Garcia, Carruth Top ASC Softball Awards
RICHARDSON, Texas – East Texas Baptist senior second baseman Hannah Garcia was named Player of the Year. Belhaven sophomore Kennedy Carruth received Pitcher of the Year in the American Southwest Conference 2021 Softball All-Conference teams and awards as voted on by the league coaches.
Garcia hit .444 with 48 hits, 26 runs, 11 doubles, two home runs, 37 RBI, and six stolen bases. She also had a .602 slugging percentage.
Carruth, who was also the Newcomer of the Year, went 20-3 with a save and a 0.99 earned run average. She recorded 16 complete games, including three shutouts, and struck out 178 batters in 142 innings.
ETBU designated player Tauryn Cummings, and Concordia Texas outfielder Megan Hooper were the Co-Freshmen of the Year. Cummings hit .446 with 33 hits, nine runs scored, seven doubles, three home runs, 18 RBI, and a .662 slugging percentage. Hooper led the Tornados with a .434 average, 49 hits, and 30 runs to go with six doubles, two triples, a homer, 20 RBI, and 24 steals.
Louisiana College senior outfielder Briley Johnston was voted as the ASC Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year. She will be eligible for the American Southwest Conference Fred Jacoby Award.
Belhaven’s Kevin Griffin and his staff received Coaching Staff of the Year. He led the Blazers to a 30-10 record, including 22-5 in conference play, and were the Co-ASC East Division champions.
Twenty-three players repeated as All-Conference selections, including four for the third time – BU’s Marlee Blackwell, Johnston, and Samantha Cetta from LC and Daniela Solis of ETBU.
2021 All-American Southwest Conference Softball Teams & Awards
Player of the Year – Hannah Garcia, East Texas Baptist
Pitcher of the Year – Kennedy Carruth, Belhaven
Co-Freshmen of the Year – Tauryn Cummings, East Texas Baptist & Megan Hooper, Concordia Texas
Newcomer of the Year – Kennedy Carruth, Belhaven
Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year – Briley Johnston, Louisiana College
Coaching Staff of the Year – Belhaven (Kevin Griffin – Head Coach; Courtney Fairley, Mallory Parson)
UT Dallas Captures Second ASC Baseball Title
RICHARDSON, Texas – Concordia Texas claimed its second American Southwest Conference title in baseball after defeating East Texas Baptist in the Gold Bracket Championship in a best-of-three series Thursday and Friday at UTD Baseball Field
The Comets (29-10), the top seed, took Thursday’s game 12-7 over the Tigers (29-16), who were the second seed. UTD wrapped up the series Friday afternoon with a 5-1 victory.
The Comets also won the championship in 2018 and earned the ASC’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship, their third appearance. The selection show for the tournament will be Sunday, May 23, on NCAA.com at 11:00 am.
Game 1, ETBU took a 2-0 lead after the top of the first. UTD answered with four in the bottom of the frame and two more in the second to go up 6-2. Junior left fielder A.J. Liu hit a two-run homer in the fourth for the Comets, and Zachary McAdams had a two-run single in the fifth to make the game 8-4.
Second baseman Ramon Garza, the tournament MVP, hit a grand slam in the eighth to give UTD a 12-4 advantage. The Tigers managed three more runs in the ninth to make the final score 12-7.
Garza was 4-for-5 with five RBI, four runs scored, a double, and the grand slam. Liue drove in three, and Marcos Villegas hit a two-run homer in the first.
McAdams was 3-for-4 with four RBI, and center fielder Christopher Shay was 3-for-5 with two runs scored for ETBU.
Carter Cochrane (10-0) earned the win on the mound, allowing eight hits, four runs, and three walks with six strikeouts over six frames.
In Friday’s game, Blake Birdwell threw seven innings, allowing a run, seven hits, and four strikeouts to move to 5-3 on the year. Relievers Ben Soule and Orion Drymond combined for three strikeouts in the final two innings. Eer ETBU reliever Sayer Collins struck out five and allowed just one walk in 3.1 scoreless innings.
Shortstop Keagan Vance put the Comets on the board in the top of the second with an RBI single to the right field. Tiger shortstop evened it up in the fourth with a solo home run over the left-field fence, his 15th on the season.
Villegas gave UTD the lead for good with a two-run single up the middle. A pair of errors led to two more Comet runs in the sixth.
All-Tournament Team / Gold Bracket
MVP – Ramon Garza, UT Dallas
Blake Birdwell, UT Dallas
Carter Cochrane, UT Dallas
Jacob Perry, UT Dallas
Marcos Villegas, UT Dallas
Sayer Collins, East Texas Baptist
Blake Corbin, East Texas Baptist
Zachary McAdams, East Texas Baptist
Christopher Shay, East Texas Baptist