Softball: Three Cadets earn GNAC All-Conference honors

Softball - GNAC All-Conference selections - Rachel Johnson, Maddie Miller and Naomi Rinaldo


WINTHROP, Mass. – The Norwich University softball team landed three players on the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) All-Conference teams released on Monday afternoon. 

Sophomore pitcher Rachel Johnson (Stockbridge, Vt.) led the Cadets' selections earning a spot on the first team, while sophomores Madison Miller (Long Lake, N.Y.) and Naomi Rinaldo (Middlefield, Conn.) earned second and third team honors respectively. 

Johnson is now a two-time GNAC All-Conference selection after being named to the third team as a rookie. She had a historic second-year with the Maroon & Gold, leading the GNAC with 184 strikeouts and a 9.56 strikeout/per-7-inning ratio that ranks in the top 10 nationally. 

Johnson went 8-4 in league games this season with a 2.08 earned run average. Overall, she had a 10-9 record with one save and a 2.96 ERA in 134.2 innings pitched over 27 appearances. In her first two seasons, she has compiled a 19-19 record with 310 strikeouts in 262 innings pitched. 

Miller had a breakout offensive season as the second-year catcher ranked ninth in the GNAC in batting average with a blistering .404 average. She had 46 hits to rank second on the team and had 16 RBIs to tie for third on the squad. 

Miller also had four walks and 19 runs scored, while posting a .424 on-base percentage and .447 slugging percentage. Her 19 runs scored were fourth on the team. Her batting average and on-base percentage were both team bests.

Rinaldo joined Miller in earning GNAC All-Conference plaudits for the first time in her career with her third-team selection. 

Rinaldo led Norwich in most offensive categories, including hits (48), home runs (three), RBIs (31), doubles (13) and slugging percentage (.583). She ranked in the top 15 in the GNAC in RBIs and slugging percentage and her 13 doubles tied for fourth in the league. 

She also had 23 runs scored, six stolen bases and a .378 batting average as well in a breakout offensive season as the team's starting center fielder. She was one of just two players to play in all 37 games this season. 

Junior outfielder Olivia Bussiere (Northfield, Vt.) was Norwich's selection on the GNAC All-Sportsmanship Team. She had 14 hits and five RBIs in 76 plate appearances. 

This marks the second straight year Norwich has had three GNAC All-Conference selections after Johnson, Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) and Taylor Morris '16 earned selections last season. 

Norwich finished the 2017 campaign with a 15-21-1 overall record and a 12-10 mark in the GNAC regular season. The Cadets qualified for the postseason for the seventh time in the last nine years and won a first round game vs. Emmanuel.