RICHARDSON, Texas – UT Dallas senior Melissa Livermore and East Texas Baptist graduate student Casey Combs were selected as the 2018-19 American Southwest Conference Athlete of the Year recipients, the league office announced Thursday.
Livermore, a softball player from Frisco, Texas, was named NFCA First Team All-America, becoming the first-ever four-time All-American in Comet athletics history. She became first UTD softball player to garner ASC Player of the Year status this spring after collecting the first team All-ASC honors for the fourth straight season. Livermore set program career records for hits, runs, stolen bases, batting average, games played, and the game started. Also, she broke the ASC career records for hits and steals while becoming the NCAA D-III all-time stolen base leader (195). Livermore closed her career ranked No. 10 on the NCAA all-division steals list. She played and started 37 games this season while leading the ASC with a .485 batting average and 41 stolen bases. Livermore led her team with 38 runs scored and added 20 RBI, four triples, and was named Academic All-ASC and CoSIDA Academic All-District for the third straight season. Livermore was UTD’s female recipient of the ASC Scholar-Athlete Medal of Honor for 2018-19.
“It is amazing what Melissa has accomplished over her four years here at UTD, and to finish off her career with an outstanding award such as this one is great!,” said Comet head coach James Kling. “I am so proud of what Mel did both on and off the field for our program and school and know that she represents UTD and the ASC very well with awards such as these. There are so many great student-athletes that come out of the ASC, so this is an award that she should be very proud to receive.”
“Melissa will go down as the most decorated athlete in UT Dallas history,” said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Bill Pettit. “She played with grace and a team-first attitude, and she was a member of the program’s first conference championship in 2017. Her legacy will be much more than on-the-field stats. Her community service efforts and her role as a servant leader throughout the department will never be forgotten.”
Combs, from Southlake, Texas, was the ASC Baseball Player of the Year, helping ETBU to their third 30-win season in four years. This year he was an ABCA/Rawlings and D3baseball.com First Team All-America selection, ABCA/Rawlings and D3baseball.com West Player of the Year and All-West Region First Team pick, All-ASC First Team selection, a two-time ASC Hitter of the Week, and made the D3baseball.com Team of the Week once. The CoSIDA Academic All-District selection will be a three-time ASC Academic All-Conference Team member and graduated early (December 2018) from ETBU, starting his master’s degree in Business this past spring. He led the ASC in home runs and was second in batting average, hits, and total bases being in top 10 in seven categories. In the NCAA, he was seventh in home runs and ninth in total bases. Behind the plate this year, defensively, he threw out 14 runners stealing. He is a three-time All-ASC award winner being named twice to the second team, was the 2017 Red Bracket Championship Tournament MVP and was voted ETBU’s top male athlete this year. Combs was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 27th round of the 2019 MLB Draft.
“Casey being named the ASC Athlete of the Year is a testament to his work ethic and commitment to excellence not only on the diamond but also in the classroom and in the community, as he has made a tremendous impact during his time at ETBU and as a Tiger,” Vice President for Athletics Ryan Erwin said. “He has been a leader among the baseball team, both athletically and spiritually. We are proud of his many accomplishments and are rooting for him as he starts his professional baseball career in the Miami Marlins organization,”
Livermore is the first woman from UT Dallas and the fifth softball player to be named Athlete of the Year. Combs is the second man from East Texas Baptist, joining brother Conner Combs, to win the award. He is also the fifth baseball player.
The ASC Athlete of the Year award recognizes a male and a female student-athlete whose athletic accomplishments best contributed to their sport, their institution’s overall athletic program and to the conference during the past athletic year and is presented for the 20th time in 2018-19. Selection is made from campus nominees with the recipients chosen by a vote of the conference sports information directors.