DSC softball: Snow named Pacific West Conference Preseason Pitcher of the Year

By Jeff Cluff

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Jan. 31 2013 3:25 p.m. MST

Mattie Snow throws a pitch during the 2012 Division II West Regional game in Seaside, Calif.

Julie Buchanan, Julie Buchanan Photography

PHOENIX, AZ — Grand Canyon sophomore SS Kelsey Barak (Fontana, CA/Etiwanda) has been named the 2013 Pacific West Conference Preseason Player of the Year, while Dixie State junior hurler Mattie Snow (Tooele, UT/Tooele) claimed the Preseason Pitcher of the Year honor.

California Baptist, meanwhile, has been selected to repeat as the conference champion. The Lancers, who were 49-6 overall last year and 26-4 in the PacWest, received 133 total points and six of a possible 12 first-place votes.

Dixie State claimed four first-place votes, while Grand Canyon collected two; however the team schools tied for second in the preseason prediction with 127 points. Hawai‘i Pacific (107) is picked to take fourth place, while newcomer Azusa Pacific (92) is slated to finish fifth.

The conference unveiled the league’s Preseason All-PacWest Softball Team live on Thursday, Jan. 31, during its weekly Internet radio show on KQCK. The head coaches of the Pacific West Conference nominate and vote on the awards.

The preseason squad consists of 11 players, including one at each of the five infield positions, three outfielders, two pitchers and a designated player.

Barak had a superb rookie season in earning both the 2012 PacWest Player and Freshman of the Year awards and making the All-PacWest First Team as a shortstop.

Barak ended the 2012 campaign hitting .408 in 57 starts for the Antelopes. She amassed 73 base hits, 43 runs scored, 11 doubles, six triples, eight home runs and 54 runs batted in. She boasted a .670 slugging percentage and a .474 on-base rate. In addition to her two major awards, Barak earned All-PacWest First Team honors.

GCU sophomore DP Nicole Upshaw (Chandler, AZ/Hamilton), an All-PacWest Second Team in 2012, was named to the preseason team after batting .336 in 49 games and 31 starts. She scored 21 runs, drove in 26 others, belted four homers, banged out seven doubles and posted a .514 slugging rate.

Snow, the PacWest Preseason Pitcher of the Year, received the most votes among hurlers to warrant being named to the All-PacWest Preseason Team. Last season she missed out on All-Conference accolades because the candidate pool for pitchers was extremely deep.

Despite missing out on the end-of-the-year awards, Snow produced a terrific 2012 campaign that saw her boast a 17-5 overall record with a 2.00 earned run average and a .218 batting average allowed. She started 25 games and appeared in 27 contests, tossing 143.2 innings while striking out 133. Snow tossed 14 complete games and four shutouts during her 2012 campaign.

Dixie State wound up with the most players on the preseason squad with three. In addition to Snow, sophomore OF Courtney Sherwin (Mesa, AZ/Red Mountain) and sophomore catcher Marla Reiter (Fresno, CA/Central) were named to the Preseason All-PacWest Team.

Reiter batted .351 in 44 games and 41 starts, going 40 for 1114 with 21 runs, 10 doubles, three homers and 20 RBI. She recorded a .518 slugging rate.

Sherwin, meanwhile, hit .363 in 50 games and 49 starts for the Red Storm. She was 49 for 135 with 36 runs, 52 RBI, 12 homers, 12 doubles and two triples. She boasted a .748 slugging rate and a .456 on-base mark.

California Baptist landed a pair of preseason players in the infield. Senior 2B Mara Rodriguez (Moreno Valley, CA/Canyon Springs) — who earned All-PacWest First Team accolades at third base last year — moves to second base this season.

Rodriguez finished the 2012 campaign batting .406 in 51 starts, going 69 for 170 with 46 runs scored, 12 doubles, five triples and 14 homers. She wielded a .782 slugging rate and a .461 on-base mark.

California Baptist senior 1B Sloan McHann (Modesto, CA/Modesto), who earned Second Team honors for the Lancers last season, landed a slot on the preseason squad at first base.

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