Penn State Altoona softball team earns postseason honors

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The College Sports Communicators organization announced its list of Academic All-District softball student-athletes on Tuesday, May 17, which included Penn State Altoona student-athletes Gianna Hoppel and Madison Lucas.

Credit: Penn State

NORTH BOSTON, N.Y. – The Penn State Altoona softball team was well-represented in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference’s (AMCC) postseason honors, which were announced on Thursday, May 12.

Head coach Bill Graham was selected the AMCC Softball Coach of the Year, and six Penn State Altoona players were voted to the all-conference team, as first baseman Gianna Hoppel (Lewistown, Pennsylvania/Mifflin County) and shortstop Olivia Smith (Martinsburg, Pennsylvania/Central) were first-team All-AMCC picks, while pitcher Alyssa Fisher (Lock Haven, Pennsylvania/Central Mountain), catcher Brooke Boonie (Petersburg, Pennsylvania/Juniata Valley), second baseman Jayde Burge (Philipsburg, Pennsylvania/Philipsburg-Osceola), and outfielder Cameryn Feathers (Martinsburg, Pennsylvania/Central) were second-team selections.

Graham, in his first season with Penn State Altoona, helped guide the Lions to a 20-13 overall record, including a 12-4 mark in the AMCC that placed the team second in the conference’s regular-season standings. The team’s total of 20 overall wins was its most since 2018, and its 12 AMCC wins were the most since 2017. Penn State Altoona also made a strong run in the AMCC Tournament, reaching the championship game and finishing as the conference runners-up – the program’s best finish in the AMCC Tournament since 2014.

This season, the Lions led the AMCC in slugging percentage (.429) while ranking second in hits (299), doubles (52), home runs (7), extra-base hits (66), walks (101), batting average (.333), and on-base percentage (.402).

First Team All-AMCC

Hoppel enjoyed a strong first year that saw her bat heat up as the season went on. The first baseman appeared in 29 total games, including making 26 starts. Hoppel led the AMCC in batting average (.462) this spring while also ranking second in on-base percentage (.488), sixth in sacrifice hits (4) and home runs (1), ninth in slugging percentage (.538), 16th in hits (36), 20th in runs scored (21), 22nd in total bases (42), and 26th in runs batted in (16). She fielded her position well, finishing 13th in the AMCC in fielding percentage (.982) while ranking fourth in putouts (160).

Smith started all 33 games in her second season with Penn State Altoona and made a big impact, both with her bat and her defense. She hit a league-high 11 doubles while also ranking second in sacrifice flies (3), third in extra-base hits (14), seventh in runs scored (26) and triples, 11th in total bases (54), 12th in slugging percentage (.514), 15th in hits (37) and RBI (20), 16th in stolen bases (4), 17th in batting average (.352), 24th in walks (9), and 25th in on-base percentage (.403). With the glove, Smith ranked third among all AMCC fielders with 90 assists and was also 26th in double plays (2), 27th in fielding percentage (.966), and 38th in putouts (53). The shortstop was selected the AMCC Player of the Week on March 7.

This is Smith’s first career selection to an All-AMCC team.

Second Team All-AMCC

Fisher had a strong showing in the pitching circle for the Lions in her first season, in which she made 20 total appearances, including 13 starts. The right-hander ranks second in the AMCC in shutouts (2), fourth in wins (9), sixth in appearances (20), ninth in complete games (6) and earned run average (4.49), 11th in starts (13), 13th in innings pitched (68 2/3), and 15th in strikeouts (25), strikeouts per game (2.55), and opponent batting average (.317). Fisher was chosen as the AMCC Pitcher of the Week on April 18.

Boonie emerged as one of the top hitters in the conference during her first campaign, in which she played in 31 games and started 29 of them. In the AMCC, she ranks second in home runs (3), eighth in slugging percentage (.548), 10th in on-base percentage (.448), 12th in extra-base hits (9), 13th in walks (11) and batting average (.369), 15th in doubles (6), 18th in total bases (46), 26th in hits (31) and RBI (16), and 28th in runs scored (18). Boonie was also named the AMCC Player of the Week on March 28.

Burge capped her four-year Penn State Altoona career with a strong campaign, during which she started all 33 games for the Lions. The second baseman led the AMCC in doubles (11) while also ranking fifth in RBI (26), sixth in walks (14), seventh in extra-base hits (11), 11th in sacrifice hits (3), 16th in hits (36) and total bases (47), 20th in on-base percentage (.414), 29th in slugging percentage (.427), 30th in batting average (.327), and 39th in runs scored (14). In the field, Burge was 21st in the conference in putouts (75), 31st in assists (26), and 39th in fielding percentage (.953).

This is Burge’s second career selection to an AMCC All-Conference team, as she was a third team All-AMCC pick last season.

Feathers showed herself to be one of the top hitters in the AMCC during her first year with Penn State Altoona, in which she started 32 of her team’s 33 games. The second-year student-athlete ranks in the top 10 in eight different statistical offensive categories in the AMCC, being third in home runs (2), fourth in slugging percentage (.570), fifth in batting average (.420), sixth in on-base percentage (.454), seventh in hits (42), total bases (57), and stolen bases (7), and 10th in extra-base hits (10). Feathers is also 12th in runs scored (23) and doubles (7), 15th in RBI (20), and 20th in triples (1). She also received AMCC Player of the Week honors on April 18.