WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - UC San Diego tied for a conference-high seven players named to the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) All-Conference Softball team that was announced Wednesday morning.
Senior designated player Nicole Spangler along with junior outfielder Kirsten Willmon and junior catcher (at-large selection) Caitlin Brown were all named to the All-CCAA First Team. Junior third baseman Emily McQuaid, freshman outfielder Callie Grant, junior outfielder Taylor Sepulveda and junior shortstop Mya Romero all received All-CCAA Second Team recognition.
Sonoma State also had seven all-conference selections. Samantha Lipperd of SSU was named Pitcher of the Year and Humboldt State’s Chrissy Stalf won Most Valuable Player. Frank Cheek of HSU was named CCAA Coach of the Year after leading the Lumberjacks to a 31-5 finish in league play, earning the regular season title and the No. 1 seed in this weekend’s conference tournament. Vanessa Avila of Cal State Monterey Bay and Hannah Williams of HSU received Co-Newcomer of the Year honors.
Spangler, a first-time All-CCAA honoree, has registered a strong senior campaign for the Tritons. She has connected on 48 hits, with a .356 batting average. The designated player currently ranks in the CCAA top 10 with a team-high 12 doubles. She also holds a team-high 16 walks and ranks second with 24 RBI and 206 putouts. Spangler went 7-for-11 (.635) with four runs and seven RBI in the season-opening series with Western Oregon, earning CCAA Player of the Week honors.
Willmon, a two-time all-conference selection, has scored 21 times this season while batting .350. She leads the team with two triples this year while posting a .436 slugging percentage. She has posted 41 hits, seven of those hits for extra-bases.
Brown, a two-time awardee, has appeared as both catcher and first basemen for UCSD. She continues to post record-setting numbers for the Tritons, as she leads the team in home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage and put outs. Brown currently ranks in the CCAA’s top 10 in home runs with seven, RBI at 37 and put outs with 235. As a junior she already ranks in the program’s career record book with 79 walks and 18 home runs.
McQuaid leads the Tritons with 21 stolen bases on the season, third most in the CCAA. She also ranks among the top five on the program’s career record list with 47 total steals to date. McQuaid has scored 22 times this season while batting .303.
Grant, a true-freshman, holds a team high .365 batting average and 35 runs, ranking among the top 10 in the conference for both categories. Grant has tallied seven extra base hits and 11 steals this year.
Sepulveda, a first-time All-CCAA recipient, has posted a team high 53 hits, with 14 multiple-hit showings throughout the regular season. She is currently second on the team in runs and steals, with 32 and 18 respectively.
Romero, a three-time honoree, has registered a conference-high 131 assists as the Tritons' starting shortstop. With 420 career assists, she is just 37 away from setting a new career program record. Sepulveda has posted 30 hits and 20 runs this season.
The Tritons earned the second seed for the CCAA Championship and will face third-seeded Sonoma State at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3.
-- UCSDtritons.com --