2013 ALL-GULF SOUTH CONFERENCE SOFTBALL TEAMS
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Kimberly Jack was named the Freshman and Pitcher of the Year, Les Stuedeman captured her eighth Coach of the Year honor, and six University of Alabama in Huntsville players were named to the 2013 All-Gulf South Conference Softball Team as the conference office announced the awards on Wednesday morning.
UAH – the regular season champions of the league – placed more on the teams than any other institution as Valdosta State claimed five of the positions, and the Chargers also had the most first-team selections with five.
Joining Jack on the All-GSC First Team were catcher Cortney McNett, designated player Kathryn Whitlock, outfielder Mary Kelley and pitcher Whitney Toler, while third baseman Abby MacKay earned a place on the All-GSC Second Team.
Leading that talented group and being honored by her peers for the fifth time in the last six years was Stuedeman. The only head coach that the UAH program has known has performed gallantly this season, keeping the team focused after an 8-8 start and leading the Chargers to a 27-5 mark since.
Stuedeman first was named the league's Coach of the Year in 1996, won it in back-to-back years in 2001 and 2002, and reeled off four straight from 2008-11.
Under her guidance, Jack has had a terrific debut season in the Blue and White.
The Knoxville, Tenn., native owns a 14-4 record, and she has posted seven saves on the year – a number that leads the nation. Jack's 1.22 ERA ranks first in the GSC, and she is also tops in the conference in opposing batting average, saves, appearances, games finished and fewest runs allowed. The owner of 26 scoreless outings, Jack featured a terrific stretch in the middle of conference play in which 15 of her 17 appearances she did not allow a run.
Jack repeats the feat that Alex Lewis performed when she swept both the Freshman of the Year and Pitcher of the Year honors in 2008.
All of UAH's selections to the all-conference teams are returnees to the list.
McNett earned First-Team status a season ago, and this year the Huntsville native has been stellar. Hitting at a .425 clip, McNett ranks 18th in the country in doubles per game while leading the GSC in on-base percentage and RBI. An offensive force, she is also second in the league in average, slugging percentage, doubles and walks.
Whitlock jumps up to the First Team after earning Second-Team honors a season ago. This year Whitlock – who hails from Arab, Ala. – is ranked fifth in the GSC in driving in runs while the senior is sixth in doubles, and she has racked up 14 multi-hit and multi-RBI games.
A two-time All-American, Kelley earned her second consecutive place on the First Team. The junior from Mobile, Ala., leads the conference in triples and is second in runs scored. Kelley is also third in the GSC in on-base percentage and RBI.
This year's recognition marks the third for Toler, and it is the second time in her career that the junior from Fayetteville, Ga., has been selected a First-Team performer. She has put together a strong 11-2 record this season in the circle which places her sixth in the conference in wins, and she also sits ninth in strikeouts.
The terrific third baseman MacKay earns her second All-GSC selection after hitting .314 this season while driving in 41 runs which is good for ninth in the league in RBI. Strong defensively, the senior ranks third in the conference in assists.
The All-GSC selections and their teammates will return to the field on Friday when they open up the 2013 GSC Softball Championships in Southaven, Miss., against eighth-seeded West Georgia. First pitch is slated for 11 a.m.