Four Skyhawks named to All-Ohio Valley Conference softball teams

Four Skyhawks named to All-Ohio Valley Conference softball teams
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. — The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team was well represented on the All-Ohio Valley Conference teams announced Wednesday night at the OVC Tournament Awards Banquet. Sophomores Ashley Benbow, Paij Lintz and Megan Williams were all named to the All-OVC Second Team, while freshman Chelsea Cary was named to the All-Newcomer Team.
“All four of these young ladies were very deserving of this honor after the seasons they put together for us,” said head coach Donley Canary. “They were definitely some of the key components to the successes we did have and if we could have made the tournament, I feel we would have had even more from our team honored.”
Benbow, who appears on the All-OVC squad for the second consecutive year, finished the year leading the Skyhawks in 13 statistical categories and was among the top 10 of the OVC in seven categories. Benbow finished the season with a .337 batting average, while leading the team with 19 multi-hit games, along with five multi-RBI games.
Throughout the season, Benbow continued to etch her name in the Skyhawk record books as she became the career leader in triples as only a sophomore. Her second triple of the season, at Austin Peay, gave her number 10 of her career to match the all-time mark.
She also set a single-season record for walks in a season with 23 free passes, eclipsing the previous single-season record of 19. Benbow additionally set a new single-game record with six RBI, also against Austin Peay, surpassing the previous record of five.
Lintz, who also appears on the All-OVC squad for a second consecutive year, was the Skyhawks top pitcher at the season’s end. After opening the year 4-7, with an ERA at 3.62, Lintz found her groove during OVC play as she rattled off five consecutive victories and finished her last six decisions 5-1 for an overall record of 9-8. She also dropped her ERA to a team low 2.31.
Lintz’ revival to all-conference form got a jump start against Tennessee State when she turned in a career best 12 strikeout performance, including a stretch of six consecutive strikeouts. Her efforts along with two other wins in the same week earned her OVC pitcher of the week accolades for the second time in her career.
She finished the year leading the squad in five pitching categories. In addition to having a team low ERA, she also held opposing batters to a team low .249 average and picked up a team high two saves. After only two seasons, she has also moved into ninth place on the Skyhawk career strikeout list and is on pace to contend for the career record in her senior season.
Williams makes her debut on the All-OVC team after a very productive sophomore year. After starting all 55 games of the season in center field, she finished the season with a .306 batting average, 22 RBI and four home runs.
She also had a flair for producing at the plate in pressure situations, as she accounted for more game winning hits and runs than any other member of the Skyhawks. Williams finished the year accounting for nine game-winners. She also chipped in 12 multi-hit games and five multi-RBI performances. She hit a pair of triples this season, moving her into the top five on the career triples list as only a sophomore. Williams’ best day of the season came in a doubleheader against Mid-Continent College when she was a perfect 5-5 at the plate and accounted for six runs with a RBI and five runs scored on the day.
Cary makes her debut on the All-OVC squad despite having her freshman campaign cut short with a knee injury. Prior to the injury, Cary was one of the top hitters for the Skyhawks. She appeared in 31 games, starting 27 of them, and hit .341 with 12 RBI and one home run. Her home run was dramatic game tying two-run shot with two outs in the bottom of the seventh against Ball State at the Hospitality House Classic. That home run pushed the game into extra-innings, allowing UT Martin to eventually win it in the ninth.
Her most productive day came in a doubleheader against Austin Peay where she went 4-7 at the plate and combined to drive in or score a total of eight runs. In both ends of the double-dip she posted a pair or runs scored and knocked in two.
Four members of the All-OVC team are the most UT Martin has had since the 2006 season when it had five members.

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