MAC Announces Softball Regular Season Awards

Updated 5/12/2010
AKRON, OHIO -- The Mid-American Conference announced today the 2010 All-MAC teams, MAC All-Freshman team and the specialty award winners.

East Division Champion and the top seed in the tournament Kent State head coach Karen Linder was named Coach of the Year by her peers. Linder claimed the coaching honor for the third time in her 14 year career at KSU and for the second time in three years. Last month she earned her 400th victory at KSU and 200th MAC victory. After being picked to finish second in the East this season, Linder led her team to a 17-5 conference mark and a co-MAC regular season title. She has guided the Flashes to five straight division crowns and three regular season championships in the last four years.

Kent State's Kylie Reynolds became the first person in MAC history to be named Pitcher of the Year honors for three consecutive seasons and the first player in KSU history to earn first team honors in four consecutive seasons. In conference only games, she led the MAC in wins (15-3), strikeouts (170) and opponent batting average (.179) and ranked second in ERA (1.68). She tied for the league lead in shutouts (3) her 9.83 strikeouts per game were three more than any other pitcher in the conference. Reynolds also recently won her sixth MAC East Pitcher of the Week honor of the season.

West Division Champion Ball State's Jessie Ware claimed Player of the Year honors. Ware (Phoenix, Ariz.) leads Ball State in nearly every offensive category, including batting average (.431), runs (61), hits (78), triples (16), extra base hits (36), total bases (140), slugging percentage (.773), on-base percentage (.461) and multi-hit games (21). A senior transfer from Arizona State, Ware leads the conference in runs scored, hits, triples and total bases. Nationally, Ware leads the nation in triples and triples per game, is ranked No. 10 in runs per game and No. 33 in slugging percentage. Setting four single season school records this year - triples, hits, runs and total bases - Ware is also a key player on defense and leads the team with five double plays at third base. In addition, Ware's stats in Mid-American Conference play top the team and the conference in several categories, among which include hits (29), runs scored (20) and triples (4).

Garnering Freshman of the Year honors was Bowling Green's Paige Berger. In her freshman season, Paige Berger set a new program record by hitting 12 home runs this year and her .713 slugging percentage ranks second in program history. She was a dominant force during conference play, with a .383 batting average, .465 on-base percentage, and .783 slugging percentage in 22 league games. She also led the MAC with seven homers and 23 RBI while sprinkling in some speed as well on a perfect 4-for-4 on stolen bases. Berger's versatility defensively was critical to Bowling Green exceeding preseason expectations. She started the team's first 26 games at first base but moved to second for the final 14 games after an injury to a teammate. With Bowling Green needing a win in the team's final game of the regular season to earn a bid to the MAC Tournament, Berger's two-run RBI single in the first inning was all the offense the team would need in a 3-0 win over MAC regular season champion Kent State.

Miami's Alicia Hogl received this year's Nan Harvey Award. Nan Harvey was an integral part of the University at Buffalo family for over two decades her dedication and passion for women's sports and the game of softball were shown through her everyday commitment to excellence. This award is given in Nan's honor to a MAC player, coach or affiliate who demonstrates the type of commitment, leadership, toughness, and tenacious attitude that Nan Harvey epitomized. Hogl has been a three-time captain for the RedHawks. She went through a complete reconstruction of her knee and set a great example of coming back from an injury while still supporting her teammates last winter. She then came back at the beginning of the conference season to lead the team to the tournament championship. Hogl was on the executive committee with RedHawk Council and was a very influential leader within the athletic community. Wanting to move leader¬ship ideas forward on campus, she was Miami's representative to the SAAC Conference her sophomore year and implemented programs within the department to educate students on alcohol and leadership. She also started a chapter of the Bring Joy to a Child in the Miami Athletic Department, which saw teams adopt less fortunate families around the Oxford area during the holidays. The program, which saw more than half of the Miami teams along with several other departments around athletics participate, brought needed clothing and household items to those families as well as gifts to make sure the children would have a happy holiday.

Joining teammate Reynolds on the All-MAC First Team from the Golden Flashes was Jessica Carmichael. In addition to Ware, BSU added Elizabeth Milian and Lisa Rozanski to the team. Meghan Mawn, Sarah Billstrom and Meredith Linch were named to the team for Miami. Ohio added two to the team with Melissa Bonner and Emily Wethington as did Eastern Michigan with Sarah Gerber and Jenny Scherer. Round out the first team were BGSU's Berger, Central Michigan's Jill Schulz and Northern Illinois's Zoe Sinnner.

The All-MAC second is lead by Ball State with three student atheltes Katie Wilczynski, Alicia Barkley and Amanda Montalto. Kent Sate, Miami, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan each add two with Leah Archual and Lauren Grimes of KSU, Daniela Torres and Jessica Simpson of Miami, Andrea Colosimo and Carly Norton of NIU and Gracie Barstad and Meredith Whitney of WMU. Finishing the season team were Bowling Green's Hannah Fulk, Central Michigan's Kari Seddon , Ohio's Shaylene Petrich and Toledo's Erinn Wright.

Berger headed up the All-Freshman team along with teammate Fulk, Kent State's Grimes and UT's Wright. Also picking up All-Freshman honors were Amanda Carpenter of Ball State, Ashley Bertot of Buffalo, Kara Dornbos of Central Michigan, Jennifer Barnett and Adriana Sanchez of Northern Illinois and Lauren Gellerman of Ohio.

All awards were voted on by the leagues twelve head coaches.