LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth senior Marissa Spinuzzi (Fair Lawn, N.J.) became the first Corsair softball player in over two decades to earn National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) First Team All-New England accolades as announced by the organization on Monday.
Spinuzzi was selected by the region's head coaches to the First Team at second base, joining Jill Miller as the second Corsair to make the All-Region lists in as many years. Miller was tabbed to the All-New England Third Team as an at-large selection in 2016. Spinuzzi is the first UMass Dartmouth First Team honoree since Jen Pfister in 1995, and was one of just three Little East Conference players named to the 2017 NFCA All-Region teams.
In 2017, Spinuzzi paced the Corsairs at the dish as the clean-up hitter, batting a team-best .373 for the fifth-highest average in the LEC. In 40 games, she drove in a team-high 30 RBIs with 18 extra-base hits, consisting of 13 doubles, a triple and four home runs for a .575 slugging percentage. The team captain additionally paced UMass Dartmouth with eight stolen bases in 11 attempts as part of a team-best .417 on-base percentage. Defensively, Spinuzzi was highly consistent, posting a .960 fielding percentage on the season with 132 put-outs and 60 assists. Despite 15 multi-hit games on the season, no outing was more timely than her 4-for-5 performance on April 29 at Keene State, as she carried the Corsairs to an 8-5 win in nine innings with seven RBIs including a pair of three-run homers.
A four-year starter, Spinuzzi closes her career as one of UMass Dartmouth's most consistent hitters. She sits in the top-five in program history in hits (second, 149), home runs (second, 8), RBIs (third, 88), doubles (second, 36), slugging percentage (third, .476), total bases (second, 215) and stolen bases (third, 26). Spinuzzi set the single-season program record with 77 total bases in 2017 and tied for the program record with her four homers.
UMass Dartmouth wrapped up its second-straight 20-plus win season under seventh-year head coach Amy Sasin in 2017. At 22-19 overall, the Corsairs cruised to a 7-0 start to the season at the Gene Cusic Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. before posting a 7-7 mark in the closely-contested LEC. UMass Dartmouth secured the No. 5 seed for the LEC Tournament with a pair of walk-off wins over Southern Maine of April 30 and upset No. 2 seed Eastern Connecticut in the tournament opener before the Warriors prevailed in a 10-inning elimination game two days later.