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MIT student-athletes receive CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in softball and baseball

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Juniors John Drago and David Hesslink and senior Tori Jensen
Juniors John Drago and David Hesslink and senior Tori Jensen

Recent graduate Tori Jensen '16 of the MIT softball team and rising seniors John Drago and David Hesslink of the MIT baseball team were voted to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America teams in their respective sports. First-time honorees, Jensen secured a spot on the second team while Drago was placed on the second team and Hesslink was named to the third team.

Jensen became the eighth member of the MIT softball program to earn the prestigious honor and first since 2013, when Leah Alpert accomplished the feat. A pivotal member of the offense, she contributed 47 hits, seven doubles, three home runs, 29 RBI, and 10 walks as a designated player. Jensen generated a batting average of .338, an on-base percentage of .380, and a slugging percentage of .453. Jensen helped MIT to its best season in program history which included its first NCAA Regional Championship, first NCAA Super Regional Championship and first appearance in the NCAA Division III National Championship where the Engineers finished fifth overall. She established the MIT records for career hits (140), career home runs (10), career RBI (96), career games played (133), and career at-bats (409). Off the field, Jensen received a degree in mechanical engineering earlier this month. She was the vice president of Intellectual Development for Alpha Chi Omega, worked on Air Force One as a systems engineer intern at Boeing, and conducted research to compare rotational and linear hitting models.

For MIT baseball, Drago and Hesslink are the 11th and 12th players in program history to make the list. In 35 games this season, Drago registered 41 hits, eight doubles, one triple, two home runs, and 21 RBI. The junior was ranked ninth in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) in runs (42) and 12th in assists (86). Drago also notched a slash line of .279/.372/.388 (AVG/OBP/SLG) at the plate in 2016. Drago helped MIT to its third ECAC Division III New England Championship as the Engineers' lead-off hitter and everyday second baseman. A mechanical engineering major, he was just one of four student-athletes on all three Academic All-America teams — 33 total student-athletes — to sport a perfect grade point average.

Hesslink, a mechanical engineering major, was named the ECAC Division III New England Championship Tournament's Most Outstanding Player after tossing a complete game shutout against Massachusetts Maritime Academy in the semifinal round. The junior led the team in wins (seven), innings pitched (76.2) and strikeouts (51), averaging nearly six punch-outs per game. His 2.35 earned run average was second best on the team and in the NEWMAC, while holding opponents to just a .241 batting average helping him achieve a 7-2 mark on the hill this year.

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