As the third softball coach in three years at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Mass., Kristi Lyman had heard of Courtney Wallace, but didn’t know her.

Well, Wallace was better than advertised.

Wallace, a senior from Steep Falls (Bonny Eagle), led the Gators with a .461 batting average and finished as the school’s career leader in hits (201), triples (12) and total bases (364) while finishing second in doubles (46), home runs (31) and RBI (140).

“I knew what type of player she was, so I was expecting great things from her,” said Lyman. “And from the moment I stepped on campus, she was willing to do anything and take on any challenge to make the season a success.”

The Gators were inexperienced and finished just 6-25, but Wallace was a positive force on and off the field. She was the offensive leader, played four positions (catcher, first base, center field and shortstop — not easy for a left-handed thrower) while battling injuries and became a mentor for the young players.

“I didn’t want my legacy to be all about my stats,” said Wallace. “I want it to be that I made contributions to the other players.”

Lyman said Wallace needn’t worry about her legacy. She was a four-time first-team all-Great Northeast Athletic Conference selection and recently shared the school’s athlete of the year award. “I haven’t really seen anything like her,” said Lyman.

Wallace spent a lot of time working with sophomore catcher Kayla Neilsen of Saco (Thornton Academy), who stepped in when Wallace’s thumb injury prevented her from catching. “I’ve known Kayla for five years now,” said Wallace. “We played on the same travel team. She’s always been the closest person I’ve worked with and she’s the one person who would yell at me when I was doing something wrong.”

Not that Wallace needed much coaxing. Ever since she arrived on campus, she was one of the team’s top hitters. And her hitting legacy was sealed in her final game.

Playing a doubleheader against Emmanuel at Roberto Clemente Field in Boston, Wallace hit two home runs in the opener to become the school’s all-time hits leader. Then in the second game, she went 3 for 4, including her third homer of the day, to finish with 201 career hits.

“Going into the games, I knew I needed four hits for 200,” said Wallace. “And I also knew that our last scheduled game was cancelled, so this was my last chance to do it. I didn’t plan on doing it with three home runs, but I got it and it’s one of those things I’m so proud of.”

Lyman said she should be.

“It a big deal, it is a very big deal,” she said. “Two hundred hits is a tough thing to do no matter what level you’re at. It’s a milestone very few people reach. It’s a testament to who she is.”

In addition to softball, Wallace played field hockey and threw the shot put in the indoor track season in high school. At Pine Manor, she joined the cross country team her sophomore season as a way to stay in shape. “I wasn’t able to run a mile in high school but put in three seasons of cross country here,” she said.

Next up after graduation: a job. Wallace, 22, will graduate with a degree in biology and hopes to get a job as a lab assistant.

“I’d do that for a year or two, then go back for my Ph.D.,” said Wallace, who also hopes to coach. “My ultimate goal is to work in a research lab and discover something amazing.”

LACROSSE

Three local athletes are significant contributors to the Hamilton women’s team, ranked first in Division III: sophomore midfielder Kate Otley of Cumberland (Greely) has 18 goals, six assists, 20 ground balls and 21 draw controls; sophomore midfielder Ashley Allen of South Portland (Waynflete) has 12 goals, one assist and 12 ground balls; freshman midfielder Mariah Monks of Cape Elizabeth (Waynflete) has six goals, two assists and 12 ground balls.

Keene State junior midfielder Lauren Sawyer of Westbrook leads NCAA Division III in two categories: assists (56) and assists per game (4.0). She has 20 goals and 56 assists for the Owls, who won the Little East Conference regular-season title for the first time.

Husson junior Megan Clement of Brunswick was named North Atlantic Conference player of the year. She had 23 goals and two assists in five conference games. She was joined on the all-conference team by junior midfielder Caitlyn Butterfield of Gorham.

Sophomore midfielder Mollie Fitzpatrick of Falmouth (Cheverus) had 23 goals, 10 assists, 47 ground balls, 19 draw controls and 16 caused turnovers for Norwich, which won the GNAC title and will play in the NCAA Division III tournament on May 12.

Endicott junior defender Andrew Pochebit of Portland (Cheverus) was a second-team selection in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.

Senior attack Bryan MacPhie of Scarborough and freshman attack Ryan Hunt of Scarborough each had a goal for Merrimack in a 12-6 win over Assumption. MacPhie has 15 goals and 14 assists for the Warriors, and Hunt has two goals.

BASEBALL

University of Maine at Farmington freshman shortstop Brett Wallingford of Sanford recently was named North Atlantic Conference rookie of the week.

SOFTBALL

Senior shortstop Ashley Anderson of Portland finished her career in style for The College of Saint Rose. In her final game, Anderson drove in nine runs with two grand slams and a solo home run as Saint Rose beat Stonehill 11-8 in the second game of a doubleheader. Anderson led the Golden Knights with a .344 batting average, 12 doubles, seven home runs and 27 RBI. She also scored 18 runs.

Niagara University sophomore pitcher Julie DiMatteo recently was named Mid-American Conference pitcher of the week after throwing a no-hitter against Rider. She was 3-0 for the week with a 1.20 ERA and 11 strikeouts. On the season, DiMatteo is 11-3 with a 3.45 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 110 innings. She has 11 complete games.

Niagara senior outfielder Kristin Kill of South Portland was hitting .325 with 26 runs scored and 12 RBI.

Husson freshman third baseman Aimee Mortensen of Biddeford was named North Atlantic Conference rookie of the year. Mortensen hit .500 in conference games with 13 runs and 15 RBI. She was also named first-team all-NAC.

UMaine-Farmington junior catcher/first baseman McKell Barnes of Durham (Brunswick) was named to the all-NAC first team after hitting .507 with 21 RBI and three home runs. UMF junior pitcher/second baseman Jess Timmreck of Brunswick was named to the second team.

Freshman infielder Catie Funk of Scarborough had a strong first season at Babson. Funk hit .433 with team highs in doubles (16), runs (41) and RBI (35) She tied for the team home run lead with five. Sophomore catcher Annie Dursema of Yarmouth batted .304 with six runs, nine RBI and one home run.

Junior first baseman Olivia Ryan of Gray (Gray-New Gloucester) is hitting .328 for Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn. She has three home runs, 15 runs and 21 RBI.

Bentley sophomore catcher Megan Blier of Wells hit .286 with 10 runs and eight RBI for the Falcons.

TRACK AND FIELD

Keene State junior Allison Chamberlain of Scarborough received the school’s scholar-athlete award. Chamberlain helped the Owls to the Little East Conference cross country championship, then took second in the 800-meter run in the NCAA Division III indoor championships. She earned two victories in the Alliance/Little East championships, winning the 400 and the 3,000. An architecture major, she maintains a 4.0 grade-point average.

Colby junior Emma Linhard of Brunswick earned two all-New England Small College Athletic Conference honors, finishing third in the 1,500 and running a leg on the third-place 3,200 relay team in the NESCAC championships. Junior Danielle Sheppard of Kittery (Traip Academy) was third in the high jump (5 feet, 5 inches) and also earned all-conference honors.

Lehigh sophomore Katherine Pierce of Alfred (Massabesic) recently was named Patriot League female track athlete of the week when she set a school mark in the outdoor 10,000 with a time of 36:10.82.

Bentley freshman Craig Robinson of Scarborough recently finished second in the 3,000 steeplechase (10:02.32) at the Skyhawk Invitational at Stonehill College. In the women’s meet, Bentley senior Monika Czurylo of Portland (Deering) ran a season-best 13.24 seconds in the 100.

 

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

[email protected]