Sports Briefs: Zilnicki named Athlete of the Year

COURTESY PHOTO | Former Riverhead standout Jackie Zilnicki (standing, second from left) was named the Female Athlete of the Year at Western Connecticut State University.

COLLEGE SOFTBALL: Zilnicki named athlete of year Jackie Zilnicki of Riverhead was named the 2012 Female Athlete of the Year at the Western Connecticut State University senior awards banquet last week. Zilnicki was named to the Little East Conference all-conference softball first team after leading the Colonials to a 30-15 overall record and into the championship game of the LEC Tournament. She has also been nominated for National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association all-American and all-region honors.

Jackie Zilnicki

Zilnicki led Western Connecticut with a .477 batting average with 63 hits. She also had 45 runs batted in and scored 34 runs. In addition, Zilnicki broke the school’s single-season triples record with nine and was perfect in the field in 50 chances in center field.

A two-sport athlete who also played basketball, Zilnicki appeared in 18 games and averaged career highs in points per game (7.3) and rebounds per game (5.3).

COLLEGE BASEBALL: Velys helps MuhlenbergTim Velys, a junior from Riverhead, was a key contributor to the Muhlenberg College (Penn.) baseball team in 2012. Velys appeared in 13 games out of the bullpen for the Mules. He picked up two wins on the year and finished third on the team with a 3.65 earned run average. He retired


all five batters he faced to earn the win against Penn State Brandywine and also helped the Mules get out of a jam in a victory over Penn State Berks.

After one of the best starts in school history, winning 15 of its first 19 games, Muhlenberg struggled down the stretch before finishing 19-21. The 19 wins are tied for the fourth-most in school history. The Mules broke school records for hits (460) and extra-base hits (108) in a season and posted the third-highest scoring total in program history.

HIGH SCHOOL ROWING: Scholarship goes to Alfano Kelly Alfano, a senior on the The Riverhead crew team, has been named the recipient of the Al Borghard Scholarship Award. Alfano has been rowing for four years.

Al Borghard was the founder and coach of Riverhead Crew as well as the founder of almost all of the junior level rowing teams on Long Island. The scholarship was established by the New York State Junior Rowing Association after he died last fall. The recipients of the scholarship are a young woman and young man who are high school seniors and have demonstrated leadership and commitment to the sport.

The scholarship was presented to Alfano by Joyce Borghard, Al Borghard’s wife, at the state scholastic championships in Saratoga Springs. In attendance were members of the Riverhead crew team and coach Peter Bisek.