COLCHESTER, Vt. - Saint Michael's College softball first-year Jenna Devens (Parsippany, N.J./Parsippany) was named Northeast-10 Conference Rookie of the Year on Thursday, when she was also among 13 student-athletes from around the league who landed on the NE10 All-Conference first team.
Devens was one of 41 all-conference selections, being recognized as the designated player on the first team. She also placed on the 13-woman NE10 All-Rookie Team. Devens joined Meggan (Roberge) Dulude '07 as the only major conference award winners in program history, as Dulude was the 2004 NE10 Rookie of the Year and two-time NE10 Pitcher of the Year. Devens is the Purple Knights' sixth all-conference first team pick, and first since Stephanie Frank '13 as a utility player for the 2013 season. Only Devens and Casey Brooks '07, in 2004, have earned a spot on the first team following their first-year seasons.
Devens ended the year with a school-record 12 home runs, finishing as the NE10's regular-season leader in dingers. She is tied for second among NCAA Division II first-years in home runs. Devens' 30 RBI were two shy of a school record, while that and her 50 hits were each the most by any Purple Knight in 13 seasons. Devens slugged .779 this spring, the best by a Purple and Gold player since 1980. She enters her sophomore year tied for fourth in school history in career homers. Devens is tied for 23rd in the nation in home runs per game (0.31) and 30th in slugging, good for third in the East Region. She is second in the region in homers and ninth in batting average (.410).
Among all NE10 players, Devens is first in total bases (95), second in slugging percentage, third in batting average, fourth in on-base percentage (.459), seventh in hits, 10th in RBI and 13th in doubles (9). She also scored 22 runs, the most by a Purple Knight since Frank in 2010, and drew 12 walks while striking out just 14 times in 135 plate appearances. Devens went errorless on 36 chances in the field. Over 41.1 innings across 13 appearances in the circle, Devens fanned 32 batters. She made eight starts, completing a pair of games.
Devens put together two different eight-game hitting streaks this spring and failed to reach base at least once on either a hit or a walk only six times in 39 contests. Devens turned in 17 multi-hit games, first during a 2-for-3 performance with three runs, three RBI, a walk and her first college homer against Felician (N.J.) University on March 13. Devens struck out seven while yielding three earned runs during a complete game for her first college win on March 15, against Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She was 3-for-5 with a two-run home run against Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania on March 17 and 3-for-4 with an RBI in both contests at Castleton University on April 5. Devens finished 3-for-3 with two walks and a home run during a doubleheader at regional power Saint Anselm College on April 12 before batting 3-for-4 with four RBI and a home run in the second game of a twinbill against Southern New Hampshire University on April 25. Over 12 games in her final week of the season, Devens slugged seven home runs, including blasting a pair versus The College of Saint Rose in April 24's opener.
Thanks in large part to Devens, Saint Michael's finished as the NE10's regular-season leader in home runs, with a school-record 35. Otherwise, the Purple and Gold put together its best offensive showing nearly across the board in 13 years, posting its highest slugging percentage (.385) and on-base percentage (.309) and most runs (147), hits (259) and RBI (129) since 2009. This year's team matched that 2009 squad for the most walks (78) since 2007. The Purple Knights' run and RBI figures were both good for third in program annals.