Middlebury College softball players Melanie Mandell (Harrison, N.Y.) and Sarah Freyre (Jackson, N.J.) were honored by the National Fastpitch Coach Association (NFCA), being named to the All-New England Region teams. Mandell landed a spot on the second team as an outfielder, while Freyre earned third-team honors as an at-large player. Both players had previously earned All-NESCAC accolades, as the duo helped lead the Panthers to a 17-14-1 record in 2017.
Mandell finished her first season in a Middlebury uniform with a .439 batting average, good for second in the NESCAC. She led the team in at-bats (98), hits (43), doubles (12-3rd in NESCAC) and RBI (26) to go along with her three triples, three home runs and 23 runs scored. Spending most of her season in the outfield or as the team's designated player, she began her career hitting .667 (10-15) through the team's first five games in Florida. Mandell hit safely in 24 of 30 games in 2017, including six and seven-game hitting streaks.
Freyre hit .391 this spring, playing mostly at first base or as the team's designated player. Her batting average was second only to Mandell, leading the squad with 24 runs scored. She ranked second in hits (34), doubles (11-6th in NESCAC) and third in RBI (17), while her eight walks gave her an on-base percentage of .466. She reached safely in 22 of 29 games, enjoying a seven-game hitting streak in mid-April. After hitting .522 in a seven-game stretch, she was named the NESCAC Player of the Week on April 24.