McNeese's Smith named SLC coach of the year

By Special to the American Press

Second-year McNeese State head softball coach Mike Smith was named the Southland Conference Coach of the Year on Tuesday.

Smith led McNeese to its third

consecutive SLC regular-season title and first outright title since

1983. The Cowgirls (38-13)

tied the single-season school record with 38 wins. Smith, who

sports a career record of 708-207, is the third McNeese coach

to win the award. Scott Eastman earned the honor in 1994 and

Natalie Poole in 2009.

Five Cowgirls were named to the All-SLC team. Senior pitcher Meagan Bond, junior outfielder Alanna DiVittorio and sophomore

catcher Ashley Modzelewski were named to the first team. Freshman designated player Emily Vincent was named to the second

team and freshman pitcher Jamie Allred was named to the third team.

Bond (18-5, 1.28 ERA), the school’s all-time wins leader, recorded five shutouts, and 163 strikeouts in 147 2/3 innings. She

ranks fourth in the nation in walks allowed per seven innings with 0.76.

DiVittorio (.367, 9 HRs) leads the team in several categories. She has 12 multiple-hit games. She also had multiple RBIs

in nine games. Modzelewski (.325, 29 RBIs) was a first-team selection last season as designated player.

Vincent (.346), a native of Sulphur, leads the team with 43 RBIs and is tied for a team-high nine home runs. She put together

the longest hitting streak of the season of 12 games and has reached bases in the last 19 games.

Allred (18-5, 2.02) has 141 strikeouts in a team-high 149 innings pitcher with four shutouts.

The Cowgirls will be the No. 1 seed in

the SLC tournament, which begins Thursday in Natchitoches. They will

play at 4 p.m. Thursday against the Central Arkansas-Lamar

game, which will be played at 11 a.m.

All-Southland Softball Teams

First Team

1B—Brianna Rodriguez, Northwestern State, Jr., Rowlett, Texas; 2B—Melissa Bryant, Central Arkansas, Sr., Hernando, Miss.; 3B—Shelbi Tucker, Sam Houston State, Sr., Montgomery, Texas; SS—Elizabeth Arana, Stephen F. Austin, Jr., The Woodlands, Texas; C—Ashley Modzelewski, McNeese State, So., Sour Lake, Texas; UT—Victoria Granchelli, Houston Baptist, So., McAllen, Texas; DP—Hillary

Adams, Sam Houston State, So., Elgin, Texas; Tori Benavidez, Sam

Houston State, Sr., Midlothian, Texas; Alanna DiVittorio,

McNeese State, Jr., Harahan; Lauren Schwirtlich, Houston Baptist,

Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas; P—Kelsie Armstrong, Central Arkansas, Sr., Hot Springs, Ark.; Meagan Bond, McNeese State, Sr., Lumberton, Miss.

Second Team

1B—Kim Damian, Sam Houston State, Sr., Angleton, Texas; 2B—Ashley Bertot, Nicholls State, Sr., League City, Texas; 3B—Brittany Virgoe, Northwestern State, So., Anaheim, Calif.; SS—Tara McKenney, Northwestern State, Jr., Red Oak, Texas; C—Melanie Bryant, Central Arkansas, Sr., Hernando, Miss.; UT—Lindsey Lyles, A&M-Corpus Christi, So., Lufkin, Texas; DP—Emily Vincent, McNeese State, Fr., Sulphur; OF—Kirsten Schwirtlich, Houston Baptist, Fr., Corpus Christi, Texas; Michelle Duhe, Southeastern Louisiana, Sr., Lutcher; Katie

Lacour, Southeastern Louisiana, Fr., Port St. Joe, Fla.; P—Kylie Roos, Northwestern State, Sr., Celina, Texas; Kaylee Guidry, Northwestern State, Jr., Walker.

Third Team

1B—Melissa Herman, Houston Baptist, So., Katy, Texas; 2B—Alyssa Coggins, Sam Houston State, Jr., Sealy, Texas; 3B—Megan Moore, Southeastern Louisiana, So., Elgin, Texas; SS—Tiffany Castillo, Sam Houston State, Fr., Port Lavaca, Texas; C—Ashley Isbell, Sam Houston State, Sr., Katy, Texas; UT—Sarah Bigej, Central Arkansas, Fr., Happy Valley, Ore.; DP—Cassandra Barefield, Northwestern State, So., Houston; OF—Danielle Phillips, Nicholls State, Fr., Resaca, Ga.; Jessica Slater, Sam Houston State, So., Katy, Texas; Candyce Carter,

Lamar, Jr., Sweeny, Texas; P—Jamie Allred, McNeese State, Fr., Hallsville, Texas; Haley Baros, Sam Houston State, So., Bay City, Texas.

Player of the Year — Tori Benavidez, Sam Houston State

Hitter of the Year — Tori Benavidez, Sam Houston State

Pitcher of the Year — Kelsie Armstrong, Central Arkansas

Freshman of the Year — Kirsten Schwirtlich, Houston Baptist

Newcomer of the Year — Lauren Schwirtlich, Houston Baptist

Coach of the Year — Mike Smith, McNeese State

Honorable Mention1B: Ashley McDowell, Lamar; 2B: Cali Burke, Northwestern State; 3B: Alaina Guidry, Nicholls State; Tiffany Roby, Central Arkansas; C: Brittany Marcet, Nicholls State; Beverly Corry, Lamar; Cheyenne DelaGarza, Northwestern State; UT: Shalie Day, Stephen F. Austin; DP: Amber Sather, Southeastern Louisiana; OF: Kelsey Nichols, Southeastern Louisiana; Cecillia Castillo, Sam Houston State; Haley Parkerson, Nicholls State; Jenna Holland,

Lamar; P: Shannon Millman, Lamar; Hannah Haydel, Nicholls State; Ashton Bennett, Nicholls State.