BYU softball's Delaney Willard was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America First Team on Wednesday.
Willard is just the second player in BYU history to be named to the NFCA First Team, joining three-time honoree Oli Keohohou (2001, 02, 03). Jessica Purcell Fitu (3rd Team, 2009) and Ianeta Le'i (2nd Team, 2006) are the other two Cougars named NFCA All-America. The NFCA honor is the top All-America team in collegiate softball.
The Camarillo, Calif., native was selected with an at-large pick as an outfielder after being named Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year and earning NFCA All-Pacific Region First Team and All-WAC First Team honors, the first such awards of her career.
Willard was the only player in the nation ranked in the top-25 in nine different national batting categories at the end of the regular season, including RBI, RBI per game, slugging percentage, hits, home runs, batting average, home runs per game, doubles and on base percentage. Her 88 RBI and 1.54 RBI per game were both second-best in the nation in addition to ranking 14th and 11th, respectively, in the NCAA single season record book.
WSU ANNOUNCES HOME & HOME: Weber State and Stephen F. Austin University will play a football home-and-home series in 2013 and 2014, WSU Athletic Director Jerry Bovee announced Wednesday.
The Wildcats will welcome the Lumberjacks to Stewart Stadium for the season opener on Aug. 31, 2013. Weber State will return the trip to Stephen F. Austin in 2014 when the two teams meet at Homer Bryce Stadium on Sept. 20, 2014. Stephen F. Austin is located in Nacogdoches, Texas, and is a member of the Southland Conference.
USU BREAKS GROUND ON CENTER: Utah State Athletics held a ground breaking ceremony Wednesday for its new strength and conditioning center, which will be located on the northwest corner of Romney Stadium.
The $6.4 million, 21,000 square-foot strength and conditioning center will feature areas for weight training, cardiovascular workouts and speed and agility training, as well as offices for staff. Built on existing university property at the northwest corner of Romney Stadium, the state-of-the-art multi-level facility will alleviate overcrowding in the existing 5,800 square-foot strength and conditioning center and will accommodate almost 400 athletes from 16 sportsprograms.
The facility, which was made possible due to the largest single gift in the history of Aggie Athletics from an anonymous donor, is expected to be completed in April of 2013, just in time for USU's official move to the Mountain West Conference on July 1, 2013.
When the building opens next spring it will be the largest such facility in the Mountain West and rival any strength and conditioning complex in the country.
Six SLCC Softball players received recognition for their outstanding 2011-12 seasons. The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and the NJCAA released the 2012 All Region and All American teams.
The NFCA named six players to the All Region West first team. Sophomores' Ariel Zimmerman and Savannah Webster, freshmen MaCauley Flint, Maddy Woodard and Malia Campos.