FRISCO, Texas – 2013 First Team All-Southland Conference selection Brianna Rodriguez and seven other members of the Northwestern State softball team received All-Conference honors, announced by the league office Tuesday afternoon.
Brittany Virgoe, Tara McKenney, Kylie Roos, Kaylee Guidry, Cassandra Barefield, Cali Burke and Cheyenne DelaGarza were honored with Second Team, Third Team and Honorable Mention selections, respectively.
Rodriguez was a standout at first base this season, earning All-Conference First Team honors for the first time in her career. The Rowlett, Texas, native appeared in all 49 games while sharing leads in batting average with McKenney at .376, and Barefield in RBI with 44 each.
Rodriguez recorded 18 doubles throughout the season, leading the SLC and ranking 12th nationally in doubles per game (.35) alongside Southern Utah's Kelsey Bryant. She collected her 18th double on Sunday en route to a 5-4 victory over conference foe Sam Houston State.
Rodriguez is currently tied for second with Becca Allen in the NSU individual season record book. Allen recorded 18 doubles during the 1997 season. Brandy Kenney notched 22 doubles in 1998 to lead NSU.
Virgoe garners her first All-Conference honor as a Second Team selection. She was a threat on the third base line, as she is known for her dives and quick reactions. The sophomore ranks second on the team with a .343 average, rocking 58 hits, including 10 doubles and seven homers.
McKenney earned All-Conference Second Team honors for the second year in a row as she led the Lady Demons with 65 hits and six triples. Her triples mark ranks second in the conference behind SLC Newcomer of the Year Lauren Schwirtlich from Houston Baptist, and eighth nationally.
Roos (14-3) and Guidry (12-3) were also named Second Team All-Conference selections. Roos earned All-Conference Honorable Mention for the 2012 season, while newcomer Guidry is receiving her first selection.
Both pitchers finished the season with 1.45 ERAs, sharing top-five spots in the conference rankings. Guidry ranked third while Roos sits fourth.
Roos, a Celina, Texas, native threw 130.2 innings in the circle, striking out 133 batters and allowing 86 hits.
Guidry, a transfer from LSU-Eunice, struck out 69 and allowed 78 hits in 92.0 innings.
Houston, Texas, and Cy Fair High School product, Cassandra Barefield, made her mark in the NSU individual record books as well as she launched 14 home runs over the fence in the regular season, which also makes her a conference category leader. Barefield currently sits third in home runs, just two shy of Shay Hunt's 16 homers recorded in the 2005 season.
Barfield broke into the record book on April 12 when she rocked her 11th homer against Stephen F. Austin to ultimately give the Lady Demons the 3-1 win over the Lady Jacks.
Barefield's 11th home run broke Ginger Craig, Erin Mancuso and Margaret Patterson's 10 homers in a single season records set in 1985, 2002 and 2005, respectively.
Burke and DelaGarza were selected All-Conference Honorable Mention. Burke posted a .323 average while producing 43 hits and 17 RBI. She made her hits count in a time of need, especially when she drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth for the victory over Sam Houston on Saturday to clinch the No. 2 seed in the Southland Conference tournament.
DelaGarza stood out behind the plate, leading the Lady Demons with 225 putouts. She holds a .248 average, notching 30 hits and nine RBI.
Player of the Year and Hitter of Year honors went to SHSU's Tori Benavidez, while Kirsten and Lauren Schwirtlich were named Freshman and Newcomer of the Year.
UCA's Kelsie Armstrong was selected Pitcher of the Year, and McNeese State head coach Mike Smith was named Coach of the Year.
The Lady Demons will face the winner of No. 3 seeded Sam Houston vs. No. 6 seeded Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday at 6:30 at the Lady Demon Softball Complex in the second round of the Southland Conference softball tournament.
The tournament will be sponsored in part by the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission. Shops, restaurants and other attractions are waiting for visitors in the Natchitoches historic district.
All tournament games will be streamed through the Southland Conference Digital Network, and the championship game will be broadcasted on ESPN3.
All NSU games throughout the tournament will be broadcasted on the Demon Sports Network, flagshipped by 100.7 KZBL FM in Natchitoches.