May 4, 1998
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova, Pa.-- Seven Villanova softball players were named to the Big East All-Conference Team on Friday, May 1, at the Big East banquet held at the University Notre Dame, the site of this seasons conference tournament. Wildcat senior Kelli McCoy, along with sophomores Megan OLeary and Mia Brickhouse were named to the All-Big East first team, while seniors Brenda Roach, Jessica DeLuca and Kelly Sparks and freshman Jackie Pasquerella were named to the All-Conference second team.
A catcher from Endicott, N.Y. and Union-Endicott High School, McCoy hit .314 this season and finished second on the Wildcat team with 29 RBI. In Big East Conference play, she batted .375 ranking her fourth in the conference in that category. For McCoy, this was her second all-conference honor, as she was also a second team selection as a freshman in 1995.
After a tremendous freshman year last season, OLeary (Natick, Mass./ Natick H.S.) had an even more impressive campaign in 1998. Batting .329 overall, the Wildcat second baseman led the Villanova team in both homeruns (5) and RBI (42). In conference play, she was a force hitting .422 with four homeruns and 17 RBI in 14 games. Her 42 RBI ranks her second in the league in RBI per game at 1.21.
The Wildcats third first-team selection was outfielder Mia Brickhouse (Philadelphia, Pa./ Girard Academy Music Program), who reeked havoc for opponents at the plate as well as on the basepaths. Batting .343 with 32 runs scored, she also posted a .377 on base percentage and stole 25 bases in 25 attempts.
On the Big East second team for the first time in her Villanova career is pitcher Brenda Roach (Citrus, Calif., St. Francis H.S.). Roach had her finest all-around season in 1998, finishing with a 9-3 record and a 1.98 ERA. In conference play, she tallied a team-high four victories and had a 2.92 ERA, striking out 12 batters in 26.1 innings.
Receiving second team All-Big East honors for the second time in her illustrious career, DeLuca (Roselle Park, N.J., Roselle Park H.S.) had her finest season as a Wildcat in 1998. She led the Villanova team in six offensive categories and finished first in the Big East Conference in hits (68), runs (47), and stolen bases (27) and third in batting (.382) for overall games.
Sparks, like DeLuca, also received All-Big East second team honors for the second time in her career (1997 and 1998). The 1995 Big East Rookie-of-the-Year, she wound down her Villanova career with yet another stellar season in 1998, hitting .309 with 26 RBI in 52 games at firstbase.
In only her first season on the Main Line, Pasquerella began her Villanova career with a bang, showcasing her talents in the field and at the plate. The Wildcat shortstop led the Big East in batting for overall games with a .397 average. In addition, Pasquerella finished first on the Villanova team in on-base percentage (.434) and third in hits (54).
Together, these seven Villanova stars helped lead the Wildcats to a school record 36 victories in 1998. After finishing the 1997 season 24-28, Villanova made a dramatic turnaround this season posting a 36-17 overall record and an 8-6 mark in Big East Conference play.