C-USA Announces Softball All-Conference Awards
May 7, 2014
IRVING, Texas - Conference USA has announced its softball all-conference teams and specialty award winners for 2014. No. 19 Tulsa claimed three of the five awards as seniors Jill Barrett and Aimee Creger were tabbed Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, and Golden Hurricane skipper John Bargfeldt earned Coach of the Year honors. FIU's Stephanie Texeira garnered Freshman of the Year accolades, and Kat Strunk of North Texas was voted Newcomer of the Year. Eleven players were selected to the All-Freshman Team.
Bargfeldt earns his third C-USA Coach of the Year honor, also taking the award in 2011 and 2012. In his ninth season at the helm, Bargfeldt led No. 19 Tulsa to a 47-7 overall record and a 19-4 league mark to claim the program's fifth regular-season conference crown since joining C-USA in 2006.
Creger repeats as Pitcher of the Year, earning the distinction in 2013 after receiving Freshman of the Year accolades in 2011. The right-hander has a 24-1 record (11-0 C-USA), a 1.34 ERA and has held opponents to a .138 batting average. Creger is second in the nation averaging 11.9 strikeouts per seven innings pitched. She bests all league pitchers and is No. 2 nationally with 293 strikeouts on the season, and has fanned 10 or more batters in 16 of her 28 starts. The C-USA Preseason Pitcher of the Year tossed a no-hitter, registering 17 Ks and only one walk, Feb. 28 against Creighton. She threw her second no-no of the season March 30 vs. UTEP, striking out 12 and walking one, and added her third no-hitter of the year on April 26 against Middle Tennessee. Creger is a six-time C-USA Pitcher of the Week honoree and was one of 25 finalists for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award.
Barrett claims the Player of the Year award after earning the C-USA Preseason Player of the Year nod. The shortstop has started all 54 games this year for the Hurricane and ranks 12th in the nation (1st C-USA) with a .453 (87-for-192) batting average. Barrett also leads all league players in hits (87) and runs scored (51). She registered 27 multi-hit games this season and is the only active NCAA player with 300 career hits. In April, Barrett was announced as one of 25 finalists for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, and in March, she was selected No. 15 overall by the Akron Racers in the 2014 National Pro Fastpitch College Draft.
Following a unanimous vote by the league's coaches, Texeira takes home the Freshman of the Year award. The first baseman has started all 52 games for the Panthers, collecting 62 hits, 11 home runs and 41 RBI. Texeira tops all C-USA players in on-base percentage (.527), and ranks second in batting average (.419) and slugging percentage (.736). The rookie has also only committed one error on the year for a .997 fielding percentage.
Strunk rounds out the specialty award winners with the Newcomer of the Year honor. A junior transfer from North Central Texas College, Strunk has started all 51 games at center field for the Mean Green this season and is fourth in the league in RBI (42). She ranks third on the team in batting average (.313) and slugging percentage (.528) with 45 hits and seven home runs.
The 2014 Conference USA Softball Championship, hosted by Florida Atlantic, is Thursday-Saturday, May 8-10, in Boca Raton, Fla. Game times, live stats and live streaming can be found at C-USA Championship Central.
2014 Conference USA Softball Specialty Awards
First-Team All-Conference USA
Second-Team All-Conference USA
Conference USA All-Freshman Team