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Campbellsville University took home three of the top four awards Friday evening at the Mid-South Conference Softball Tournament banquet.
Senior shortstop and leadoff hitter Emma Napier was named the MSC Player of the Year, Victoria Decker was named the MSC Freshman of the Year and Shannon Wathen was named the MSC Coach of the Year.
Napier, a four-year player out of Allen County-Scottsville High School in Scottsville hit .484 with 14 home runs and 16 doubles to lead Campbellsville’s offense. She scored a team-high 55 runs and had 41 RBIs. Her NAIA-best 141 total bases include 19 walks and four hit by pitch opportunities. She was also 16-of-17 on stolen base attempts. She ranks in the Top 20 for nine NAIA offensive categories. Her batting average is the best in the MSC.
Decker, a freshman from Grayson County High School posted a 16-3 record as the Lady Tigers’ ace. She started 19 games and appeared in two others, while posting a 1.95 ERA. She struck out 97 and held opponents to a .206 batting average through 111 1/3 innings pitched.
“I’m extremely proud of both Emma and Victoria. Emma’s work ethic and dedication to our program has been second to none. She has had one of the most outstanding senior campaigns of anyone I’ve coached,” Wathen said. “Victoria has stepped up and done a great job in the circle for us all season. Her consistency and hard work continue to be incredible.”
Wathen was named the MSC Coach of the Year for the second time in five years after leading her team to a share of the MSC regular season championship. Wathen coached her team to a 22-5 in-conference record and a 37-13 regular season mark. After starting with a 10-8 record through Spring Break, Campbellsville won 13 of its last 14 games in March and then went 14-4 in April.
She entered this Saturday’s MSC Tournament with a career record of 339-178-1 in 10 seasons. This is her fifth Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year award, having also received the honor in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009.
“I’m honored,” Wathen said. “I believe there are many deserving coaches in our conference. This award is a direct reflection of how hard this team has worked and how hard our staff has worked, and I couldn’t be prouder of all of them and what they mean to Campbellsville University and our Lady Tiger softball program.”
In addition to these honors, Napier and Decker were joined on the All-MSC First Team by Kristin Benton and Kelsi Pardue, while Taylor Borders was named an All-MSC Second Team selection.
Benton, the 2012 MSC Freshman of the Year, hit .355 for CU with 12 doubles, five home runs and 34 RBIs. Her 44 hits are the third most on the team and her 37 runs scored are second only to Napier. She also led the team in walks (23).
Pardue (13-7) led Campbellsville with 157 strikeouts, including a team record 17 earlier in the year. Pardue, a Christmas break transfer from Western Kentucky University, broke CU’s single-game strikeout record twice this season. She posted an ERA of 2.54.
Borders, also a Christmas break transfer from WKU, tied Benton for second on the team in hitting with a .355 average. She had 50 hits, 21 runs scored, 10 doubles, seven home runs and a team-best 45 RBIs.
Benton came to CU from Meade County High School while Pardue and Borders are also from Allen County-Scottsville High School.
Campbellsville also had 10 student-athletes receive Academic All-MSC honors, the most of any school. Those recipients were: Alyssa Barker, Erin Benton, Kristin Benton, Brooke Boils, Leslie Hastings, Emma Napier, Heather Oakley, Martina Riney, Kacie Vincent and Taylor Wroe.
In order to be nominated by an institution, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved at least sophomore academic status.