The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) announced the 360 players chosen for the 2017 NFCA Division III All-Region softball teams and the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) was represented by two student-athletes.
Husson freshman Bri Brochu (Pittston, Maine) and New England College senior Brianna Castellano (Hamilton, N.J.) were both honored on the All-New England Region Third Team.
As in the past, the squad is comprised of three 15-player teams in each of the country's eight NCAA regions.
Brochu had a phenomenal rookie season, becoming the first Eagle in program history to achieve this honor after hitting .509 (57-112) with 39 runs, nine doubles, two triples, 17 RBI, 11 walks, and 12 stolen bases, while only striking out six times all season. She was tabbed as the NAC Rookie of the Year, the sixth NAC Rookie of the Year in program history and the ninth overall, and a first team All-NAC selection, the third rookie to be selected to the first team since Husson joined the NCAA in 2004 and the first since 2010.
Brochu had a remarkable rookie campaign for the Eagles, finishing the season as the NAC leader in hits, on-base percentage (.556), runs per game (1.03), runs, batting average, and total bases (71), and ranked second in slugging percentage (.634), tied for third in doubles, tied for fifth in triples and sixth in stolen bases.
In conference play, Brochu led the conference in hits with 22, while also tallying a league-best five doubles, 27 total bases, and a .579 batting average. She also tied for first with a .600 on-base percentage, tied for second with 13 scored runs and claimed a .711 slugging percentage to finish No. 3 in the NAC. Bri Brochu also recorded five RBI, four stolen bases and only committed one error in the field against conference opponents. She hit safely in 10 of her team's 12 NAC games, posting eight multi-hit games while scoring at least one run in eight conference matchups.
She record at least one hit in 29 of her 38 games and one run in 26 games of those 38 games, while finishing the season with 18 multi-hit games. The rookie is also currently ranked 10th in batting average and 17th in on-base percentage in all of Division III.
Castellano had the second-best batting average in the NAC this season, trailing only Brochu. She tallied 54 hits in 124 at-bats for a .435 average with three doubles and two triples, slugging at .492, while also driving in a league fourth-best 23 RBI Castellano had multiple hits in 15 games this season, including a season-best 4-for-4 effort against Plymouth State.
In two seasons with the Pilgrims, Castellano totaled 98 career hits and a .380 batting average. The NFCA honor marks the first regional award for Castellano.
All-Region players are nominated and selected by NFCA member coaches in each of the eight Division III regions. First Team All-Region choices are eligible for selection to the NFCA All-America team, which will be announced the evening of May 24 online at NFCA.org and in person at the NCAA Division III Championship banquet in Oklahoma City.