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10 Greyhounds Earn Softball Landmark All-Conference Honors; Matos, Novak & Byrne Receive Major Awards

10 Greyhounds Earn Softball Landmark All-Conference Honors; Matos, Novak & Byrne Receive Major Awards

TOWSON, Md. --- The Moravian College softball team has had a 10 student-athletes earn Landmark All-Conference honors for the second straight spring including seven First Team honorees with junior catcher Janae Matos selected as the Player of the Year, junior pitcher Josie Novak named the Pitcher of the Year for a second straight spring and Head Coach John Byrne selected as the Coach of the Year for a second consecutive season.

Matos and Novak also earned spots on the All-Conference First Team, and they are joined by senior first baseman Abby Jeffries, sophomore shortstop Kaela Kane, senior left fielder Julie Siragusa, freshman designated player Olivia Martin and freshman utility player Lauren Goetz. Junior pitcher Amanda Carisone garnered All-Conference Second Team accolades along with sophomore center fielder Kat Spilman and freshman right fielder Emily Stanilious.

"It is a high compliment about the quality of program and our players when nearly all of your everyday starters and pitchers are named to the All-Conference squads," Byrne noted. "They have all had very good seasons, and we wouldn't be heading to the postseason again without the contributions they make game in and game out."

This spring marks the third time the program has had 10 Landmark All-Conference honorees, joining the 2016 and 2009 squads. Moravian's seven First Team selections ties the 2016, 2012 and 2008 for the most in conference history.

Byrne has been honored as the Landmark Conference Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career, and it is his eighth conference Coach of the Year selection. Byrne is in his 24th season at Moravian with a career record of 784-231 while leading the Greyhounds to 23 straight postseason appearances including 16 NCAA Division III Tournament berths.

"A successful season is the norm for Greyhound softball, but Coach Byrne will be the first to say that it is never an easy process," stated Interim Director of Athletics Scot Dapp. "He and his staff do a great job of preparing his team from the start of their season until the final game. His won-loss record for his career speaks for itself. Coach of the Year is an appropriate title for him."

The Greyhounds are currently ranked No. 11 in the nation in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Top 25 Poll, third in the latest NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Rankings and 34-4 on the year. Moravian is the top seed in the 2017 Landmark Conference Tournament after an 11-1 regular season mark in conference action, and the Hounds will be hosting the tournament at Blue & Grey Field on Friday and Saturday, May 5-6.

Matos, who made the All-Conference First Team for a second straight spring, is leading the Greyhounds at the plate with a .525 average that includes 53 hits, 22 runs, a school-record tying 22 doubles, three home runs, 42 RBIs, 16 walks, a .608 on-base percentage and an .822 slugging percentage. Matos also has a team-high 191 putouts behind the plate to go with 11 assists. Matos became the 44th member of Moravian's 100-hit club earlier this spring.

"Janae has been one of our leaders all season," Byrne said. "She has done an excellent job handling our pitching staff all season long, and she has really been putting the bat on the ball well all season and finding the gaps for all of her extra-base hits.

Novak, who was the 2016 Landmark Conference Pitcher of the Year and the 2015 Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year, earned a spot on the All-Conference First Team for a third consecutive season. This spring, Novak is 17-2 heading into the conference tournament, and she has a 0.58 ERA, two saves, 13 shutouts, 18 walks and a conference-leading 133 strikeouts in 121.2 innings in the circle. Novak, who has also been on the NFCA All-Atlantic Region Third Team the last two springs, has a career total of 463 strikeouts, the third player in school history to reach 400 career strikeouts, and her 55 career victories are fifth in the Moravian record books.

"Josie has been in control of her pitches all season as shown in the fact that seven of her 13 shutouts are one-hitters," commented Byrne. "Josie has done a tremendous job of keeping opposing hitters off balance with her numerous pitches. We're happy to have her with us for one more season but we need her to continue her strong season into the postseason.

Jeffries earns an All-Conference honor for the first time in her career after missing the end of the 2016 season and the entire 2014 season with an injury. Jeffries is hitting .411 this spring with 46 hits, 19 runs, eight doubles, a triple, four home runs, 32 RBIs, a .451 on-base percentage and a .607 slugging percentage. Jeffries also has 160 putouts and five assists this spring.

Kane was named to the First Team this spring after being on the All-Conference Second Team a year ago. Kane has 32 hits, 24 runs, four doubles, a triple, 14 RBIs, 10 walks, six stolen bases and a team-high 13 sacrifice bunts. She also leads Moravian with 59 assists to go with 48 putouts.

Siragusa earned a spot on the All-Conference First Team for the second consecutive spring, and she was also on the NFCA All-Atlantic Region Third Team last season. Siragusa is hitting .367 with 47 hits, 26 runs, 10 doubles, two triples, a homer, 17 RBIs, 12 walks, a .465 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage. She has 152 hits to ranked 15th in school history, and Siragusa is fourth all-time at Moravian with 41 career doubles.

Martin has posted a .359 average in her debut season, seeing most of her time as a designated player. She has 14 hits, four doubles, four runs and eight RBIs while slugging .462.

Goetz has split time between second base and right field, and she is hitting .333 with 27 hits, 16 runs, eight doubles, a home run, 17 RBIs, 11 walks and a .406 slugging percentage to go with 36 putouts and 33 assists in the field.

Carisone earned a spot on the All-Conference teams for the third straight spring as she was on the First Team in 2016 and the Second Team in 2015. Carisone has posted a 17-2 mark this spring with a 1.10 ERA, three shutouts, 15 walks and 76 strikeouts in 117.2 innings. She is seventh in school history with 290 strikeouts, and Carisone is sixth all-time with 54 wins as part of a 54-5 career record.

Spilman was the 2016 Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year and a member of the All-Conference Second Team last season. She is currently hitting .371 with 39 hits, 28 runs, four doubles, three homers, 15 RBIs, 18 walks, a .465 on-base percentage and a .495 slugging percentage this season.

Stanilious is in her first season with the Greyhounds, and she has a .333 batting average to go with 20 hits, 16 runs, two doubles, a home run, 10 RBIs and six stolen bases.

The Hounds are scheduled to return to action on Friday, May 5 when the squad hosts fourth seed Juniata College in the opening game of the 2017 Landmark Conference Tournament at Blue & Grey Field in Bethlehem with action slated to begin at 11:00 a.m.