AUSTIN, Texas – Texas softball had four players earn a total of seven combined accolades in the annual Big 12 Conference softball awards announced by the league office on Wednesday.
Junior center fielder Lindsey Stephens and freshman pitcher Erica Wright received first team All-Big 12 honors, while sophomore shortstop Devon Tunning was included on the All-Big 12 Second Team for the second consecutive season. Wright and third baseman Randel Leahy were tabbed to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team, and Wright and Stephens were included as part of the nine-member Big 12 All-Defensive squad.
A 2014 National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American, Stephens has continued her amazing offensive production into her junior campaign, currently leading the Longhorns in batting average (.354), runs scored (44), hits (57), extra-base hits (25), triples (five), HR's (15), RBIs (46), total bases (117), slugging percentage (.727) and stolen bases (14). A two-time Big 12 Player of the Week honoree this season (February 10 & March 31), the Beaumont, Texas, native became the first Longhorns player to homer in five consecutive games during a stretch from March 28-April 4. She has reached safely in 43 of 52 possible games in 2015, including a streak of 14 consecutive contests, and owns a team-high 16 multi-hit games to go along with 11 multi-RBI efforts.
Wright has guided the Longhorns from the circle this season as a rookie with an 18-7 overall record, a 2.32 ERA, 14 complete games, seven solo shutouts and 172 strikeouts over 163.0 innings of work. The Huntington, Texas, product holds high-profile victories this year over No. 16 Arizona State, No. 8/7 Georgia, No. 22 Kansas (two wins) and No. 16/14 Baylor (two wins). Also included in her impressive efforts are four double-digit strikeout performances, including a career-best 13 K's during a 3-2 victory over UTSA back on March 24, and three one-hit shutouts over Texas State, Iowa State and Oklahoma State.
Tunning has been spectacular for Texas from her lead-off spot in the line-up this year on her way to a second-consecutive All-Big 12 Second Team nod, reaching base safely in UT's first at-bat of a contest on 32 occasions and reaching safely in 46 of her 52 total games played. When starting any inning as the lead-off batter this season, the Montgomery, Texas, native has reached at a 58.4 percent clip on 45-of-77 at the plate. She currently owns a .331 batting average with 38 runs scored, nine doubles, six HR's, 24 RBIs and both a team-leading 37 walks and a .465 on-base percentage. Tunning registered a career-long 22-game streak of reaching base safely and owns 13 multi-hit and eight multi-RBI efforts this season. She also managed her first two career multi-HR efforts during victories over Texas State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Having taken over as the everyday starter at third base back on February 27 against Dartmouth, Leahy has recently settled into the clean-up spot in the line-up as a rookie. The Norco, Calif., product is currently batting .286 with 23 runs scored, 14 extra-base hits, including five HR's, and 23 RBIs while slugging at a .518 clip (fourth on the team). She has reached base successfully in 30 of her 43 total games played in 2015, owns five multi-hit and multi-RBI efforts and joined Tunning as the only Longhorns with a multi-HR performance this season with a pair of big flies in the victory over UT Arlington (April 15).
Texas opens NCAA Tournament action on Fri., May 15, at the NCAA Los Angeles Regional in Los Angeles, Calif., by facing off against San Diego State at 5 p.m. CT. All Texas regional contests are slated for broadcast on ESPN3 and will be simulcast on Longhorn Network.
2015 Big 12 Postseason Awards
Big 12 Player of the Year: Shelby Pendley, Oklahoma
Big 12 Pitcher of the Year: Paige Parker, Oklahoma
Big 12 Freshmen of the Year: Paige Parker, Oklahoma & Daniella Chavez, Kansas
Big 12 Coach of the Year: Patty Gasso, Oklahoma
All-Big 12 First Team
|Shelby Pendley, Oklahoma, Sr., INF/P|
|Shelby Davis, Oklahoma State, Sr., OF|
|Paige Parker, Oklahoma, Fr., P|
|Lauren Chamberlain, Oklahoma, Sr., INF|
|Heather Stearns, Baylor, Jr., P|
|Daniella Chavez, Kansas, Fr., DP|
|Ari Hawkins, Baylor, So., 2B|
|Erin Miller, Oklahoma, Jr., OF|
|Aly Cappaert, Iowa State, Jr., DP|
|Chaley Brickey, Kansas, Jr., SS|
|Lindsey Stephens, TEXAS, Jr., OF|
|Shelby Friudenberg, Baylor, Fr., 1B|
|Erica Wright, TEXAS, Fr., RHPAll-Big 12 Second Team