Oklahoma Leads Big 12 Softball Postseason Awards
Courtesy: Big12Sports.com
          Release: 05/14/2013
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As the 2013 Big 12 softball regular season comes to a close, the league office has announced the winners of this year’s postseason honors. Oklahoma took home three yearly awards as Patty Gasso was named Coach of the Year for the sixth time. Keilani Ricketts garnered Pitcher of the Year accolades and Shelby Pendley nabbed the Player of the Year distinction.  The trio of awards marks the second time since 2002 the three honors have gone to representatives of the same team.

Baylor tallied two postseason awards as Sarah Smith was named Freshman of the Year and Kathy Shelton was honored as the Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year along with Kansas’ Maggie Hull.

In her 19th year at the helm of the Sooner program, Gasso received her second-consecutive Coach of the Year honor. Her six  accolades overall are the most by any league coach. She led the Sooners to their 10th overall Big 12 crown this season and had the squad ranked in the top two nationally throughout the year, including the last nine weeks as the consensus No. 1 team in both polls. Oklahoma begins play in this weekend’s NCAA Regional as the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. 

Pendley became the eighth Sooner to earn the Player of the Year award and fourth in the last six years. The sophomore led the league in home runs (10), RBI (30), total bases (59) and slugging percentage (1.157) in conference play this season. Pendley is the first sophomore to win the honor since OU’s Kelli Braitsch in 2001.

Ricketts earns her second-straight postseason award after garnering Player of the Year honors in 2012. She has had a record-breaking senior season, becoming the winningest pitcher in Oklahoma history. The Californian has six-career no-hitters, including five this year, both of which are school records. She has recorded 1,531 strikeouts in her four years at OU, putting her second on the Big 12 career list. Ricketts, the defending USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, is also a top 10 finalist for this year’s honor.

Smith becomes the first Lady Bear to be named Freshman of the Year since teammate Whitney Canion earned the honor in 2009. The third baseman led the team in batting average (.346) and slugging percentage (.481) and tied for the team lead in home runs in Big 12 play this season.

Shelton and Hull are the first Big 12 softball Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Shelton, a speech pathology major from McKinney, Texas, leads the Bears in hits (20), runs scored (17) and triples (3) in league games and was named to the All-Big 12 Defensive Team for her play in the outfield. Hull, a journalism and spanish double-major who boasts a 3.8 GPA, was voted second-team All-Big12 and led the Jayhawks in batting average (.456), hits (73) and doubles (18) in all games this season. 

Along with the yearly awards, the All-Big 12 Teams were announced. Oklahoma nabbed the most honorees of any institution as 11 Sooners (five first-team) were named to the first, second and defensive teams. Texas was next with seven selections, while Baylor tallied six. A total of four Jayhawks were named to the squads, while Iowa State had three student-athletes selected to the teams. Oklahoma State and Texas Tech rounded out the honorees with one representative each.

All-Big 12 teams and postseason honors are selected in a vote by the league’s head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.

Coach of the Year
Patty Gasso, Oklahoma

Player of the Year
Shelby Pendley, Oklahoma, INF

Pitcher of the Year
Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma, LHP

Freshman of the Year
Sarah Smith, Baylor, INF

Co-Scholar-Athletes of the Year
Kathy Shelton, Baylor, OF
Maggie Hull, Kansas, OF

All-Big 12 First Team
Whitney Canion, Baylor, Jr., P
Kathy Shelton, Baylor, Sr., OF
Erica Miller, Iowa State, Sr., 1B
Lauren Chamberlain, Oklahoma, So., 1B
Destinee Martinez, Oklahoma, Jr., OF
Shelby Pendley, Oklahoma, So., 3B
Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma, Sr., P
Brianna Turang, Oklahoma, Sr., OF
Taylor Hoagland, Texas, Sr., 3B
Blaire Luna, Texas, Sr., P
Taylor Thom, Texas, Jr., SS
Brejae Washington, Texas, Jr., OF

All-Big 12 Second Team
Sarah Smith, Baylor, Fr., 3B
Kaithlyn Thumann, Baylor, So., OF
Brittany Gomez, Iowa State, Fr., OF
Chaley Brickey, Kansas, Fr., SS
Maggie Hull, Kansas, Sr., OF
Kelsey Kessler, Kansas, Fr., P
Georgia Casey, Oklahoma, So., 2B
Michelle Gascoigne, Oklahoma, Sr., P
Tarah Ettinger, Oklahoma State, Jr., UT
Kim Bruins, Texas, Sr., P/UT
Torie Schmidt, Texas, Sr., OF
Mikey Kenney, Texas Tech, Sr., OF

All-Big 12 Defensive Team
Mariah Montgomery, Kansas Sr., 1B
Georgia Casey, Oklahoma, So., 2B
Lexi Slater, Iowa State, So., SS
Sarah Smith, Baylor, Fr., 3B
Kathy Shelton, Baylor, Sr., OF
Brianna Turang, Oklahoma, Sr., OF
Brejae Washington, Texas, Jr., OF
Jessica Shults, Oklahoma, Sr., C
Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma, Sr., P

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