Central Connecticut was selected as the 2011 Northeast Conference Sportsmanship Award recipient for softball. The honor was announced by the conference office on Wednesday afternoon. In addition to being recognized for their sportsmanship, the Blue Devils also posted their most successful Division I softball campaign in 2011, setting a new school record with 29 wins.
The NEC Sportsmanship Awards were instituted by league Presidents in 2008. The awards are designed to acknowledge the team in each conference sport that, in the opinion of its peers, most closely demonstrates good sportsmanship based on the NEC Principles of Sportsmanship and Standards of Conduct. Voting is conducted at the conclusion of each season by each team captain and head coach, who rank teams within the conference based on a predetermined set of criteria.
"I am extremely proud of this award for many reasons. We talk every day about controlling the controllable, be accountable, and respect the game," Coach Jeff Franquet said.
"This award is a direct reflection of the team believing in our system and being quality student-athletes. Our goal every year is to win the NEC and win this award, and you can count on us going after both in 2012!"
The 2011 Blue Devil squad won a school record 29 games and advanced to the NEC Tournament for the first time. Along the way the senior Amanda Dilworth was named NEC Player of the Week, senior Elizabeth Montemurro was named NEC Pitcher of the Week on two occasions and freshman Arielle Bruno was named NEC Rookie of the Week.
Bruno was also a second team All-NEC selection and Montemurro was named to the All-Tournament team.
CCSU is one of eight schools in the Northeast Conference to have a team recognized for sportsmanship. St. Francis (PA), Bryant, Monmouth, Mount St. Mary's, Long Island, Sacred Heart, and (associate member for field hockey) Rider all had at least one team recognized by the NEC.