Kenzie Dore of Holden on Wednesday was named the Schutt Sports/NCAA Division III Softball National Freshman of the Year.
The hard-hitting infielder is the first Husson University athlete in any sport to be so honored.
“My mind is blown away. I never expected anything like this,” Dore said. “I hope my teammates and coaches know none of this would have been possible without them.
“I came in just wanting to play a role on the team,” she said. “I guess I did. I may never have a season like this again so I’m just going to take it all in.”
Earlier this week, Dore became the first Eagle to be named a National Fastpitch Coaches Association first-team All-American.
She also is one of 15 finalists for the Schutt Sports/NFCA National Player of the Year in Division III and is the only freshman in that select group.
Dore previously was chosen as the North Atlantic Conference Rookie of the Year and was the first player in Husson history to gain first-team All-New England recognition.
The former Brewer High School standout batted .455 with four home runs, three triples and eight doubles among her 45 hits. She drove in 38 runs and struck out just seven times in 115 plate appearances. She had a .717 slugging percentage and a .513 on-base percentage.
Dore strung together a 21-game hitting streak and hit safely in 28 of 32 games as Husson finished as the runner-up to Tufts in the NCAA Division III Regional that was hosted by the Eagles.
She said hitting coach Jenn Plourde played an instrumental role in her success and is looking forward to working with her again next season.
Dore is proud of the fact Husson went 2-2 in the regional and finished second, because it proved they could be competitive with the other top teams in the region.
She primarily played third base and made a sparking lunging snare of a line drive with the bases loaded in Husson’s 1-0 championship-round loss to Tufts.
Husson coach Diann Ramsey called Dore’s season incredible.
“She definitely exceeded expectations. We give them the tools to be successful and she took them and capitalized. She is so dedicated. She is a really hard worker,” Ramsey said.