SOFTBALL: Senior Paige Affleck earned the Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Year award and BYU head coach Gordon Eakin captured MWC Coach of the Year honors for the third consecutive season as selected by the league's six head coaches.
Affleck, a New Harmony, Utah, product, is the second Cougar hurler (Christie Zinanti, 2009) to earn the MWC Pitcher of the Year award. This season, she went 9-2 in Conference play, including six complete games, with a league-low earned run average of 1.18. The right-hander also led the league in strikeouts with 62 and was second in opposing batting average (.222) and innings pitched (65.1).
Eakin collected his third MWC coaching honor (2009, 2010, 2011) after guiding BYU to its sixth regular-season league crown and seventh consecutive NCAA Regional appearance. In his 9th season as head coach, Eakin led the Cougars to an 11-2 Conference record (38-16 overall) this season, pushing his all-time record at BYU to 369-158 (.700).
BYU led the conference with six players named All-MWC, including Affleck, senior third baseman Caschjen Atagi, senior second baseman Kristin Delahoussaye, freshman left fielder Carly Duckworth, junior center fielder Jessica Dugas and senior catcher Jessica Fitu.
Affleck, Delahoussaye and Fitu were named to the team for the second time in each of their respective careers while Atagi, Duckworth and Dugas earned their first-career selections.
UNLV senior Ashli Holland was named MWC Player of the Year, San Diego State's Hayley Miles garnered MWC Freshman of the Year acclaim.Comment on this story
Holland, a native of Arvada, Colo., led UNLV to a second-place finish in league play. During league play, the Rebel second baseman batted .356, while tallying four home runs, 14 RBI, 10 runs scored, a .711 slugging percentage and a .920 fielding percentage. Holland is just the second UNLV student-athlete (Geney Orris, 2002) to be awarded MW Player of the Year. Holland becomes the ninth player overall and first Rebel in the league's 12-year history to be a four-time all-Mountain West selection. She joins BYU's Ianeta Le'i (2003-06) and Angeline Quiocho (2007-10), Colorado State's Lauren Cusick (2005-08) and Jessica Strickland (2004-07), New Mexico's Kelly Glass (2000-03), San Diego State's Celena Velasquez (2003-06), and Utah's Niki Hayhurst (2000-03) and Diana Phillips (2005-08) on the exclusive list of four-year honorees
Miles, from Antelope, Calif., is the fifth Aztec (Bre DeSanta, 2002; Celena Velasquez, 2003; Erin Floros, 2006; Bailey Micetich, 2009) to be awarded MW Freshman of the Year accolades. In Conference play, she ranked second in on-base percentage (.556) and triples (1) and was third in batting average (.512), hits (21), doubles (4) and slugging percentage (.805). The SDSU starting center fielder recorded a .960 fielding percentage.