Dearborn named ‘Player of Year’

BY SCOTT WALSH, Times-Shamrock Writer

Fordham’s Jocelyn Dearborn, a Blue Ridge graduate, was named Atlantic 10 softball Play of the Year.

Blue Ridge graduate Jocelyn Dearborn was at New York’s Laguardia Airport, boarding a plane with her Fordham University teammates bound for Charlotte, N.C., and the Atlantic 10 Softball Championships when she found out she had been chosen the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.

“I was so amazed. I immediately texted my dad and told him,” Dearborn said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

“I don’t know if I can really put it into words (what it means). It’s been nothing but a dream for me since I started playing the game of softball. I’ve been extremely lucky in many aspects.”

Dearborn ranks at or near the top of several offensive categories in the Atlantic 10. She is first in triples (8), runs (44), hits (69) and total bases (144); second in home runs (16) and slugging percentage (.818); third in RBIs (44); and fourth in batting average (.392).

With its senior third baseman leading the way, Fordham went 38-17, won the A10 regular-season title and earned the top seed for this week’s tournament. The Lady Rams are scheduled to face No. 5 seed Charlotte today at 1 p.m.

“A lot of people assume I did some different training for this season,” Dearborn said. “Honestly, I took last summer off. I did not pick up a bat for about two months.

“I knew this was my last year and the last time I was going to play the game, so I had to make the best out of it. Having that mentality made batting so much easier. I saw the ball like a beach ball all year.”

As much as winning Player of the Year means to Dearborn, it would be even more special if Fordham could win the Atlantic 10 Championships and earn the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

“We’re definitely capable of winning the title. That’s our priority and what we’ve set out to do,” Dearborn said. “I know that we’re going to come home with the championship.”

The Fordham softball team went 3-0 in the Atlantic 10 championship, defeating Charlotte, Massachusetts and Saint Joseph’s to earn its berth to the NCAA softball regional.

In the regional, the Rams defeated Penn State, 2-0, in the first round, before falling to Oregon, 2-0, in the second, and being defeated with a 5-2 loss to Penn State in 16 innings in consolation play.