May 6, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Gamecock freshmen Nickie Blue and Kaylea Snaer made the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team, as the coaches' selections for the league's postseason honors were released on Tuesday morning.
Blue picked up six wins in conference action this year, while she also stood in the league's top 15 in SEC games in both earned run average and strikeouts. Her wins include a shutout at Georgia, holding the Bulldogs to three hits, and a shutout of LSU. Appearing in 21 league games, Blue saved two of those, part of the seven she has this year, which is second in program history. Overall, Blue is 17-9 with a 2.97 ERA, holding opponents to only seven home runs in 160.1 innings of work.
Snaer hit .269 in 20 conference games, tying for the team best in both homers (5) and RBI (15). Nine of her 14 hits in league play went for extra bases, and she had two homers in one league game (at Arkansas). SEC coaches also walked her three times intentionally this year. This year, Snaer has a .301 batting average, ranking second on the team in both doubles and home runs while leading the way in walks.
Blue and Snaer become the first All-Freshman Team selections for the Gamecocks since Laura Mendes made the 2008 team, and it's the first time since that year for South Carolina to have two student-athletes make any combination of the SEC's year-end award teams, as Chrissy Schoonmaker also made the SEC All-Defensive Team that season.
Tennessee and Alabama both claimed two individual awards. The Lady Vols' Madison Shipman garnered SEC Player of the Year accolades, while Ellen Renfroe took the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. Jaclyn Traina claimed the SEC Pitcher of the Year title, and the Crimson Tide's Patrick Murphy won Coach of the Year. Missouri's Tori Finucane captured the SEC Freshman of the Year honor.
The 2014 SEC Softball Tournament begins on Wed., at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. Kentucky and Mississippi State open the event at 4 p.m. EDT, while South Carolina and Auburn clash in the second game, slated for a 6:30 p.m. start.
2014 SEC Softball Awards(as voted by the league's coaches)
Player of the Year:Madison Shipman, Tennessee
Pitcher of the Year: Jaclyn Traina, Alabama
Freshman of the Year: Tori Finucane, Missouri
Coach of the Year: Patrick Murphy, Alabama
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Ellen Renfroe, Tennessee
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