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NH College Notebook: Maine's Fransoso named America East Player of the Year

May 25. 2013 1:50AM

University of Maine shortstop Michael Fransoso, a former Portsmouth High School standout, completed his climb through the America East honors list last week when he was named the winner of the league's Len Harlow Player of the Year Award.

Fransoso became the first Maine player since Curt Smith in 2008 to be named Player of the Year. He finished third in the conference with a .356 batting average while leading the league in runs scored with 41 and RBI with 45. He had 16 doubles and was second in the America East in both slugging percentage (.508) and on-base percentage (.435).

Fransoso finished with a league high 97 total bases and stole 19 bases on 23 attempts. He also was impressive in the field, committing only 16 errors in 275 chances for a .942 fielding percentage at shortstop and earned his second selection to the all-conference first team.

The senior captain was named to the America East All Rookie team as a freshman, second team All America East as a sophomore and first team All America East as a junior.

Fransoso led Maine to its first America East regular-season title since 2002.

At Portsmouth High School, Fransoso helped the Clippers to undefeated seasons and Class I state championships in 2008 and 2009.

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Former Keene State College women's basketball players Laura Bennett Kules and Tina Gonyea will be inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame on June 22 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass.

Kules, a 1992 KSC grad, is the Owls' all-time leader in scoring (1,662 points, 14.3 points per game) and rebounding (1,020, 8.8 per game). She is also hold Keene State records for most field goals (678) and free throws (300) and second all-time in blocks (103, .9 per game) and fifth all-time in steals (176, 1.5 per game).

Kules, a center, is already a member of the Keene State Hall of Fame as an individual and as a member of the 1989-90 team, which qualified for the NCAA Division II tournament.

A four-time New England Collegiate All-Con­ference selection, Kules was named to the All-NECC team of the decade in 1997.

Originally from Lake Luzerne, N.Y, Kules is currently serving as a volleyball coach at Glens Falls High School in New York.

A native of Meriden, Conn., Gonyea, a 1993 KSC grad, scored 1,195 points for the Owls during her four-year career and still holds numerous records, including assists in a season (159) and career (537) and steals per game (eight) and for a career (265). She was a two-time member of the New England Collegiate Conference All-Star team.

Gonyea is already a member of the O.H. Platt (Conn.) High School, Keene State, Connecticut Women's Basketball and New Haven Tap-off Club halls of fame.

In addition to her individual success, Gonyea, a guard, guided Keene State to ECAC championships in 1988 and 1989 and to an at-large berth in the NCAA Division II tournament as a senior.

Gonyea returned to Platt High School in 1998, serving as an assistant women's basketball coach for 13 year before taking over as the head coach in 2011.

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Junior right-hander Trevor Graham of the East Region champion Franklin Pierce University baseball team has been named American Baseball Coaches Association East Region Pitcher of the Year, as announced by the ABCA over the weekend. Graham is joined on the All-East Region First Team by junior first baseman Zach Mathieu of Derry, while senior shortstop Dan Kemp and senior right fielder Nick LaCroix landed on the All-East Region Second Team.

The Northeast-10 Conference Pitcher of the Year, Graham has been nothing short of dominant for the Ravens in his first season in Rindge after transferring in from Florida Tech.

Graham was also named Daktronics East Region Pitcher of the Year, and is now a consensus All-East Region First Team selection, having been selected by both Daktronics and the NCBWA as well. In addition, he is the only player in the country who was named by College Baseball Lineup as a finalist for both the Tino Martinez Division II Player of the Year Award and the Josh Willingham Award. At the conference level, Graham was an All-Northeast-10 First Team selection, in addition to being named Pitcher of the Year.

Mathieu, the 2012 consensus East Region Player of the Year, was unseated by St. Thomas Aquinas senior catcher Mike Russo as ABCA East Region Player of the Year, and Russo is now the consensus East Region Player of the Year. While not featuring the same video-game offensive numbers he did a year ago - though his on-base percentage is higher - Mathieu has still posted a .342/.456/.544 slash line over 193 at-bats and ranks in the top 10 in the Northeast-10 in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs (6), runs scored (51), runs batted in (35), doubles (17) and walks (33). Of those categories, batting average and runs batted in are the only ones where he is not ranked in the top five as well. Overall, Mathieu is 66-for-193 with a pair of triples, has driven in 35 runs, struck out only 33 times against those 33 walks and has stolen 19 bases in 23 attempts (82.6%).

Mathieu is now a consensus All-East Region selection for the second straight season, as he also landed on the Daktronics First Team and NCBWA Second Team. He was a consensus All-East Region First Team selection a year ago. Also this spring, Mathieu was an All-Northeast-10 First Team selection.

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The records keep piling up for the Daniel Webster baseball program, this time for more post-season honors.

On the heels of their best-ever season and setting a program record for all-conference selections, three student-athletes have earned New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) honors as seniors Greg Dubela of Stratham and Rich Lizotte were named to the second team, while sophomore Kyle Brigham was a third-team selection.

DWC had combined to produce three previous NEIBA selections over program history with single selections in 2012, 2011 and 2010.

Moreover, both Dubela and Lizotte picked up All-New England honors as Dubela was a first team honoree while Lizotte was a second-team selection.

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