The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team was recognized for its 2011 Southland Conference Championship with five players named to the All-Southland teams. Head Coach Jake Schumann was named the Southland Coach of the Year, the first such honor in program history.
Hannah Schwarz, Caley Jeter and Lauren Sanders were named to the first team, Vianca Pesina was named second team and Jordan Trujillo was voted Third Team All-Southland. Kacie Smith, Brittany Tucker, Lauren Dodson and Jamise Jackson were named honorable mention.
For Schumann, it is the first Coach of the Year honor in his 10-year head coaching career. With the program winning just 22 games combined in the two years prior to his arrival, Schumann won 21 games in his first year on the Island and added to the win total each season. He won 23 games in year two, 35 in the third season and 38 this year to go along with a conference title.
Jeter and Schwarz have been named to the first team for the second-straight year after another pair of standout performances.
Schwarz finished the regular season with a .358 batting average which was the highest on the team and tied for third-best in the Southland Conference. She also had the second-most hits in the league with 63 and scored the third-most runs among league players with 37. She was also named to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 team last week and on Monday was honored with the Southland Conference Steve McCarty Citizenship Award. The junior centerfielder was named to the first team as well as being the Newcomer of the Year in the Southland last year.
Jeter is also a two-time first teamer that batted .325 and was second in the Southland with three triples. She also tied for a team high with 34 RBI and notched 10 doubles on the year. In addition to her offense, the second baseman committed just two errors all season and had a .992 fielding percentage for the Islanders. Her slugging percentage was .429 and she tied for the team lead with 13 extra-base hits.
Sanders is a four-year player for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi that is making her first appearance on the Southland Conference postseason teams with her first-team selection. The senior right fielder was second on the team with a .338 average and had three doubles this season. Her 17 stolen bases were a team high while being caught just once all year. She struck out just eight times all year while drawing 12 walks. She started 47 games and played in 50 of the 55 games on the year.
Pesina came into her first year as an Islanders player and won 12 games while compiling a 2.05 ERA which was sixth-best in the league. She pitched 99.0 innings and struck out 39 batters while allowing just 29 earned runs. She tossed four shutouts and 10 complete games during the year while starting 17 games and making 21 appearances. She also added one save in relief during the year.
Trujillo led the team in wins with 14 while tossing a Southland-high six shutouts in 24 appearances. She started 22 games and produced a 2.57 ERA while striking out a team-high 124 batters. She had a 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in a team-high 136.0 innings.
Smith was named honorable mention after tying for the team lead with 34 RBI and having a team-high five homers during the year. Her 22 walks were also the most among Islanders as were her six times getting hit by a pitch.
Tucker has the fourth-most RBI on the team with 29 while coming in second on the squad with four home runs. She also drew 20 walks and seven doubles while scoring 17 runs. She started 53 games while playing all but one of the 55 regular season contests. Behind the plate is where she made her biggest mark, throwing out 21-of-31 runners trying to steal a base.
Dodson led the team with 11 doubles while coming in second with 33 RBI during the year. The senior shortstop batted .272 while scoring 22 runs, the fifth-most on the team. She drew 19 walks while going a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts.
Jackson is the final member of the team to be named honorable mention and does so in her first season out of high school. The freshman became a key contributor to the team as she batted .286 while splitting time between first base and the designated player position. Jackson had six doubles and 16 RBI while playing in 42 games and starting 31 of them. While playing first base, Jackson had a perfect fielding percentage.
The team will begin its quest for an NCAA Tournament berth on Thursday when they play their first game of the 2011 Southland Conference Tournament. They will face the winner of the game between McNeese State and UTSA in a 4 p.m. contest at the Bearkat Softball Complex on the campus of Sam Houston State.