UMass senior Jena Cozza named softball third-team All-American

  • UMass’ Jena Cozza bats against Rhode Island, April 24 in Amherst. Cozza was named third-team All-American on Wednesday. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

Published: 5/30/2018 11:39:55 PM

UMass softball senior Jena Cozza became the 20th All-American honoree in program history when she was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American Third-Team, Wednesday.

Cozza is the first to earn all-America honors since 2012 and is the first to earn NFCA recognition since 2011.

Cozza set UMass single-season records in four offensive categories, including slugging percentage and on-base percentage. The senior finished the regular season ranked in the top-three nationally in batting average, on-base percentage, runs per game and slugging percentage. She was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.

The first-team all-conference selection posted 22 multi-hit games and 16 games with multiple RBIs as she finished her career as the program leader in on-base percentage and hit-by-pitches.

Cozza finished the season with a .482 batting average, .978 slugging and .636 on-base percentage.

Women’s basketball

UMass coach Tory Verdi announced on Wednesday that Mike Leflar has joined the program as assistant coach.

Leflar makes the trek to western Massachusetts after three seasons at Northeastern in Boston.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to welcome Mike to the University of Massachusetts,” Verdi said in a statement. “I feel that his level of experience and knowledge of the game will greatly improve our program. His resume speaks volumes. He has impacted every single program that he has been a part of and we expect him to do the same here.”

At Northeastern, Leflar was promoted from assistant coach to associate head coach prior to the 2017-18 campaign. In his final year in Boston, the Huskies won 16 games, including a program-record 11 victories in the CAA, capping the season with a trip to the WBI Tournament. That marked the program’s first postseason appearance since 1999.

“I am very thankful and excited to join Tory Verdi and his staff at the University of Massachusetts,” Leflar said in a statement. “Coaching in the region, I have always looked at UMass women’s basketball as having great potential. Over the past two seasons, Coach Verdi has built a great foundation. I am excited to be a part of the next step, helping UMass climb to the top of the Atlantic 10.”

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