This is a campus on which the significance of the names Downing (sophomore lacrosse midfielder Greg) and Bocklet (teammate Mike) are rapidly approaching that of Jordan (you know who he is) and Pippen.

But although that tandem of young Stags is storming into the national spotlight, another tag-team of even younger Stags is making some noise as well: freshmen softball players Julia Jacoby and Erin Frank, who, at week’s end, were both among the leading performers on a team that has won 10 of its last 11 before dropping a pair of games last weekend to Manhattan.

While the Stags have had more than their share of veteran contributors (upperclassmen Cagney Ringnalda ’07 and Nat Visone ’06 rank first and second in team batting average), Jacoby, a speedy centerfielder from San Diego, and Frank, a slugging catcher from Scottsdale, Ariz., have stormed onto the college softball scene, impressing their teammates, coaches and even themselves.

“I’ve always been through my ups and downs performance wise,” said Frank. “But none of my ups have been this attention grabbing.”

Frank, who has settled into the middle of Coach Julie Brzezinski’s lineup, led the team at week’s end in home runs (seven), RBI’s (36), total bases (67) and slugging percentage (.626.), drawing praise from her coach.

“She’s a long-ball threat who smacks the ball hard and puts a tremendous amount of pressure on opposing pitchers,” Brzezinski said.

As for Jacoby, the proud owner of a .313 average coming into Tuesday’s games, Brzezinski calls her a “spray hitter who goes with all pitches.”

At week’s end she tied for the team lead with 45 hits and was second with 27 runs scored.

“Julia is one of those players who constantly wants more balls to hit or field, and that attitude has helped her performance this season,” said pitcher Tara Hansen ’06.

Like their counterparts on the lacrosse field, the Stags on the diamond have a unique mixture of youth and experience. Hansen, who has done the bulk of the pitching along with hitting in the lead-off spot, was named Co-Player of the Week in the MAAC last week after she hit .412 at the plate and went 4-0 on the mound.

“The veterans have been great helping the freshmen adjust to college ball as well as college life,” Jacoby said.

Brzezinski and company hope that the Stags (23-17, 4-2 MAAC) can put together a string of wins when it counts the most – in the MAAC tournament.

The Stags went 12-4 in the league each of the past two seasons, but couldn’t get over the hump. With this core of young talent, the Stags hope that this year they’ll get to the pinnacle of MAAC success – and stay there for a while.

“Obviously we’re not looking too far ahead, but when asked, we’re very excited about the future of our program,” said Brzezinski.

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