LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Seniors Justin Esquerra from baseball and Abby Carpenter of softball have been selected as Siena College's Leo Dufort Student Athletes of the Month representing the month of May. The final student athletes of the month for the 2014-15 academic year, the duo was chosen for their efforts both on the field and in the classroom.
The 2014-15 Siena College Male Student Athlete of the Year, Esquerra was named a First Team All-MAAC selection this spring and led the Saints to the MAAC Championship Series for a third consecutive season. A native of San Diego, Calif., Esquerra started all 111 games at third base over his two years donning the Green and Gold after transferring to Siena prior to his junior season. He led the Saints with a .311 batting average and 60 hits this spring and posted a team-high 29 RBI for the 2014 squad which won the MAAC Tournament Championship and defeated Dallas Baptist in the NCAA Regional for the program's first national postseason tournament victory.
Esquerra recently graduated from Siena College with his degree in accounting. He accrued a cumulative GPA of 3.36 and was named to the MAAC All-Academic Team following each of his two seasons. Last year, Esquerra was tabbed a CoSIDA District One Academic All-District selection.
Carpenter appeared in 163 games making 146 starts over her four seasons with the Saints and was a key member of the winningest class in Siena Softball history which posted 91 victories. The Bristow, Va. product started all 49 games this spring and hit .287 with five home runs and her 36 RBI were second most for the Saints which advanced to the semifinals of the MAAC Tournament for the first time. She graduated ranking sixth all-time in program history in RBI (82), tied for eighth in doubles (29) and 10th in home runs (14). Following her junior season she was named both a First Team All-MAAC and College Sports Madness Second Team All-MAAC selection after hitting .310 and leading the Saints with six home runs.
A MAAC All-Academic Team selection, Carpenter also graduated with her degree in accounting last month. She achieved a 3.55 cumulative GPA.
The Leo Dufort Student Athlete of the Month Award is presented nine times annually (September-May) throughout the academic year. The award recognizes exemplary achievements in both academics and athletics. The late Leo Dufort received a B.S. in marketing and management from Siena in August of 1977. His entire academic career was completed on a part-time basis beginning in the spring of 1961, as a married adult while at the same time raising five children. He passed away suddenly of a heart attack while cross country skiing in February of 1993. His wife Jeanine wanted to do something to immortalize his memory. The original plaque was donated to athletics and the department began the Leo Dufort Student-Athlete of the Month Award to help carry out his legacy. Dufort graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1954, was a Navy Veteran (USS Bennington) who worked for JL Hammett Co. at the time of his death.