ST. LOUIS -- Regular-season champion Southern Illinois claimed two specialty awards - Pitcher of the Year and Coaching Staff of the Year - at the annual softball banquet, Wednesday evening in Des Moines, Iowa. Creighton and Illinois State took home the league's awards for Player and Newcomer of the Year, respectively.
Southern Illinois junior Danielle Glosson was honored as the Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year and Creighton's Renae Sinkler became the fourth player in league history to repeat as Player of the Year. Illinois State freshman Elizabeth Kay was tabbed as the Newcomer of the Year and Southern Illinois' coaching staff of Kerri Blaylock, Christy Connoyer, Jen Sewell and Mark Cosgrove were named the staff of the year.
In conference games, Glosson is the leader or is tied for the lead in wins (16), earned run average (1.19), innings (117.2), strikeouts (139), appearances (23), shutouts (6), complete games (14) and opponents' batting average (.162). Her 16 league wins tied the single-season record for conference wins. She is the fourth Southern Illinois pitcher to win the league's top pitching award, joining Erin Stremsterfer (2001), Amy Harre (2005) and Cassidy Scoggins (2006).
Sinkler became the first player in league history to surpass 20 home runs in a season (22) and is the first player to ever score (53) and drive in (55) 50 runs during the same season. In league games, Sinkler ranks in the top five in every major offensive category. She ranks first in home runs (9-tied), slugging (.868) and total bases (59), second in hitting (.412), on base percentage (.556), runs (25), fourth in hits (28-tied), runs batted in (20-tied) and third in walks (18).
The freshman Kay stepped in behind the plate and provided an immediate boost to the Illinois State offense. In league games, she was second in runs batted in (25), third in home runs (8) and total bases (53-tied) and sixth in slugging (.654). Kay is the sixth Illinois State player to win the league's newcomer honor.
Southern Illinois head coach Kerri Blaylock and her staff of Christy Connoyer, Jen Sewell and Mark Cosgrove were named Coaching Staff of the Year after leading the Salukis to a 36-18 overall and 20-5 conference record and the MVC regular-season title. The award is the fifth for the Southern Illinois staff.
League awards are voted on by the head softball coaches.