GCU’s Barak earns PacWest Player, Freshman of Year honors; Holden is Pitcher of Year
PHOENIX, AZ – Grand Canyon freshman SS Kelsey Barak (Fontana, CA/Etiwanda) has been named the 2012 Pacific West Conference Player and Freshman of the Year, while California Baptist senior hurler Emma Holden (San Carlos, CA/Notre Dame) claimed the PacWest Pitcher of the Year honor.
The PacWest revealed the league’s softball awards and All-Conference Team live on Thursday, May 3, during its weekly Internet radio show on KQCK. The head coaches of the Pacific West Conference vote on the awards.
The PacWest Newcomer of the Year – awarded to the top sophomore, junior or senior in her first season in the PacWest - belonged to Chaminade junior SS Rayna Strom-Okimoto (Aiea, HI/Aiea), while the PacWest Coach of the Year honor went to Grand Canyon’s Ann Pierson.
Barak is hitting .424 this season in 53 starts for the Antelopes. She has 72 base hits, 42 runs scored, 10 doubles, six triples, eight home runs and 54 runs batted in. She boasts a .694 slugging percentage and a .485 on-base rate. In addition to her two major awards, Barak earned All-PacWest First Team honors.
Strom-Okimoto earned a pair of All-PacWest awards, claiming First Team as a utility player and Second Team as a shortstop. She hit .433 this season, going 58 for 134 at the plate with 22 runs, 13 doubles, four triples, four homers and 30 RBI in 47 starts.
Holden also earned All-PacWest First Team accolades after posting a 1.70 earned run average and a 23-4 record on the mound. She completed 25 games in 27 starts, made 30 appearances, tossed seven shutouts and added two saves – all while recording 177.1 innings pitched. Opponents managed to hit just .181 against her, while she struck out a PacWest-record 267 hitters.
Pierson led the Antelopes to a 34-19 overall record and a 21-9 PacWest mark as Grand Canyon placed third in the conference and earned the eighth seed heading into the NCAA II West Regional scheduled May 4-6.
The Antelopes boasted multiple All-PacWest selections, including freshman 1B Lauren Regester (Chandler, AZ/Basha) and rookie flex player Kiley Raica (Tucson, AZ/Canyon del Oro) who were named First Team.
Regester is hitting .339 in 53 starts, going 59 for 174 with 23 runs, 13 doubles, three triples, four homers and 41 RBI. She owns a .517 slugging rate and a .400 on-base mark.
GCU sophomore Claire Zampini (Phoenix, AZ/Deer Valley), an All-PacWest First Team choice in 2011 at second base, was named as a Second Team selection as a utility player in 2012. She hit .317 in 47 games, scoring 34 runs while driving in 16 others. She recorded seven doubles this year.
Freshman DP Nicole Upshaw (Chandler, AZ/Hamilton) is another rookie for the Antelopes who earned All-PacWest honors. She was named to the Second Team after batting .346 in 47 games and 30 starts. She scored 21 runs, drove in 26 others, belted four homers, banged out seven doubles, and posted a .529 slugging rate.
In addition to Holden, California Baptist senior hurler Tory Ferreira (Murrieta, CA/Calvary Chapel Murrieta) and junior 3B Mara Rodriguez (Moreno Valley, CA/Canyon Springs) each earned All-PacWest First Team accolades.
Ferreira owns a 22-2 record with a 1.64 ERA. She has 10 shutouts and 21 complete games in 24 starts and 26 appearances. In 157.2 innings of work, she struck out 103 hitters and allowed just a .197 batting average.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, is batting .414 in 47 starts, going 65 for 157 with 44 runs scored, 12 doubles, four triples and 13 homers. She has a .790 slugging rate and a .475 on-base mark.
California Baptist junior 1B Sloan McHann (Modesto, CA/Modesto) and senior OF Tina Galinato (San Diego, CA/Mira Mesa) each earned Second Team honors for the Lancers.
McHann hit .335 in 51 starts, ripping 57 base hits that featured 12 doubles, a triple and eight home runs. She drove in 34 and had a .559 slugging mark.
Galinato batted .399 in 51 games and 50 starts, going 59 for 148 with 39 runs, 18 doubles, three triples, six homers and 31 RBI. She posted a .682 slugging mark and a .467 on-base average. She also was 8 for 8 in stolen base attempts.
Dixie State earned five All-PacWest selections, including two by senior DP/3B Kelsey Mendenhall (Tooele, UT/Tooele) who was named All-PacWest for the fourth and fifth times in her career. She was named a First Team selection this season as a designated player and a Second Team choice at third base.
Mendenhall was named to the Second Team as a DP in 2011. In 2010 she earned First Team accolades at third base, while she claimed Second Team honors at first base in 2009.
In 47 games this season she led the Red Storm to a berth in the NCAA II post-season by hitting .344 with 34 runs scored, 45 base hits, 10 doubles, two triples, seven homers and 34 RBI. She walked 28 times, turned in a .611 slugging mark, and had a .476 on-base rate.
A pair of Dixie State rookies - OF Courtney Sherwin (Mesa, AZ/Red Mountain) and catcher Marla Reiter (Fresno, CA/Central) - were named to the Second Team along with senior pitcher Lauren Folta (Erda, UT/Tooele).
Folta earned her fourth All-PacWest award after collecting Second Team honors in 2011 and 2009 as a pitcher, and earning First Team accolades as a flex player in 2009. She posted a 17-4 record on the mound with a 2.04 earned run average in 21 starts and 23 appearances, and she completed 13 games with two shutouts while striking out 80 in 132.2 innings of work.
Reiter batted .368 in 40 games and 38 starts, going 39 for 106 with 21 runs, 10 doubles, three homers and 19 RBI. She recorded a .547 slugging rate.
Sherwin, meanwhile, batted .376 in 46 games and 45 starts for the Red Storm. She was 47 for 125 with 34 runs, 51 RBI, 11 homers, 12 doubles and two triples. She boasted a .768 slugging rate and a .473 on-base mark.
Academy of Art picked up four All-PacWest selections, including two on the First Team and a pair on the Second Team. Senior OF Ashley Lokey (Eugene, OR/Elmira), a First Team selection at first base in 2010, and sophomore OF Elyse Cordova (Tulare, CA/Tulare Union), a Second Team outfielder in 2011, each were named All-PacWest First Team.
Lokey hit .407 in 49 starts, going 66 for 162 with 43 runs, 10 doubles, five triples, seven home runs and 33 RBI. She had a .660 slugging rate, a .492 on-base average, 25 walks and 18 stolen bases. Cordova batted .441 in 47 starts, going 63 for 143 with four doubles, two triples, 13 RBI, a .497 slugging rate, a .463 on-base average and 20 stolen bases.
Sophomore 2B Lauren Stover (Las Vegas, NV/Palo Verde) and junior flex player Kimberly Dauer (Los Osos, CA/Morro Bay) were named All-PacWest Second Team. Stover hit .346 on the season, producing 53 base hits in 153 at-bats while scoring 24 runs. She also had 16 doubles and 17 RBI.
Hawai‘i Hilo junior 2B Aisha Sueda (Hilo, HI/Hilo) and Hawai‘i Pacific junior catcher Nicole Morrow (Puyallup, WA/John Rogers) each earned First Team selections. Sueda batted .382 in 43 starts, going 50 for 131 with 22 runs, five doubles, a triple, six homers, 35 RBI and a .573 slugging mark.
Morrow, the 2010 Freshman of the Year, hit .338 in 48 starts. She went 46 for 136 with 20 runs, 11 doubles, two homers, 31 RBI and a .463 slugging rate.
Notre Dame de Namur snared a pair of All-PacWest Second Team selections in senior OF Janae Reyes (Porterville, CA/Monache) and junior pitcher Sammy McConvey (Livermore, CA/Livermore).
Reyes, the PacWest Newcomer of the Year in 2011 who earned Second Team honors as well, hit .376 in 53 starts by going 70 for 186. She scored 30 runs and drove in 22 others, doubled 24 times, tripled twice and hit two home runs. She also had 13 stolen bases and a .559 slugging mark.
McConvey was 15-12 on the mound with a 1.81 earned run average.