By: Jim Fenton, The Enterprise
Dayna Marchant of East Bridgewater has once again been selected to the All-Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference first team in softball.
The Framingham State University junior right fielder received the honor for the third year in a row after helping the Rams establish a program record with 31 wins.
Marchant became Framingham State's all-time leader for hits in a season with 62 and led the MASCAC with a .422 batting average.
The former Enterprise All-Scholastic also led the conference in runs (39), hits and triples (five) and was second in on-base percentage (.482), fifth in stolen bases (14) and eighth in slugging percentage (.503).
She also made the National Fast-Pitch Coaches Association All-Region third team and was selected an ECAC Division 3 New England All-Star.
"She hits like no one I've ever seen before,″ said Rams coach Larry Miller, whose team won the MASCAC tournament and went 1-2 in the NCAA Division 3 tourney. "She goes up there with an attacking mentality that she's going to make the defense make a play and get her out.
"She hits the ball hard, she hits the ball soft, she lays down a bunt. She puts the pressure on the defense and then she'll catch you and put one through the outfield. And she's got great speed.″
Marchant started for Framingham State has soon as she joined the program in 2015.
She batted .380 with 41 hits in 33 games as a freshman and had a .367 average with 47 hits in 39 games as a sophomore.
Marchant broke the Framingham State record of 51 hits in a season during the opening round of the MASCAC tournament against Worcester State on May 4.
She went 9 for 11 in the conference tourney and was 4 for 11 in the NCAA tourney.
"We're lucky to have her,″ said Miller. "With anything, you play almost every single inning for three years as a college athlete and you have to get better just by playing that much. But she puts in such great effort in the offseason keeping in good shape.
"She's always one of the hardest-working athletes at practice every day. The mental side of the game for her is what has improved the most, and that's improved everything else.
"She came in as a wide-eyed freshman and was a great athlete and has really learned how to play the game with her skills, kind of unique skills the way she hits with the power slap. She's found a way to be really effective at the college level.″
Through three seasons, Marchant is hitting .392 with 150 hits in 166 games. She has scored 91 runs and has 12 doubles, 10 triples and two home runs.
The leadoff hitter, who will be a captain for a second straight year in 2018, has a .443 on-base percentage during her career.
"Can you hit much better than .422?″ said Miller. "The work ethic's going to be there. She's going to put in the time and the effort to get better.
"She puts our team in position to win games.″
Framingham State, which was 13-27 in 2016, improved to 31-13 this spring.
Also helping the Rams was junior captain and shortstop Megan Downing, a Whitman-Hanson Regional High graduate.
Downing, a three-year starter, batted .279 had 36 hits and tied for the team lead with nine doubles.
"She makes the plays,″ said Miller. "She gets it done. She's the dirt dog of our team, always diving for a ball, sliding into a base. She really stepped up come playoff time.″