Sam Houston State senior Tori Benavidez has been named the Southland Conference Softball Student-Athlete of the Year, the league office announced Tuesday in conjunction with the release of the All-Academic Softball Teams.
Benavidez, a native of Midlothian, Texas (Midlothian H.S.), graduated with a 3.50 grade-point average in general business and is the first softball student-athlete of the year from Sam Houston State.
The Bearkat outfielder was named the conference’s player and hitter of the year after leading the league in runs scored (51), total hits (52), total bases (117), stolen bases (22) and ranking second in batting average (.406) and at bats (202).
The first-team all-conference selection was named to the NCAA Central All-Region team and finished her career ranked second all-time at Sam Houston State in batting average (.358). Benavidez earned all-tournament honors after leading the Bearkats to the championship game of the Southland tournament.
Benavidez, a Sam Houston Dean’s List student, is the softball team representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Sam Houston State led all schools with six student-athletes on the all-academic teams followed by Northwestern State with five and McNeese State with four. Central Arkansas had three members while Houston Baptist and Southeastern Louisiana both had two. Nicholls State and Stephen F. Austin had one apiece.
Ashley Isbell and Alyssa Coggins join Benavidez on the first team while Kim Damian, Shelby Lancaster and Jessica Slater are members of the second team.
The student-athlete of the year, selected by the league’s awards committee, will have attained athletics achievement for at least two years at the nominating institution, possess at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and demonstrated extracurricular service at her campus and or community.
The all-academic teams are voted on by the head coaches, sports information directors and academic/compliance administrators from each Southland university. Student-athletes must possess a 3.0 cumulative GPA, have completed one full academic year at the nominating institution and participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s competition to qualify for the all-academic squad.
2013 Southland Conference Softball All-Academic Teams
Name University Class Hometown GPA Major
Tori Benavidez^,1,3 Sam Houston State Sr. Midlothian, Texas 3.50 General Business
Melissa Bryant1,3 Central Arkansas Sr. Hernando, Miss. 3.70 Nursing
Elizabeth Arana1,2 Stephen F. Austin Jr. The Woodlands, Texas 4.00 Kinesiology
Alanna DiVittorio1,2 McNeese State Jr. Harahan, La. 3.84 Civil Engineering
Brianna Rodriguez1 Northwestern State Jr. Rowlett, Texas 3.49 Psychology/Addiction Studies
Victoria Granchelli1 Houston Baptist So. McAllen, Texas 3.35 Kinesiology
Meagan Bond1 McNeese State Sr. Lumberton, Miss. 3.13 Exercise Science
Kylie Roos2 Northwestern State Sr. Celina, Texas 3.45 Industrial Engineering Tech
Ashley Bertot Nicholls State Sr. League City, Texas 3.90 Accounting
Ashley Isbell Sam Houston State Gr. Katy, Texas 4.00 Kinesiology
Tara McKenney2 Northwestern State Jr. Red Oak, Texas 3.32 Communications
Alyssa Coggins2 Sam Houston State Jr. Sealy, Texas 3.75 General Business
Name University Class Hometown GPA Major
Brittany Virgoe Northwestern State So. Anaheim, Calif. 3.81 Nursing/Psychology
Melissa Herman Houston Baptist So. Katy, Texas 3.79 Business
Kim Damian Sam Houston State Sr. Angleton, Texas 3.18 Interdisciplinary Studies
Kelsey Nichols2 Southeastern La. Sr. Alvin, Texas 3.27 Family and Consumer Sciences
Katie Roux2 McNeese State Jr. Denham Springs, La. 4.00 Health Education
Shelby Lancaster Sam Houston State Jr. Tomball, Texas 3.45 Kinesiology
Ashley Boswell Central Arkansas So. Tahlequah, Okla. 3.60 Health Sci. – Physical Therapy
Lauren Langner McNeese State So. Pearland, Texas 3.50 General Studies
Jessica Slater Sam Houston State So. Katy, Texas 3.59 Interdisciplinary Studies
Megan McCollum2 Southeastern La. Jr. Lafayette, La. 3.63 Kinesiology
Cali Burke Northwestern State Jr. Mesquite, Texas 3.36 Psychology/Addiction Studies
Melanie Bryant3 Central Arkansas Sr. Hernando, Miss. 3.30 Nursing
^2013 Southland Softball Student-Athlete of the Year
2Two-time all-academic selection
3Three-time all-academic selection