May 9, 2012
by Koby Padgett
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina senior centerfielder Lauren Lackey earned placement on the 2012 All-Southeastern Conference First Team, as selected by the league's coaches, the conference office announced on Wednesday.
Lackey led the Gamecocks with a .401 batting average and tallied the second-highest average in the SEC with her .388 mark. The Lake Elsinore, Calif., product also stood second in SEC games with her six sacrifice bunts.
"I'm thrilled for Lauren personally," said South Carolina head coach Beverly Smith. "She's been outstanding all season and was a consistent performer for us in SEC games. It was nice that the SEC coaches recognized her talent by awarding her first-team All-SEC. Offensively, her numbers are striking, but the defensive plays she made for us in center field were exceptional all year.
Posting the seventh .400 batting average for a Gamecock in a single season and the first since Kim Pietro's 1999 season when she claimed the SEC Player of the Year award, Lackey also tallied the 12th-best on-base percentage for a year at South Carolina. She posted 1.18 hits per game, 10th in Gamecock single-season history, and posted her second-consecutive season of double-digit stolen bases without being caught, the eighth time that a South Carolina player has done that.
"I'm really honored," Lackey said. "It's one of the best conferences in the country. Just to be considered as one of the top players in this league is amazing. I couldn't have done it without my teammates, coaches, family, friends and our great fans. I credit them for supporting me and helping to be a part of the best year of my career."
Lackey is the first Gamecock to earn a postseason SEC award since Adele Voigt picked up SEC All-Defensive Team honors in 2009. She's the first South Carolina player on an All-SEC softball team since 2004 and the first first-team member since Danielle Quinones earned an infield spot in 2003. Lackey is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Florida's Michelle Moultrie earned the SEC's Player of the Year award, and Arkansas' Devon Wallace claimed the Freshman of the Year award. The Alabama pair of head coach Pat Murphy and Jackie Traina took home the Coach and Pitcher of the Year awards, respectively. And the Crimson Tide's Jennifer Fenton shares the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award with LSU's Brittany Mack. Tennessee had four first-team All-SEC players, most in the league.
Lackey ends her career in South Carolina's top 15 in triples (7th, 10), triples per game (11th, 0.05), batting average (11th, .309), on-base percentage (.361, 14th), stolen bases (28, T-12th), stolen bases per game (14th, 0.14) and stolen base percentage (.875, T-13th).
2012 SEC Softball Awards
Player of the Year: Michelle Moultrie, Florida
All-SEC First Team
All-SEC Second Team
SEC All-Freshman Team
SEC All-Defensive Team
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