NORTH ANDOVER, MA — Merrimack College officially inducted the newest members of the Merrimack Athletics Hall of Fame, as six former student-athletes, one team and a distinguished honoree were enshrined as the Class of 2018 on Friday night on campus.
Friday’s induction enshrined Wilmington resident Judy O’Connell and her national championship-winning softball team for bringing distinction, honor and excellence to the College.
Judy O’Connell (Class of 1995) was a three-time All-American and three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American (1993, 1994, 1995), one of only two in program history. O’Connell was a key player on the 1994 National Championship Softball team, leading the team with a .482 batting average, 35 runs scored, 54 hits, 10 HR, 54 RBIs and only nine strikeouts. She ranks third in single-season batting average (.482), second in single-season RBI’s (54); seventh in career batting average (.398) and fourth in career home runs (28) and RBIs (148). A cum laude graduate, she was part of four straight NE10 regular season and tournament teams as part of the mid-1990’s softball dynasty, helping the Warriors win both titles every season while qualifying for three straight NCAA Tournaments and reaching the Division II College World Series in back-to-back years (1994, 1995). O’Connell served as team captain in her final two seasons and was named NE10 Player and Rookie of the Year over the course of her decorated career.
O’Connell’s 1994 softball team set the precedent, becoming the first-ever National Champion in Northeast-10 Conference history. The team was the first to truly bring the Northeast-10 Conference name to the national stage. Merrimack was also the first team from the Northeast/East/New England region to capture a national championship. The Warriors dominated from start to finish that year, losing only four games while winning a school-record 45 on their way to the national title. They also captured the league’s regular season and tournament title that year, while three players were named All-Americans. The team was honored by the league in 2011 when it was inducted into the NE10 Hall of Fame.
Other inductees included Amanda (Baldwin) Mayock, Nancy (Daly) Dwyer, April Daugherty, Jim Hrivnak, Corey Lunney, and Ken Duane.
Altogether, six different sports are represented among that group, including the first-ever selections in the history of the field hockey and women’s lacrosse programs.
Merrimack College President Dr. Christopher E. Hopey and Director of Athletics Jeremy Gibson delivered remarks throughout the event before each new inductee had the opportunity to speak. Additionally, a number of former Hall of Fame inductees – which now boasts nearly 60 total selections dating back four decades – were recognized, as well. The event culminated with each new inductee receiving a commemorative framed photo.
The event coincided with the College’s annual Homecoming Weekend, which started with the athletic department’s first-ever quadruple-header earlier in the day with women’s ice hockey, men’s soccer, field hockey and women’s volleyball all playing on campus leading up to the induction ceremony.
(NOTE: The above press release is from Merrimack College.)
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