OKLAHOMA CITY – Texas A&M sophomore Natalie Villarreal was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and garnered All-Big 12 second team honors, while five Aggie softball players received Big 12 awards, the conference announced Friday.
From Frisco, Texas, Villarreal is the first player from Texas A&M and first sophomore to garner Defensive Player of the Year honors in league history. In addition to leading the Aggies with a .350 batting average, the second baseman has tallied just two errors in conference play and posts a .971 fielding percentage.
Senior Erin Glasco and sophomore Rhi Kliesing were selected to the All-Big 12 first team and senior Holly Ridley and junior Bailey Schroeder earned Academic All-Big 12 second team honors.
Glasco and Kliesing each received the All-Big 12 accolades for the first time, while Ridley and Schroeder are two-time Academic All-Big 12 honorees.
Glasco leads the team with a .316 batting average in Big 12 play and ranks second in the league with a .491 on base percentage overall and a .527 on base percentage against conference opponents. The Johnston City, Ill., native has started every game this season at catcher.
Kliesing, a product of Pearland, Texas, has a team-high eight home runs and 34 RBIs. She records a .289 average in Big 12 play with 10 RBIs and a .511 slugging percentage. The designated player and pitcher for the Aggies started every game and was named Big 12 Pitcher and Player of the Week this season.
Ridley, A&M’s right fielder is from Sugar Land, Texas, and is a communication major with a 3.019 grade point average. Schroeder earned a starting position in left field and is a native of College Station with a 3.105 GPA. She is majoring in community health.
The Big 12 postseason awards were announced following the first two games of the Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Aggies face Baylor in their first game of the championship Saturday at 11:30 a.m.