UTM pair picked best in league
Posted: Friday, May 11, 2012 12:00 pm
UT Martin’s Leah Taylor was named the 2012 Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year, while fellow Skyhawk Chelsea Jones was tabbed the 2012 OVC Pitcher of the Year as voted on by the league’s head softball coaches and sports information directors.
Murray State’s Casey Castile earned OVC Freshman of the Year accolades, and UTM’s Donley Canary was named OVC Coach of the Year.
The awards were given out Wednesday night at the softball banquet in conjunction with the 2012 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.
A native of Brownsville, Taylor leads the league in batting average (.463), runs scored (56) and triples (10). Her 10 triples this year set a new league single-season record while ranking second in the nation.
The 2012 All-OVC first team pick ranks second in the OVC with 71 hits and 32 stolen bases. The junior outfielder also has seven home runs to give her 25 extra base hits so far in 2012.
Taylor takes a five-game hitting streak into the tournament. She becomes the second Skyhawk to earn Player of the Year honors, joining Megan Williams who won the award in 2010.
Jones, a product of Tullahoma, ranks first in the league in wins (25), innings pitched (223.0), saves (3), appearances (41), games started (33) and complete games (28).
The first-team All-OVC selection has recorded 174 strikeouts and a 2.35 ERA to rank in the top 5 in the conference. The senior pitcher posted two double-digit strike out games with a season-high 11 coming against Binghamton. She now has 55 career complete games and 53 career wins.
Jones is the second UT Martin pitcher to win the honor following Paij Lintz who won the award in 2010.
Canary earns his second OVC Coach of the Year honor after winning the award in 2010. The Skyhawks captured its second OVC regular-season title in the last three years with a 23-6 league mark.
The 23 conference wins are the most by a UT Martin squad and the third most in league history. The Skyhawks lead the league in doubles (65) and triples (15) while ranking in the top three in walks (158), slugging percentage (.405), and on-base percentage (.351).
Castile, a outfielder from Ho leads all OVC freshmen in runs scored (40), runs batted in (44) and stolen bases (21). The All-OVC first team and All-Newcomer selection also ranks among league leaders in batting average (.351), home runs (11), walks (22) and total bases (95).
Castile has recorded a team-high 12 multi-RBI games this season driving in a season-best six against Tennessee State. She has also posted 15 multi-hit games in 2012. Castile becomes the first Racer to earn Freshman of the Year honors. Published in The WCP 5.10.12