HIGH 5 OF THE WEEK: Vallee named GNAC Player of the Year

Lauren Vallee, Bay Path University softball

Vallee (Bay Path athletics)

It has been an amazing season for the former Bristol Central standout, and she earned the top postseason honor in the New England Collegiate Conference because of her efforts.
Vallee was named Player of the Year by the conference. She was also a first team all-conference selection at shortstop.
Vallee, a junior at Bay Path, led the NECC in batting average with an astounding .575. She led in hits with 42 and was first in runs batted in with 31. Vallee was second in home runs (6), on-base percentage (.592) and slugging percentage, which was a whopping 1.110. 
Vallee helped Bay Path reach the double elimination portion of the NECC Tournament for the first time in over five years.
Vallee’s former coach had some nice things to say about her former player.
“One of the two best leaders I have ever seen in my lifetime — coaching or playing,” tweeted Monica Hayes, who is Bristol Central’s current head coach. “Well-deserved, Lauren Vallee!”

Ruscz (Tufts athletics)

Cassie Ruscz, Tufts University softball
When it comes to making first team all-conference, you can’t do more than what this Wolcott native did.
Ruscz, New England Small Colleges Athletic Conference Co-Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016, was named to the league’s first team for the fourth straight season. Ruscz led the league in home runs with 11. She led Tufts in hits with 44 and RBI with 36. Ruscz’s 36 RBI put her second in the NESCAC.
Ruscz homered in five straight games from April 11-17, and her 55 home runs place her fifth all-time in NCAA Division III. Ruscz is eighth all-time in Division III in RBI with 211.
Ruscz’s career included national championships in 2014 and 2015. A tri-captain, Ruscz was also named to the College Sports Information Directors of America All-Academic Team.

Charline Plasczynski, Western Connecticut State University softball

Plasczynski (WCSU athletics)

The former Bristol Eastern star concluded a terrific freshman season by earning the top honor in her class for the Little East Conference.
Plasczynski was named LEC Rookie of the Year, becoming the first WCSU player to earn that distinction since 2001. She led the LEC in RBI with 41. Plasczynski was also among the LEC leaders in slugging percentage (.670), home runs (5), on-base percentage (.477) and batting average (.400).
Plasczynski led WCSU in nearly every offensive category, and she was named to the second team in the LEC along with her Rookie of the Year honor. She also led the Colonials to their first piece of a LEC regular season championship since 2003.
An award-winning season for this freshman, and a successful one for WCSU.
Plasczynski’s former coach had some nice things to say about his former player.
“Congratulations Charline,” tweeted Bristol Eastern head coach Scott Redman. “Well-deserved on a great season. Keep up the hard work!!”

Walker (Pfeiffer athletics)

Chandler Walker, Pfeiffer University softball
The junior had another solid season and earned first team All-Conference Carolinas honors for her work.
Walker and Pfeiffer have unfinished business as they begin a run in the NCAA Division II Tournament today at 2:30 against Carson-Newman in the Southeast Regional. The former Bristol Central standout finished second on the Falcons in batting average (.346), home runs (6) and RBI (38).
Walker is way more than a great offensive leader. She is also a stalwart defender, making four errors in 60 chances. According to a post on Pfeiffer’s website, some of her catches were highlight worthy. Walker helped the Falcons win a program-record 44 times. Pfeiffer has had a great season, and so has Walker, but it’s not over yet.

Kyle Bonicki, Clark University baseball

Bonicki (Clark athletics)

The former Chase Collegiate star had another big season for the Cougars, and the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference recognized him for it.
Bonicki was named First Team All-NEWMAC for the second straight year, and his big numbers show why. He showed his speed with 20 doubles and seven triples, which both led the NEWMAC. The 20 doubles were a single-season school record, as were Bonicki’s 50 runs scored, 156 at bats and 107 total bases.
Bonicki was near the top of the NEWMAC in batting average (.391), runs scored (50), hits (61), stolen bases (12), on-base percentage (.462) and slugging percentage (.686).
As if those numbers aren’t enough, here’s some more. Bonicki picked up a hit in 33 of 39 games, and he had two or more in 20 games. Bonicki had four separate hitting streaks of seven games ore more. Keep in mind that he played in 39 games.
Bonicki’s efforts helped Clark win a program-record 26 times, and the Cougars also reached the postseason for the first time since 2010.

Statistics are compiled from the website of each player’s team.