Kim Damian was named "Hitter of the Year" and was one of three Sam Houston State players honored as first team selections as the 2012 All-Southland Conference softball team was announced Tuesday afternoon.
Eight Bearkat players were named to the 2012 All-Southland squad, the most since 2007 when Sam Houston also finished as runners-up in the league race. That 2007 team went on to earn the program's first NCAA Division I regional playoff berth by winning the Southland post-season tournament. Only Sam Houston's 1993 Southland Conference championship that went on to win the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) title produced more All-Southland selections (eight).
Damian at first base, Shelbi Tucker at third base and outfielder Tori Benavidez were voted as first team all-league selections. Catcher Hillary Adams, one of only seven freshmen to be named all-conference, was a second team honoree for Sam Houston.
Shortstop Sarah Allison and designated player Ashley Isbell were named to the third team and pitchers Tomi Garrison and Shelby Lancaster were honorable mention selections.
Damian, a junior from Angleton, leads the Southland in slugging (.701) and ranks fourth in batting average (.373) as the Bearkats' hitting leader in 2012. She totaled 14 multiple hit games and produced the Kats' longest hitting streak of the season (eight games).
Tucker, a junior from Montgomery, is second in the conference in slugging and is the Bearkats' leader in RBIs this year with 36. Tucker leads the team with nine multiple RBI games. Tucker and Damian both have totaled 10 home runs in 2012, the top total in the Southland.
Benavidez earned All-Southland honors for the second time in her career. She is Sam Houston's second-leading hitter this year and ranks 11th in the league with a .333 batting average. She also has totaled 14 multiple hit perforances.
Adams ranks fourth in the Southland Conference with eight home runs this season. The freshman from Elgin hit .275 this season with 18 RBIs and six multiple hit performances.
Allison has been a key defensive player at shortstop and hit .262 with seven home runs. The sophomore from College Station A&M Consolidated totaled 11 multiple hit games this season.
Isbell has seen action both at catcher and designated player, hit .239 in 2012. The junior from Katy Taylor has totaled four multiple hit games and produced a .977 fielding average.
Garrison, a senior right-hander from Garland, and Lancaster, a sophomore hurler from Tomball, gave the Bearkats a potent 1-2 punch in the circle this season. Earning All-Southland honors for the second time in her career, Garrison produced a 10-8 won-loss record, a 2.95 ERA and was credited with three saves. Lancaster is 11-7 in the circle with a team-leading 2.64 ERA.
The Sam Houston softball team begins competition in the 2012 Southland Conference tournament in San Antonio Thursday. The last time the Bearkats were No. 2 seed (in 2007), SHSU won the event to advance to the NCAA Regionals.
2012 All-Southland Conference Softball Team
Pos. Name University Class
1B Kim Damian Sam Houston State Jr.
2B Anna Bertot Nicholls State Jr.
3B Shelbi Tucker Sam Houston State Jr.
SS Molly Fichtner UTSA So.
C Megan Low UTSA Fr.
UT Melissa Bryant Central Arkansas Jr.
DP Ashley Modzelewski McNeese State Fr.
OF Claire Terracina McNeese State Sr.
OF Nicole Beals Central Arkansas Sr.
OF Tori Benavidez Sam Houston State Jr.
P Chandler Hall Texas State Sr.
P Kelsie Armstrong Central Arkansas Jr.
1B Haley Lemons Texas State Jr.
2B Anna Hernandez Texas State Jr.
3B Ashley Ray Nicholls State Sr.
SS Tara McKenney Northwestern State So.
C Hillary Adams Sam Houston State Fr.
UT Teri Lyles UT Arlington Jr.
DP Katie McGregor Central Arkansas Sr.
OF Alanna DiVittorio McNeese State So.
OF Stephanie Lasley Central Arkansas Jr.
OF Brooke Baker Texas State Jr.
P Anne Marie Taylor Texas State Jr.
P Greta Cecchetti A&M-Corpus Christi Sr.
1B Ashley Boswell Central Arkansas Fr.
2B Ashley Kappler UTSA Sr.
3B Tiffany Roby Central Arkansas Fr.
SS Sarah Allison Sam Houston State So.
SS Selena Hernandez Texas State Fr.
C Melanie Bryant Central Arkansas Jr.
UT Elizabeth Arana Stephen F. Austin So.
DP Ashley Isbell Sam Houston State Jr.
OF Samantha Roberts Northwestern State Sr.
OF Megan Gaspard Nicholls State Sr.
OF Courtney Buchman UTSA Fr.
P Tiffany Denham McNeese State Sr.
P Haylee Staton UTSA Jr.
Honorable Mention - 1B: Brianna Rodriguez, NWSt; Caitlyn Ivy, UTSA; 2B: Cali Burke, NW St; Megan McCollum, SE LA; Lauren Langner, McN; 3B: Nikki Goff, UTSA; SS: Lissa Avitia, UCA; Catcher: Erica LeFlore, UTA; Utility: Kylie Roos, NW St; Outfield: Marissa Koetting, McN; Cassie Redman, AMCC; Hannah Schwarz, AMCC; Michelle Duhe, SE La; Pitcher: Shelby Lancaster, SHSU; Tomi Garrison, SHSU.
Player of the Year: Chandler Hall, Texas State
Hitter of the Year: Kim Damian, Sam Houston State
Pitcher of the Year: Chandler Hall, Texas State
Freshman of the Year: Megan Low, UTSA
Newcomer of the Year: Ashley Bertot, Nicholls State
Coach of the Year: Ricci Woodard, Texas State