The Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) announced the 2019 WHAC Softball Awards on Wednesday afternoon. A total of nine Saint players were represented on the list and there was at least one SHU student-athlete represented in each award group.
Senior Ashley Helmink piled up accolades as she was named the WHAC Player of the Year while also being named to the All-WHAC first team, All-Defensive Team, and the All-Academic Team. Senior teammate Racquel Ward joined her on the first team as well as the All-Academic Team. Freshmen Sam Hill and Kelsey Uhl made the All-WHAC second team. Junior Kristi Carlson was on the Champions of Character squad. Ashley Bearden, Jordan Bianchi, Kayla Boland, and Erika Schwartz joined Helmink and Ward on the All-Academic Team.
Helmink has had a phenomenal season as she currently leads the team in At-Bats (154), Runs (54), Hits (69) doubles (23), triples (7), home runs (10), runs batted in (55), and batting average (.448) among hitters with more than 10 at-bats. She is third in on-base percentage (.488) among batters with over 10 at-bats and leads among batters with more than 10 at-bats in slugging percentage (.896). She broke single-season records for runs, 2B, and 3B and she is one HR from tying the single-season mark as well as five RBIs from taking the top spot in the season record charts. She also has the third-most hits in a single season with at least two more games left to play. At the conference level, she leads the league in slugging percentage, runs scored, RBIs, 2B, 3B, HRs, and total bases. She is second in hits and has the fifth-highest batting average in the WHAC.
Ward is tied for third on the team in hits with 56. She is second in 2B (17) and HRs (4). She is the Saints ace inside the circle this year as she accumulated a 16-8 record as a pitcher as well as earning one save. She tossed 19 complete games with 104 strikeouts and finished an earned-run average (ERA) of 2.63. She is tied for the best mark in the league in walks (87), second in 2B, tied for seventh in total bases (87), eighth in batting average, and ninth in RBIs as a hitter. For pitching, she has the most innings pitched with 173, most wins, most appearances, second most games started, third most Ks and Ks looking, third-most games finished, the fifth-lowest opposing batting average (.254), and has the eighth lowest ERA.
Hill is tied for third on the team in hits with 56. She also finished the year with 26 RBIs, 12 walks, and 10 stolen bases. She ranks tied for fourth in the WHAC in runs scored with 40 and at-bats with 153. Her 170 total plate appearances are tied for fifth in the league while her 13 steal attempts are 10th-most in the conference.
Uhl ranks second on the team with 58 hits. She finished with nine doubles and 20 RBIs as a hitter. She was also the Saints second-best pitcher this season with a record of 13-6 in the circle. She tallied a save and pitched 11 complete games while striking out 40 batters and finishing with a 3.14 ERA. As a hitter, she was seventh in the conference in hits. Her wins as a pitcher were tied for the fourth-most in the league and she tied for seventh in games started with 18.
The Saints softball team will compete in the WHAC tournament starting tomorrow (May 2) with an opening game at 2:00 p.m. EDT against Cleary.