Broncos Earn Six All-ACAA Selections, Two to First Team

Broncos Earn Six All-ACAA Selections, Two to First Team

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (May 8, 2019) – The American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) released its Softball All-Conference Team, where six Broncos earned spots. Second baseman Mackenzie Sparacino (Copake, NY / Taconic Hills) and outfielder Sierra Keesler (Hancock, NY / Hancock Central) were named to the first team. Earning second-team honors were third baseman and All-ACAA Tournament selection Natasha Picozzi (Hancock, NY / Hancock Central), catcher Samantha Mendelsohn (Brooklyn, NY / James Madison), pitcher Molly Greene (Glenford, NY / Onteora), and designated player Yesileidy Paulino (Bronx, NY / Crotona International).

In her first year leading the Broncos, head coach Meagan Hillard turned around a squad that finished 0-27 the year before to their first double-digit win season in three years at 11-15. After starting the year at 1-5, the Broncos went on to win nine of their next 12 games, which included doubleheader sweeps over fellow SUNY school Morrisville State and ACAA foes Pine Manor and Valley Forge. Delhi qualified for the ACAA Tournament on Saturday, where the Broncos came up short in competitive contests versus Thomas More and host Alfred State.

Keesler and Sparacino both finished the season batting above .400. Keesler led the team with a .411 batting average (37-for-90), .722 slug percentage, five home runs and 38 RBIs. She also tied a team best with three triples, while hitting seven doubles. Sparacino was second on the squad at .403 (27-for-67), hitting four doubles, one triple and 13 RBIs, while leading the team on the base paths with 11 stolen bases.

Picozzi was named to the All-ACAA Tournament Team after two great games fielding at third base. Among her highlights at Saturday's tournament was turning an inning-ending unassisted double play to get Delhi out of a bases-loaded jam versus Alfred State in the fifth. With one out, the Pioneers' Marissa Varela hit a liner that was quickly snagged by Picozzi, who then tagged out a diving Brianna Dittman attempting to return to third. The transfer from Herkimer CC finished with a .908 fielding percentage, and ranked fifth batting .347 (26-for-75) with a team-best eight doubles. She also earned the most walks among the Broncos with 15, and tallied 11 RBIs.

Mendelsohn turned in a great season behind the plate, as the Broncos caught five runners attempting to steal base. She finished second on the team with a .968 fielding percentage and batted .261 (18-for-69) with five doubles and nine RBIs. Mendelsohn made her mark the plate in crucial moments, including one in Delhi's home meeting with Cazenovia on April 23. Trailing, 7-6, after rallying from a 6-0 deficit, Mendelsohn provided a go-ahead two-RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to give the Broncos an 8-7 lead.

Greene posted a team-best 7-6 record on the mound, pitching 73.2 innings with 30 strikeouts and a 4.97 ERA. She hurled nine complete games, winning six of them, as well as recording two complete-game shutouts. Her fielding was also on-point with a .895 fielding percentage and 11 putouts. At the plate, Greene held a .258 batting average (8-for-31), producing seven RBIs and stealing a pair of bases.

Paulino ranked fourth on Delhi with a .370 batting average (20-for-54), leading the team with eight doubles, as well as roping in 11 RBIs. One of her big highlights of the season came in Delhi's meeting at SUNY Poly on April 16. With the Broncos ahead, 5-1, after putting up three runs in the fifth, Paulino struck later in the frame with a two-RBI double down the right field line to push Delhi's lead to 7-1. The two-run score proved to make a difference, as the Wildcats' attempt at a late rally saw the final score flash a 7-4 win for Delhi in what would have otherwise been a closer game.