NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Three members of the Philadelphia University softball team were named to the All-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference team, highlighted by Naomi Stas' (Tuckerton, N.J./Pinelands Regional) selection to the All-CACC first team.
Stas—the program's sixth All-CACC first team player and first since Emma Haley in 2015—has a tremendous season in the pitching circle and the batter's box to earn first-team recognition at the utility-pitcher position. In addition to her pitching duties, Stas was a right fielder in 30 contests.
At the plate, the sophomore had a career year as she hit .325 and the led team with 54 hits, 9 doubles, 19 runs scored, 25 RBI, and 4 home runs. Stas was ranked fifth in the CACC in hits, 11th in total bases (75), 17th in home runs, 18th in RBI, and 25 in batting average. She posted a .297 batting average and drove in 14 runs in conference play.
As a pitcher, Stas was 10-8 overall with four shutouts, 79 strikeouts, and a 1.73 earned run average. She sits second in the conference in shutouts, fourth in ERA, fifth in innings pitched (137.1), seventh in strikeouts and opponent batting average (.209), and eighth in wins. Stas threw the fourth no-hitter in program history on March 12, 2017 against 19th-ranked University of Indianapolis.
Joining Stas on the All-CACC team pitcher Stephanie Pepper (Toms River, N.J./Central Regional) and utility player Kayla Henry-Caltabellotta (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem East), who were both named to the second team. It is the first time since 2014 that the Rams have had three all-conference players.
Pepper racked up 10 victories, 2 via shutout, a 2.12 ERA, and 174 strikeouts in 135.1 innings of work. She is second in the conference in strikeouts and strikeouts per seven innings (9.00), sixth in ERA and innings pitched, and ninth in opponent batting average (2.30). In 13 conference games, Pepper had six wins, 111 strikeouts, and a 1.93 ERA. She set the program history for the most strikeouts in a seven-inning game when she fanned 17 Nyack batters in a 2-0 road win on April 18. 2017.
In her freshman season, Henry-Caltabellotta—who split time between the outfield and catcher—had a .254 batting average, scored 11 times, and knocked in 4 runs.
Philadelphia finished the regular season with a 21-26 overall record and earned the seventh seed for the CACC Tournament after going 13-13 in conference play. It is the Rams' first tournament appearance since 2014. Philadelphia opens the double-elimination tournament on Thursday, May 4 against Holy Family University at 10 a.m. at Georgian Court University.