WINTHROP, Mass. – Simmons University's Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Softball Player of the Week for the week of March 18-24, it was announced today by the league.
Vann becomes the third Shark in as many weeks to earn the GNAC's top weekly honor. Junior Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) was chosen last week and sophomore Christie Bott (Seaford, N.Y.) was tabbed for the week of March 4-10.
Vann hit safely in three of four games for Simmons, while registering multiple hits in a pair of contests. The sophomore batted .455 (5-11) with four runs batted in to go with four runs scored, three walks and a home run and was a stingy out on strikes, going 16 plate appearances without striking out. The left fielder posted a .571 on-base percentage, while owning a .727 slugging mark to combine for a healthy 1.298 OPS for the week. Vann was flawless in the field, handling all six chances without a miscue and recorded an outfield assist as well. A graduate of Mountain View High School, she began the week by going 1-4 with a walk and scored a run to go with a run batted in and cut down a runner trying to advance to third base on a fly ball vs. nationally-ranked number five Massachusetts Institute of Technology on March 20. The Psychology major capped the week by collecting multiple hits in each game of a twinbill with undefeated Brandeis University and was a combined 4-7 with a home run, three RBI and three runs scored.
The second-year standout ranks fifth on the team with a .321 (18-56) batting average for the season and stands among the league's top six in runs scored (12/3rd), hits (18/4th), total bases (24/4th), home runs (1/5th) and walks (6/6th) in 18 games of action. Vann has primarily served as the Sharks' two-hole hitter in addition to seeing time from the leadoff spot and has proven to be one of the team's most dependable small-ball hitters, putting down three successful sacrifice bunts to lead the league. She has shown very good plate discipline, striking out on just six occasions in 65 plate appearances. The West Coast native has hit safely in 14 of 18 games for Simmons and has put together two hitting streaks of four or more, including a string of six contests with at least one hit from March 8-20. The outfielder has handled all 26 chances without an error and has recorded three assists.
Vann has been one of the team's most consistent hitters throughout her collegiate career, averaging nearly a hit per game with 58 knocks in 59 games to compile a lifetime batting mark of .322 (58-180), while scoring 53 runs and knocking in 30 from near the top of the Simmons order. She has shown good power with five career home runs in addition to eight triples and nine doubles. Vann made an impression right away in her first year, being named to the GNAC All-Conference Third Team and ranked second in the nation in triples and placing second among conference leaders in runs scored with 41.
The Sharks are currently 3-15 on the season and return to action on Tuesday, March 26 when they host Eastern Nazarene College for a 5:00 p.m. start at Daly Field.