SEMO ROUNDUP: Southeast softball's Anderson in running for national Freshman of the Year award
In the midst of an impressive first season, Southeast Missouri State center fielder Rachel Anderson was announced Thursday as one of 25 finalists for the 2017 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award.
Anderson's .418 batting average is the best among freshmen in the Ohio Valley Conference. Along with batting average, she also leads the Redhawks in hits (51), doubles (9), triples (7), home runs (4), RBIs (26), total bases (86), slugging percentage (.705), on-base percentage (.486), fielding percentage (.983) multiple-hit games (19) and multi-RBI games (8).
Her bat has put her atop the OVC in triples, a stat in which she is third in the nation and fourth in triples per game. She is the first SEMO player in seven years to hit at least seven triples in a season.
Anderson is also in the top five among OVC hitters in average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, hits and total bases.
The 25 finalists for the award represent 22 different universities, with three coming from Arizona and two from Minnesota.
Southeast has faced two other players on the shortlist -- Missouri shortstop Braxton Burnside and Kennesaw State outfielder Olivia Tamewitz.
The list will be trimmed to 10 finalists on May 11, with the top three selected an announced on May 24. The trophy will be presented on May 31.
The Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year was created in 2014 to honor outstanding athletic achievement among D-1 freshman softball student-athletes.
The Redhawks baseball series at Murray State has been changed to condense all three games into two days due to the potential for inclement weather.
Friday will feature a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m., while Game 3 of the series is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday.
Clay Chandler is scheduled to pitch the opener for Southeast (20-15 overall, 10-8 Ohio Valley Conference), with Justin Murphy going in Game 2.
The Racers are 16-20 overall and 6-9 in OVC play.
SEMO women's tennis player Oleksandra Doroshenko was named the OVC's Freshman of the year, the league announced Thursday.
The Redhawk newcomer had already earned a Second-Team All-OVC nod before being bestowed with her most recent award.
The only other Southeast player to be named Freshman of the Year was Elizabeth Nyenwe in 2011. Doroshenko is the ninth player in program history to garner all-conference recognition and is the first in six years.
"I am very proud of Oleksandra' performance this year," Southeast coach Mary Beth Gunn said in a news release. "She has grown a lot as a player and she had to battle through some tough matches to get her wins. Oleksandra has represented SEMO well, and I'm excited to see her career here blossom."
Doroshenko was 15-5 in singles play and had 29 total victories; she is one win shy of joining the school's all-time single season list.
Austin Peay's Lidia Yanes Garcia was named the OVC Player of the Year, while SIU Edwardsville's Nick Muller was tabbed as Coach of the Year, as the Cougars went undefeated.
SEMO begins OVC Tournament play today as the fifth seed, facing off with No. 4 Eastern Illinois at 10 a.m. at the Centennial Sportsplex Tennis Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
— From staff reports