Wednesday, May 15, 2013

All-Mountain West selections announced

The 2013 All-Mountain West softball team was announced Tuesday, and San Diego State, Fresno State and UNLV led the way with four picks each.

Despite not clinching a very tight race until the next to last day of the regular season, the Aztecs ran away with top honors across the board, sweeping all four major awards in coaches' balloting.

In addition to Kathy Van Wyk winning Coach of the Year honors, SDSU junior Patrice Jackson (.396 batting average, conference-leading 9 home runs, conference-leading 19 RBI, conference-best 1.042 slugging percentage) was named Mountain West Player of the Year.

Aztecs senior Rebecca Arbino (8-4, 2.02 ERA, 1 complete-game shutout, .235 opposing batting average, conference-best 73 strikeouts) was named Pitcher of the Year.  And Danielle O'Toole (5-1, conference-leading 1.46 ERA, 3 complete games, no complete-game shutouts, .246 opposing batting average) was named Freshman of the Year.

All-conference selections included:

Fresno State freshman pitcher Jill Compton (7-3, 2.37 ERA, conference-best 5 complete-game shutouts, conference-best 8 complete games, conference-best .211 opposing batting average, 70 strikeouts -- second best in the MW).

UNLV junior outfielder Stefany Valentino (.452 batting average -- second best in the MW, conference-best 28 hits, ranked in the Top 10 of 11 offensive categories), who made her second straight All-Mountain West team.

Boise State senior outfielder Holly Bourke (.355 BA, 14 runs scored, 3 home runs, 8 RBI).

Fresno State sophomore outfielder Brenna Moss (.358 BA, conference-leader in stolen bases both in MW games with 13 and overall with 34, national leader in triples with 9).  Moss is the only sophomore from any MW school on the all-conference team.

Colorado State junior third baseman Chelsea Biglow (.379 BA, 15 RBI, 10 extra-base hits in conference play), who made her second straight All-Mountain West team.

UNLV freshman catcher Emily Haslinger (.378 BA in 10 starts, 12 hits, 3 HR, 10 RBI, .703 slugging percentage).

Fresno State junior third baseman Vonnie Martin (.436 batting average -- third best in the MW, conference-best 14 game hitting streak, 24 hits, 12 RBI, .475 OBP), who made her second straight all-conference team after earning All-WAC honors last year.

Boise State junior first baseman Devon Bridges (.421 batting average -- fourth best in the MW, .522 OBP, 6 home runs -- second best in the MW, 16 RBI), who made her second straight All-Mountain West team.

UNLV junior pitcher Amanda Oliveto (6-6, 4.33 ERA -- 10th best in conference games, 3 complete-game shutouts -- second best in the conference).

San Diego State junior designated player Lorena Bauer (conference-leading .469 batting average, 23 hits, 5 HR, 15 RBI).

Nevada junior second baseman Karley Hopkins (.412 BA, conference-leading 28 hits, 16 RBI -- third best in the MW, .431 OBP).

Fresno State freshman catcher Paige Gumz (.352 BA, started all 54 games behind the plate as a true freshman, 19 hits, .407 OBP, allowed just eight steals).

UNLV junior first baseman Tayler Van Acker (.388 BA, 14 runs scored, .492 OBP), who was named to her second All-Mountain West team.  Van Acker's other honor came as a freshman in the 2011 season.

Boise State junior outfielder Tara Glover (.275 BA, 19 hits, 1 home run, 9 RBI, 9 stolen bases -- second best in the conference), who made her second straight All-Mountain West team.

Colorado State senior pitcher Kacie McCarthy (7-5, 2.37 ERA, 3 complete-game shutouts -- tied with Oliveto for second-best in the MW behind Compton, .251 opposing batting average, 79.2 innings pitched to lead the conference), who made her second straight All-Mountain West team after being named Pitcher of the Year as a junior.

Nevada freshman third baseman Jasmine Jenkins (.362 BA, conference-leading 7 doubles in MW games, .483 slugging percentage).

Colorado State junior shortstop Ashlie Ortega (.404 BA, 23 hits, .521 OBP, .614 slugging percentage), who made her second straight All-Mountain West team.

The 20-member team included just three seniors, setting the stage for what should be a strong next few years for the Mountain West.  There are 11 juniors on the all-conference team, just one sophomore and five freshmen.

In 2014, both Fresno State and UNLV will return four all-conference players.  The Bulldogs are the only Mountain West team to have two freshmen named to the all-conference team.  New Mexico was the only school without a representative named All-MW.

Notable omissions from the squad included Nevada's Lauren Lastrapes (.358 BA, 19 hits, .528 slugging percentage), Fresno State's Diane Runge (.339 BA, 20 hits), Michelle Solomon (who ranked in the top 4 of both RBI and stolen bases in conference play) and Hannah Harris (2.19 ERA -- third best in the MW), Colorado State's Cassy Mosser (.322 BA, 19 hits), UNLV's Pauline Monreal (19 RBI -- best in the MW, .509 slugging percentage), and Boise State's Jordan Kreiger (.348 BA, 16 hits, .587 slugging percentage), among others.