Top 10 Moments of 2017-18
#2 - Marian Softball Earns First NACC Title
Marian University softball had a breakout year in 2017 earning a spot in the NACC Tournament but continued to move the program forward earning their first NACC Championship in 2018.
The Sabres closed out the season 26-13 with a 17-5 NACC record and opened conference play 9-0 to tie the best conference start in program history. The offense had a large part of the success as the Sabres averaged 6.3 runs per game, third in the NACC, while also ranking third in the conference in doubles per game, home runs per game, on base percentage and slugging percentage. Marian boasted a 19-3 record on the season when they scored five or more runs during the year and were 18-1 when they outhit their opponent.
Sophomore Paige Rauhut had a breakout season as she went on to earn three NACC Pitcher of the Week awards and a first team All-NACC selection. The right-hander ranked second in the NACC with 15 wins on the year and tied a Marian single-season record with three saves during the regular season. Rauhut took care of business herself most of the time as she finished ranked third in the NACC with 108 punch outs on the year for a 5.7 strikeouts per seven innings average. During the year, she had seven starts where she allowed fewer than two earned runs and had 10 starts with six or more strikeouts.
Marian had three other student-athletes earn All-NACC nods along with Rauhut including fellow sophomores Ally Fox and Gianna Esposito earning first-team nods and freshman Peyton Loesch earning a second-team selection. Loesch would also go on to be named the NACC Freshman of the Year after playing a significant role for the Sabres at the plate and in the circle. Fox went on to earn a second team all-region selection from the NFCA later in the postseason as well.
Spearheading the turnaround for the Sabre softball program, head coach Tony Draves was named the NACC Coach of the Year.
Another pair of Sabres earned awards during the season with junior Rachel Soch being named to the Finlandia Dome Classic All-Tournament team and fellow junior Lindsey Strainis earning a NACC player of the week selection.