Midwestern State seniors Haley Howerton and Katelyn Vinson were selected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II All-South Central Region Second Team, the national organization announced Thursday morning.
Vinson collected her third NFCA all-region honor while donning the Maroon and Gold while Howerton was tabbed for the first time during her four-year career with the Mustangs.
Howerton concluded her MSU career as a four-time All-Lone Star Conference selection, earning first team honors for the first time last week prior to the LSC Championship. The Lewisville native led the Mustangs with 79 hits, 58 runs scored and 25 stolen bases, and ranked third with a .383 batting average while making all 58 starts in center field this season. Howerton ranked second in the LSC in hits, third in runs and sixth in stolen bases in 2016.
Howerton finished her career second in the MSU record books in hits (267), runs (193) and stolen bases (80) while setting the at bats record with 743 trips to the plate. She also finished the season ranked in the top five on the NCAA Division II Active Career Leaders list in at bats and runs scored.
Vinson garnered all-region accolades for the first time since 2014 when she was also tabbed to the region's second team after earning first team honors and being named an NFCA First Team All-American during her freshman campaign in 2013. The Southlake native was named the 2016 LSC Player of the Year and a top 25 finalist for the 2016 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player of the Year after leading MSU with a .438 batting average, 52 RBI, 50 walks and 13 home runs. Making 53 starts at third base this season, Vinson ranked first in the LSC in walks and on base percentage (.578), second in home runs and slugging percentage (.791), and third in batting average.
In 2016, Vinson set school career records in batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, home runs, RBI, total bases and intentional walks while also becoming the LSC career home run leader after finishing with 66 career bombs. Vinson led the NCAA Division II Active Career Leaders list this season in home runs and ranked second in RBI (224) and total bases (492).
Vinson was a four-time all-LSC selection with three first team honors, being tabbed the 2013 LSC Freshman of the Year. She also collected a pair of Daktronics all-region accolades during her career while being named the Daktronics South Central Region Player of the Year and earning all-American honors in 2013.
The NFCA All-Region awards honor softball student-athletes from the Association's eight regions with first and second team selections. NFCA member coaches from each respective region voted on the teams, and all the honorees now become eligible for selection to the 2016 NFCA Division II All-American squads. This year's all-region teams are comprised of 207 student-athletes from 116 programs.
A total of 12 student-athletes from the LSC were named to the all-region squads while South Central Region teams West Texas A&M and Colorado Mesa led the nation with five selections apiece.
City View High School graduate Lacey Taylor, of West Texas A&M, was among those named to the first team.
Senior Maddie Schorlemmer and freshman Eirini Kontaki were named All-Lone Star Conference First Team Singles selections to highlight a league-best six players on the all-conference teams for Midwestern State, league officials announced Thursday afternoon.
Schorlemmer was also tabbed the LSC Sportsmanship Player of the Year, becoming the first Mustang to earn the honor since it was first awarded in 2008. Kontaki shared LSC Freshman of the Year honors with Cameron's Zhenia Shviadok as the first MSU player to garner the accolade since sophomore Amy Clifton was awarded in 2014.
Also earning all-LSC honors Thursday was senior Lindsay Nochowicz, who joined Kontaki on the all-conference doubles team. Freshman Greta Lazzarotto was one of five student-athletes named to the All-LSC Honorable Mention Singles squad while Clifton and senior Lauren Pineda were tabbed an honorable mention doubles team.
Cameron's Paula Gutierrez repeated as the LSC Player of the Year while also being named to the all-conference singles and doubles teams. CU's Alina Gorina was selected as the LSC Newcomer of the Year while the Aggies' James Helvey claimed coach of the year honors.
Schorlemmer captured all-LSC first team singles accolades for the second-straight season after moving into the No. 1 position for the 17th-ranked Mustangs in 2016. The Argyle native paced MSU with a 14-8 record at the top spot with six wins over regionally-ranked opponents while also recording her first career win over a ranked opponent on Apr. 2 with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over St. Mary's (Texas) No. 44 Jamie Lee Denton.
Kontaki matched Schorlemmer with six wins over ranked opponents from the South Central Region this season while playing at No. 2 singles with a 15-10 dual record. The newcomer from Ialysos, Rhodes, Greece, climbed to a No. 11 ranking in the region and enters the NCAA Tournament having won five of her last six matches.
In doubles, Kontaki and Nochowicz recorded a 14-11 mark at No. 1 this season with three wins over regionally-ranked doubles tandems. The duo reached as high as 23rd in the Oracle/ITA Division II rankings and third in the South Central Region this year.
Lazzarotto compiled a 15-11 record playing at No. 3 singles for a majority of the season for the Mustangs. The Bassano del Grappa, Italy native also appeared at the No. 2 position for eight matches, climbing as high as 14th in the South Central Region rankings in 2016.
Clifton and Pineda combined for a 14-2 record this season playing as the No. 2 doubles team for the Mustangs. The pair reached as high as sixth in the regional rankings before Pineda was sidelined with a season-ending knee injury in mid-April.
The all-conference program recognized 17 student-athletes, with a player from each of the four LSC teams. The head coaches at each LSC member institution voted upon the all-conference honors.
Midwestern State will face conference foe Cameron for the third time in the last month Monday in the NCAA South Central Region #2 Championship at the Streich-Henry Tennis Complex in Lawton, Okla. First serve is scheduled for 10 a.m.