A record-setting 2012 season by the TWU softball team should help ease the disappointment of a frustrating exit from the NCAA postseason last weekend.
The Pioneers, after notching the program’s first opening-round victory in the South Central Regional on Friday, suffered back-to-back defeats Saturday to be eliminated from the regionals and end their season at 37-17.
“It was a great year, and I’m proud of every girl on this team,” fourth-year head coach Richie Bruister said.
It marked the second time in three years for the Pioneers to earn a berth in the regionals after advancing to the Lone Star Conference tournament for the third consecutive year. But after defeating No. 20 Missouri Western State on Friday, TWU fell 5-2 in extra innings to No. 8 Angelo State and lost 3-1 to St. Edwards on Saturday.
The 2012 club did leave its mark in TWU record book, as at least seven new team records were established in addition to five players either matching or setting new individual records.
As a team, the Pioneers set new season records for home runs (52), RBIs (312), walks (179), runs (338), slugging percentage (.496) and on-base percentage (.405). They also set a team record for most home runs in a game, hitting five in an 8-5 win over Texas A&M-Kingsville on March 3.
Sophomore shortstop Bailey Vrazel tied the single-game marks for runs (four) and stolen bases (five) while racking up new single-season records in runs (61), walks (31), steals (75) and consecutive steals (59). She also tied the school’s consecutive-game hitting streak at 18.
Junior infielder Jordan Readicker tied the school mark for home runs in a season with 14 while also setting a new career mark in homers with 28.
Freshman infielder Kendra Sancet paced the team with 60 RBIs, which also is a new school record. Sophomore Katie Hines also tied the single-game mark with seven RBIs against Cameron on March 17.
From the circle, pitcher Larisa Garcia secured a couple of spots in the TWU record book. The junior transfer registered eight saves to set new marks for saves in a season and career.
Six named all-conference
TWU landed six players on the All-Lone Star Conference teams, the second-most of any team in the league.
The Pioneers’ top hitter, sophomore shortstop Bailey Vrazel, along with senior outfielder Addison Staley and sophomore pitcher Katie Hines all earned first-team honors in a vote by LSC head coaches.
Freshman first baseman Kendra Sancet was named to the second team, while junior third baseman Jordan Readicker and senior catcher Tiffany Weise received third-team honors.
Golden Glove winner
Senior left fielder Addison Staley was named a 2012 Lone Star Conference Golden Glove Award winner, as chosen by the league’s head coaches to recognize the LSC’s top defensive players.
Staley posted a .934 fielding percentage with 67 putouts this season.
She was third on the team in hitting with a .351 average and shared the team lead with four triples.
Several Pioneers honored
Fourteen seniors and four Outstanding Athletes headlined the honorees recently at TWU’s annual awards banquet last week.
The top athletes in four of TWU’s five sports were announced, with the softball winner scheduled to be recognized following the season. The 2011-12 Outstanding Athletes included Jessica Hanna (basketball), Rashonda Cannie (gymnastics), Candice Davies (soccer) and Viktorija Jablonska (volleyball).
Receiving the Outstanding Student Athletic Trainer Award was sophomore Lorretta Craft.
Cannie, a senior, was also the recipient of the Jo Kuhn Award for outstanding leadership. The Kitty Magee Award, recognizing the most dedicated student-athlete, was shared by sophomore gymnast Courtney Cochefski and senior softball player Tiffany Weise. The Diane Baker Intensity Award went to sophomore softball player Bailey Vrazel and sophomore volleyball player Chloe’ Tate.
Junior Hayley Summers received the Golden Cast Award from the school’s athletic training staff for being the athlete most conscientious about treatment and rehabilitation of her injuries.
Nominations for the 2011-12 President’s Award were announced and included Hanna (basketball), Chaynade Knowles (gymnastics) and Katelyn Osborne (volleyball). A nominee from softball will be selected at a later date with the winner being announced during the summer.