Softball's Carmen Paez Named DAKTRONICS Player of the Year
ARKADELPHIA, ARK. --- Carmen Paez of Florida Gulf Coast and Megan Brown of Florida Southern were selected as Daktronics All-South Region Softball Player and Pitcher of the Year released Wednesday.
The South Region is made up of member institutions of the Gulf South Conference, Sunshine States Conference, and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference as well as independent institutions in the south.
Paez has a .436 batting average and has slugged 26 home runs this season leading Florida Gulf Coast to a 58-6 record and a No. 3 seed in the NCAA South Regional this weekend in Valdosta, Ga. The junior from Bele Glade, Fla. led the voting earning 69 percent of the first place votes.
Rachael Edinger and Rachael Homan each earned second team honors. Edinger posted a 28-1 record and 0.83 ERA with five saves. Homan belted 16 homers while swiping a team best 34 bases. Homan scored 61 runs during the year while posting a .681 slugging percentage.
Paez may have the opportunity to face Brown in the Regional as the Florida Southern pitcher has a 28-8 record and has posted a 0.79 earned run average striking out 250 batters this season. Florida Southern is the No. 4 seed in this weekend’s South Regional.
Arkansas-Monticello, Henderson State and Rollins College landed two players each on the first team.
First baseman Meredith Heckel of UAM received 62 percent of the first place votes. The GSC West Division Player of the Year hit .437 with 22 home runs. The junior from Hot Springs, Ark. helped lead the Cotton Blossoms to a 45-18 record and a berth in the NCAA South Regional.
Teammate Jenny Dunn was one of three outfielders to earn first team honors. The junior from Adelaide, Australia posted a .420 average with 16 home runs and 67 RBI.
Henderson State shortstop Kelcie Glidden earned 59 percent of the first place votes. Glidden, a three-time First Team All-GSC selection, ended the season with a .408 batting average while hitting 12 home runs and scoring 55 runs this season. The junior from Angleton, Texas led the Diamond Reddies to a 27-15 record and to their fourth straight GSC Tournament appearance.
Catcher Jeaniel Pati set the Henderson State single-season record with a .441 batting average while also hitting 12 home runs. A two-time first team All-GSC selection, the senior from Copperas Cove, Texas led the team with 43 RBI.
Outfielder Sherri Rabenold and pitcher Nicole Anderson will lead Rollins into the NCAA South Regional as the No. 6 seed. Rabenold, a junior from Jacksonville, Fla., hit .413 for the Tars and drove in 45 runs while stealing 34 bases this season. Anderson has compiled a 25-12 record in the circle and has limited opponents to a .161 batting average. The sophomore from Lithia, Fla. has a 0.80 ERA and has struckout 368 batters in 235.1 innings of work.
The remaining first team includes Delta State second baseman Chasey Niebrugge who was a first-team All-GSC selection hitting .354 while having 10 home runs and driving in 36 runs.
Valdosta State pitcher Brianna Collis has led the Blazers to a 46-7 record this season and the No. 1 seed in the South Region. The sophomore from British Columbia, Canada has a 20-1 record with a 1.40 ERA.
Barry outfielder Cristina DeTagle has a .420 average this season. The junior from North Miami Beach, Fla. led Barry to a 42-17 record and a No. 7 seed in this weekend’s South Regional.
The remaining two members on the first team are designated player Devlin Dougherty of Tampa and utility player Katie Veltri of Nova Southeastern.
Dougherty hit .328 this season with seven home runs and 31 RBI, while Veltri posted a .420 average with 12 home runs and 62 RBI.
The 13 first team selections are now eligible for the Daktronics All-American Team.