Ward Named WHAC Pitcher of the Year; Seven Make All-Conference Teams

Ward Named WHAC Pitcher of the Year; Seven Make All-Conference Teams

Siena Heights junior softball pitcher Racquel Ward headlined the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Awards as the Pitcher of the Year while six other Saints were named All-WHAC, as announced by the league on Wednesday. SHU also led the conference with 11 All-Academic award winners.

Ward was named the WHAC Pitcher of the Year along with First Team All-WHAC. She pitched in 26 games while earning a record of 16-5 with one save, throwing 15 complete games. In 142 innings of action, Ward has faced 558 batters and allowed only 133 hits for a .238 batting average against her pitching as she's struck out 83 batters. In the batter's box, Ward ranks first in the WHAC in batting average (.429), slugging percentage (.766) and on base percentage (.522) while she leads SHU in home runs with seven.

Also awarded First Team All-WHAC was sophomore catcher Hayley Turk, senior first baseman Kris Forest, junior second baseman Ashley Helmink and senior outfielder Kelsey Cherry.

Behind the plate, Turk was credited with 106 put outs while earning 12 assists for a perfect fielding percentage, 1.000. The catcher managed a .267 batting average with a .375 on base percentage for SHU. Also earning a perfect fielding percentage was first baseman Forest with 278 put outs and three assists with no errors. Forest leads the WHAC in doubles while holding a batting average of .378 and a slugging percentage of .649 to go along with her 16 doubles, four homeruns, and 19 RBI.

Second baseman Helmink ranks second on the team with a .385 batting average along with a .658 slugging percentage as she has 117 at-bats, the most on the team. Helmink is second on the team with 24 RBI and six homeruns as well. Outfielder Cherry manages a .356 batting average with 22 RBI on the year.

Earning second team honors is senior outfielder Skylar Crenshaw and freshman shortstop Taylor Mowery. Crenshaw holds a batting average of .330 with 18 RBI. Mowery manages a batting average of .326 with five doubles, 15 RBI, and 103 infield assists.

Siena Heights led the WHAC with 11 on the WHAC All-Academic Team. First-time honorees include Lexi Agers, Ashley Bearden, Kayla Boland, Paige Dean, Amy Nordstrom and Erika Schwartz. Two-time all-academic honorees are Ashley Best, Lauren Best, Cherry, Crenshaw and Helmink. In order to be nominated for the award, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status.

The final WHAC Award announced was the WHAC Champions of Character Team, which was awarded to Cherry for Siena Heights.

SHU will return to action on Wednesday as they enter the WHAC Tournament as the No. 3 seed, at Pacesetter Park in Sylvania, Ohio. They will face Indiana Tech at 6 p.m. followed by a contest against Aquinas or Michigan-Dearborn.