|Softball » 2007 All-Conference||News | Schedule | Statistics | Championship|
Nelson, the Redbirds’ first-year player from Moline, Ill., becomes the first freshman ever honored as the conference’s Player of the Year after posting league-leading figures in average (.416), hits (82) and runs (57), and finishing in the top-three in doubles, triples, total bases and on base percentage. In conference play, the third baseman was even better at the plate, hitting .440 on 40 hits and 33 runs scored.
Beyond the stellar stat line, Nelson set a new standard for single-season runs scored in MVC-only games and sits just four hits and three runs off of MVC-great Kate Madden’s all-time records.
Oltman was equally impressive in the circle in her first season at Creighton, leading all MVC pitchers in wins and ERA. The right-hander finished the regular-season 23-7 overall in 197 innings, striking out 189 with seven shutouts. She posted an MVC-best 13-3 record in conference play, hurling 119.1 innings, posting five shutouts and striking out 114 hitters.
The battle for the league’s Newcomer of the Year was decided between the two freshmen sensations, with the nod going to Creighton’s Oltman.
Stacy Birk of
Senior right-hander Shannon Nicholson overcame an in-season knee injury to post the second-best overall ERA, win 20 games and record 107 strikeouts in 168.2 innings. She posted an 8-2 conference ledger, the third-best conference ERA at 1.46 and a pair of shutouts for the league-runners up. Nicholson boasts wins over No. 18 Georgia, No. 16 Baylor and two wins over No. 17 Florida and No. 19 SIU.
Creighton’s T.J. Eadus is a .296 hitter for the Jays, fourth-best on the team and ranked second among catchers in Valley games at .295. She threw out 14 would-be base stealers and committed just one error all season. Eadus led the team in slugging at .652 and hit a school single-season record14 home runs.
Britnee Barnett is a three-time all-conference player, and
Creighton senior Jamie Reiss is they Jays’ leading hitter and the Valley’s No. 4 at .373, started all 50 games, amassing the third-best hit total of 62 and scored 33 runs. As a spark at the top of the Creighton order, Reiss posted a .416 on base percentage and tied for second in triples.
Evansville is junior Laura Rather earns her first all-conference nod in the outfield. The Louisville, Ky., native was impressive this season with her .362 average, 6th-best in the league, 10 home runs, 13 doubles, 32 runs scored, 94 total bases and a .667 slugging percentage. She led her team in runs and slugging and was second in hitting, hits, homeruns, and RBI.
Illinois State teammates, Jessie Buker and Kelsey Warning, round out the outfield honorees.
Buker slammed the fourth-best single-season homerun total in league history during the regular-season, blasting 16 homeruns to lead the league. The sophomore from Macon, Ill., led the conference in slugging with a .686 clip and ranked second in RBI with 48. She set the single-season record for homeruns in conference play with 12 and led the league with 30 RBI in Valley play. She hit .331 for the season starting all 57 games for the Redbirds.
Warning was a .306 hitter in conference play and slugged .600 in those contests. She scored 16 runs and drove home another 27 in league action a figure good for second-best in the conference. Overall, Warning was tied for second in homeruns with 15, was first in RBI with 53, which is tied for the third-best single season in Valley history, and was one of five league players to tally 100 total bases.
C T.J. Eadus, Creighton
1B Amber Smith,
2B Alicia Garza,
3B Kara Nelson,
SS Britnee Barnett,
OF Jessie Buker,
OF Kelsey Warning,
At-Large Stacy Birk,
At-Large Margo Pruis,
At-Large Brittany Herald,
At-Large Shannon Nicholson,
Player of the Year Kara Nelson,
Pitcher of the Year Tara Oltman, Creighton
Newcomer of the Year Tara Oltman, Creighton
Coaching Staff of the Year Creighton (Brent Vigness, Jessica Draemel, Abby Johnson)
Michelle Koch, Creighton
Caitlin Marcano, Creighton