It was announced Wednesday that Seton Hall softball standouts Danielle DeStaso, Yasmin Harrell and Alexis Walkden were named to the first-team All-Big East for the 2015 season, making them the first trio to receive such honors in SHU history.
Walkden, a freshman, was also unanimously named the Big East Rookie of the Year, the first in Hall history. She led the Pirates offensively with a team-best .374 batting average to go along with conference-highs in homeruns (20), RBI (50) and runs scored (38).
Walkden, who is second in the nation among newcomers with 20 longballs, broke Seton Hall’s single-season home run record with a two-dinger day on April 26 in the Pirates’ 5-4 win over Butler.
Harrell’s .326 batting average was second on the team behind Walkden, but the junior totaled one more hit and eight more stolen bases. Her 56 hits and 14 stolen bases rank third in the conference. Harrell played wherever the Pirates needed this season, spending time at shortstop and in the outfield before taking over the second base job.
While her fellow honorees earned their awards at the plate and in the field, DeStaso was deadly on the mound. The senior righty, making her third consecutive appearance on the All-Conference team and second straight on the first-team, totaled 11 wins and 129 strikeouts, both team highs. She averaged over six strikeouts a game, fourth-most in the Big East.
DeStaso was also impressive at the plate. Her slugging percentage of .652 was the eighth-highest in the conference, giving Seton Hall two of the top eight sluggers in the Big East. She hit a career-high 11 homers in 2015.
These awards are icing on the cake for the Pirates, who finished the regular season 24-27 (10-10 in conference play) and clinched a berth in the Big East Tournament with a win over Georgetown on May 2.
Seton Hall will be the No. 3 seed in the tournament, which will be played from May 8-9 at DePaul’s home field in Rosemont, Ill.
Thomas Duffy can be reached at thomas.duffy @student.shu.edu or on twitter @TJDhoops.