JACKSON, Tenn. - 5/12/2005 - Union University Softball earned several honors on the first day of the 2005 NAIA Region XI Softball Tournament being played at Union’s Fesmire Field. Mary Kosco was named the Region XI Pitcher of the Year and Danielle Pope was named the Region Co-Player of the Year. Holly Haycraft, Jessica Kee, and Allison Shein were also named first team All-Region players. Union's head coach was named the NAIA Region XI Coach of the Year.
Kosco, a 5-foot-5 junior pitcher from Herrin, Illinois, earns this award on the heels of the TranSouth Pitcher of the Year honor she received last week. She leads the conference and region with a 0.98 ERA and has a record of 22-9. Kosco has 199 strikeouts in 178.2 innings pitched.
Pope, a 6-foot-0 junior first baseman from Phoenix, Arizona, followed her first team All-Conference selection up with this player of the year award. Just last week, Pope set a new record for homeruns in a season at Union with 13. She leads Union with a .423 average, 69 hits, 13 homeruns, and 64 RBI. Pope also leads Union with a .736 slugging percentage and a .487 on-base percentage.
Haycraft, a 5-foot-6 junior outfielder from Dyersburg, Tennessee adds this region honor to her first team All-Conference selection last week. On the season, she is .366 and has also stole 50-of-53 bases. She is Union’s career stolen base leader as she broke the old record early in her sophomore season.
Kee, a 5-foot-7 junior third baseman from Jackson, Tennessee, also was a first team All-Conference player this season prior to being selected to the All-Region team. Kee hit .346 with a team high 15 doubles. She also tallied eight homeruns and 62 RBI, which puts her second on the team behind Pope in those categories.
Shein, a 5-foot-7 senior outfielder from Lighthouse Point, Florida, is the fifth Lady Bulldog to receive both the first team All-Conference and first team All-Region honor this season. Shein is hitting .388 with a team high six triples. She also is tied with Pope for the team lead in hits at 69. Shein has stolen 20 bases in 22 attempts this season.
Union is the No. 2 seed in this week’s NAIA Region XI Tournament which runs from Wednesday, May 11 through Friday, May 13. The winner of this tournament earns at automatic bid to the NAIA Softball World Series next week. Union, ranked No. 16 in the final NAIA poll released today, has been to four straight world series and five of the past six.
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