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Courtesy: GoBearkats.com
Ten All-SLC as Benavidez receives top awards
Courtesy: GoBearkats.com
Release: 05/07/2013
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Sam Houston senior outfielder Tori Benavidez has earned honors as both the 2013 Southland Conference Softball “Player of the Year” and “Hitter of the Year.”

In addition, Benavidez is one of 10 Bearkats who have been named All-Southland Conference.

Benavidez, designated player Hillary Adams and third baseman Shelbi Tucker are first team selections. First baseman Kim Damian was named to the second team. Pitcher Haley Baros, shortstop Tiffany Castillo, second baseman Alyssa Coggins, catcher Ashley Isbell and outfielder Jessica Slater are third team honorees. Outfielder Cecilia Castillo was namd honorable mention.

The annual softball all-league honor squad is selected by vote of the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors.

Benavidez becomes the 11th player in Southland history to be named player and hitter of the year in the same year. She is the second Bearkat to be named player of the year. Jennifer Delcambre took the honor in 1993.

A native of Midlothian,  Benavidez led the league in Southland play in hits (41), runs scored (29), stolen bases (12), plate appearances (109) and at bats (99), was second in batting average (.414), third in triples (three), fifth in total bases (56), sixth in on-base percentage (.463), ninth in runs batted in (18) and 13th in slugging percentage (.566).

She is the fifth Bearkat to be named hitter of the year and first to be named player of the year in the same season.

Adams posted a .346 batting average this spring and has tied the Sam Houston school mark for most home runs in one season (11). Tucker hit .271 for the Bearkats this year and is one of the top defensive players in the league.

Damian and Tucker stand first and second in career home runs at Sam Houston. Damian hit .299 with six doubles and nine home runs this season.

Baros led the Bearkats in the pitching circle with a 7-1 record in Southland Conference action that included a 2.78 earned run average.

Tiffany Castillo was the Kats' second leading hitter in 2013 with a .381 average, seven doubles and nine homers. Slater hit .335 with three doubles and two triples. Coggins batted .325 with 50 total hits. Isbell hit .284 and was one of the league's top catchers.

Sam Houston State led all teams with 10 all-conference selections. Northwestern State had six selections while regular-season championship McNeese State had five. Central Arkansas and Houston Baptist each received four all-conference selections followed by Southeastern Louisiana with three. Nicholls State placed two players on the all-conference teams while Lamar, Stephen F. Austin and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi had one all-conference selection apiece.

The 2013 Southland Conference Softball Tournament is slated to get underway Thursday at the Lady Demons Softball Complex in Natchitoches, La., with game one starting at 11 a.m. McNeese State won its third regular-season title and is the No. 1 seed. The tournament fields a six-team double elimination format with the winner punching its ticket to the NCAA tournament.

2013 All-Southland Conference Softball Teams

First Team

 

 

 

Pos.

Name

University

Class

Hometown

1B

Brianna Rodriguez

Northwestern State

Jr.

Rowlett, Texas

2B

Melissa Bryant

Central Arkansas

Sr.

Hernando, Miss.

3B

Shelbi Tucker2

Sam Houston State

Sr.

Montgomery

SS

Elizabeth Arana2

Stephen F. Austin

Jr.

The Woodlands

C

Ashley Modzelewski2

McNeese State

So.

Sour Lake

UT

Victoria Granchelli

Houston Baptist

So.

McAllen

DP

Hillary Adams2

Sam Houston State

So.

Elgin

OF

Tori Benavidez3

Sam Houston State

Sr.

Midlothian

OF

Alanna DiVittorio2

McNeese State

Jr.

Harahan, La.

OF

Lauren Schwirtlich

Houston Baptist

Jr.

Corpus Christi

P

Kelsie Armstrong2

Central Arkansas

Sr.

Hot Springs, Ark.

P

Meagan Bond2

McNeese State

Sr.

Lumberton, Miss.

         

Second Team

 

 

 

1B

Kim Damian2

Sam Houston State

Sr.

Angleton

2B

Ashley Bertot2

Nicholls State

Sr.

League City

3B

Brittany Virgoe

Northwestern State

So.

Anaheim, Calif.

SS

Tara McKenney2

Northwestern State

Jr.

Red Oak

C

Melanie Bryant4

Central Arkansas

Sr.

Hernando, Miss.

UT

Lindsey Lyles

A&M-Corpus Christi

So.

Lufkin

DP

Emily Vincent

McNeese State

Fr.

Sulphur, La.

OF

Kirsten Schwirtlich

Houston Baptist

Fr.

Corpus Christi

OF

Michelle Duhe

Southeastern Louisiana

Sr.

Lutcher, La.

OF

Katie Lacour

Southeastern Louisiana

Fr.

Port St. Joe, Fla.

P

Kylie Roos

Northwestern State

Sr.

Celina

P

Kaylee Guidry

Northwestern State

Jr.

Walker, La.

         

Third Team

 

 

 

1B

Melissa Herman

Houston Baptist

So.

Katy

2B

Alyssa Coggins

Sam Houston State

Jr.

Sealy

3B

Megan Moore

Southeastern Louisiana

So.

Elgin

SS

Tiffany Castillo

Sam Houston State

Fr.

Port Lavaca

C

Ashley Isbell2

Sam Houston State

Sr.

Katy

UT

Sarah Bigej

Central Arkansas

Fr.

Happy Valley, Ore.

DP

Cassandra Barefield

Northwestern State

So.

Houston

OF

Danielle Phillips

Nicholls State

Fr.

Resaca, Ga.

OF

Jessica Slater

Sam Houston State

So.

Katy

OF

Candyce Carter

Lamar

Jr.

Sweeny

P

Jamie Allred

McNeese State

Fr.

Hallsville

P

Haley Baros

Sam Houston State

So.

Bay City

2 Two-time all-conference selection
3 Three-time all-conference selection
4 Four-time all-conference selection

Honorable MentionFirst Base: Ashley McDowell, Lamar; Second Base: Cali Burke, Northwestern State; Third Base: Alaina Guidry, Nicholls State; Tiffany Roby, Central Arkansas; Catcher: Brittany Marcet, Nicholls State; Beverly Corry, Lamar; Cheyenne DelaGarza, Northwestern State; Utility Player: Shalie Day, Stephen F. Austin; Designated Player: Amber Sather, Southeastern Louisiana; Outfield: Kelsey Nichols, Southeastern Louisiana; Cecillia Castillo, Sam Houston State; Haley Parkerson, Nicholls State; Jenna Holland, Lamar; Pitcher: Shannon Millman, Lamar; Hannah Haydel, Nicholls State; Ashton Bennett, Nicholls State.

Individual Awards

Player of the Year: Tori Benavidez, Sam Houston State
Hitter of the Year: Tori Benavidez, Sam Houston State
Pitcher of the Year: Kelsie Armstrong, Central Arkansas
Freshman of the Year: Kirsten Schwirtlich, Houston Baptist
Newcomer of the Year: Lauren Schwirtlich, Houston Baptist
Coach of the Year: Mike Smith, McNeese State

 

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