SOMERSET, N.J. (March 5, 2012) – After a couple of hard fought wins to open the 2012 season, the Saint Francis University softball team can add a couple of individual Northeast Conference awards to its solid start.

Paige Smith picks up her first NEC Player of the Week award while newcomer Chelsea Rex was recognized as the top rookie within the conference. Smith compiled a .462 batting average on the weekend, going 6-for-13 while scoring three runs and driving in two more. The senior outfielder went 2-for-3 with a run scored in a 3-1 win over Bethune-Cookman and 2-for-4 with an RBI in a 7-1 conquest of Western Michigan. The Saugus, Calif. native also doubled home a run in a 3-2 setback to Central Michigan.

Rex picked up her first collegiate victory in the triumph over Western Michigan. The 5-7 right-hander tossed seven innings of seven-hit ball, allowing a lone run while striking out five batters. The freshman also took the mound for SFU’s 1-0 setback to Bowling Green in her first career appearance and surrendered just four hits and one run over six-frames. Rex holds a 1.38 earned run average in the early goings of the season and has fanned seven batters.

Saint Francis continues its spring break trip tomorrow morning with a 9 a.m. contest against Lehigh at the Rebel Games in Kissimmee, Fla.