Dearborn coach in any sport to receive such an award.
Butler enters to the WHAC Postseason Tournament batting a league-high .467 with nine home runs and 38 RBIs, while scoring 27 runs and slugging .826. She is a two-time WHAC Player of the Week and garnered the program's first NAIA Player of the Week earlier this season.
Joining Butler on the First Team is senior Taylor Moceri (SR/Sterling Heights, MI), who was also named to the league's All-Defensive Team. Moceri is batting .408 with 51 hits, 10 doubles, five triples, four home runs and 28 RBIs, while scoring a team-high 37 runs and stealing seven bases. The First Team honor is the third of Moceri's decorated career with the Wolverines.
Also on the First Team is Gina Verduzco (JR/Portage, MI), who led the Wolverine pitching staff this season. She enters the postseason with a record of 13-5 and a 2.42 ERA, along with 114 strikeouts in 115.2 innings pitched.
Riley Hison (SO/Macomb Township, MI) has been a consistent force at the plate for the Wolverines in 2017. She is second on the team in batting with a .409 average, while racking up 26 runs scored and five doubles.
The All-WHAC Second Team includes Jordan Ewald (JR/Wixom, MI) and Kylie Hill (SR/Adrian, MI). Ewald closed the regular season with a .352 batting average with 11 doubles, six home runs and 28 RBIs. Hill is batting .398 with nine doubles, one home run and 19 RBIs.
The Wolverines landed three on the All-Academic Team, including Ewald, Verduzco and Kelly O'Hara (SO/Traverse City, MI), while Ewald was named the team's Champions of Character representative.
UM-Dearborn is in action at the WHAC Postseason Tournament starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Pacesetter Park in Sylvania, Ohio. The Wolverines open the tournament as the No. 3 seed against No. 6 Concordia University.