IRVING (May 14, 2013) -- The Baylor softball team had four players named to the All-Big 12 team, including Sarah Smith garnering Freshman of the Year honors, the conference office announced Tuesday. Additionally, senior Kathy Shelton was named Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year, the first season the conference has had the award.
Shelton and Whitney Canion picked up first-team All-Big 12 honors, while Smith and sophomore Kaitlyn Thumann earned second-team accolades. Additionally, Shelton and Smith were both named to the All-Defensive team for their stellar work in the field.
Shelton, who was named to the first-team for the second time, earned All-Big 12 honors for the third-consecutive season. The senior led the league in steals in both Big 12 play (13) and overall (37), breaking the program’s single-season mark and becoming the all-time steals leader (117). The McKinney, Texas, native, led BU in hits (20), runs (17) and triples (3) in Big 12 play and did not commit a single error in center field. Shelton put up these numbers while also carrying a 3.80 GPA in speech pathology.
Canion earned her third All-Big 12 first-team nod, having been named in each season she was healthy. The redshirt junior finished third in wins (8) and strikeouts (91) in Big 12 only games, holding opponents to a .231 batting average. The Aledo, Texas, native, became the program’s all-time leader in wins (91) and sits sixth on the all-time Big 12 strikeout list (1,150), just one shy of fifth. Her 23 wins overall led the squad and are the seventh-most by a BU pitcher.
Smith became Baylor’s fourth Big 12 Freshman of the Year and first since Canion did so in 2009. The Cerritos, Calif., native, led the team in batting average (.346) and on-base percentage (.460) in conference-only games. She made just two errors all season, both coming in the final game of the season. Overall, the freshman was second on the team in average (.367), home runs (five) and slugging (.533).
Thumann earned second-team honors for the first time in her career after leading the team in average (.382), doubles (12), slugging (.555), and on-base percentage (.468). She tied for the team-lead in runs (44) and hits (66) and was second in steals (29). In Big 12 play, the Katy, Texas, native, was tied for the team lead in hits (20) and doubles (four) while leading in RBI (14).
All-Big 12 and postseason honors are selected in a vote by the league’s head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.