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 April 1-7, it was announced today by the league.
The honor marks the second time this season that Vann has received the accolade after being tabbed for the week of March 18-24 and marks the first time since 2012 that a Shark has been a multiple recipient of the GNAC top weekly award when Emily Cunningham earned the award twice. A Simmons player has been named the GNAC's Player of the Week for five consecutive weeks, which is a first in league history and by four different Simmons players. Sophomore Marissa Santoro (Franklin, Mass.) earned the award last week, while junior Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) was chosen for the week of March 11-17 and sophomore Christie Bott (Seaford, N.Y.) was selected for the week of March 4-10. Simmons is the first school in conference history to boast four different softball players of the week in a season.
Vann was outstanding in six games for the Sharks, hitting safely in five of them, including four multi-hit outings during the six-game win streak. The sophomore batted .579 (11-19) with a walk to post a .591 on-base percentage and cracked four triples and a double to contribute to a 1.105 slugging percentage as part of a 1.696 OPS for the week. The left fielder also scored at least one run in every game and finished the week with 11 runs scored, while driving in seven runs and stealing five bases in as many attempts from the two-hole in the lineup. Vann struck out just once in 22 plate appearances and was flawless in the field with three putouts. The second-year player was five-for-seven with three RBI, a triple, a double, two stolen bases and four runs scored in a twinbill vs. Eastern Nazarene College on April 3. She set the school record and was one shy of the NCAA standard with three triples in game two of a doubleheader vs. Regis (Mass.) on April 6 as part of a 4-6 effort that saw her drive in a pair of runs and score five times in addition to stealing a pair of bases and drawing a walk vs. the Pride for the day. A graduate of Mountain View High School, Vann capped the week by going 2-6 with a double, two runs batted in, a stolen base and two runs scored at Albertus Magnus College on April 7.
For the season, Vann is among the best offensive players in the league, ranking within the top 15 in 12 different offensive categories and ranks in the top five in seven different standards. The West Coast native leads the league in triples (four), sacrifice hits (five) and sacrifice flies (two), while placing third with 23 runs scored, fourth with 30 hits, and fifth in both total bases (46) and extra-base hits (10). The outfielder is batting .375 (30-80) with 14 runs batted in, six stolen bases and eight bases on balls, while maintaining a .575 slugging average and a .429 on-base percentage in 26 games. She has hit safely in 20 of 26 contests and put together a season-long hitting streak of six consecutive games from March 8-20. Vann has scored at least one run in each of her last six outings and has registered multiple hits on eight occasions. The Psychology major has been one of the toughest hitters in the league to strike out as well, going down on strikes just eight times in 96 plate appearances and her glove has been outstanding, registering 32 chances without an error, while recording three outfield assists.
Vann has been one of the team's most consistent hitters throughout her collegiate career, averaging just over a hit per game with 70 knocks in 67 games to compile a lifetime batting mark of .343 (70-204), while scoring 64 runs and knocking in 38 from near the top of the Simmons order. She has shown good power with five career home runs in addition to 11 doubles and a triple total of 12, which ranks as the second-most in school history. 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 riding a six-game win streak and have won seven of their last eight to improve to 10-16 on the season, including a perfect 4-0 to sit atop the South Division in the GNAC standings. Simmons returns to the diamond on Thursday, April 11 when it heads to Framingham, Mass. to take on Framingham State University for a 3:00 p.m. doubleheader.