ALL-BIG 12 SOFTBALL TEAM: No time wasted by powerful Aggie

Texas A&M freshman catcher Meagan May is our Big 12 player of the year after hitting .411 with 22 homers and 60 RBIs.

Meagan May grew up a Texas A&M fan since her mother once threw the javelin for the Aggies.

That family connection and A&M’s strong petroleum engineering program were two big reasons why May chose the Aggies over a lot of other softball programs.

Fueling the Aggies with her prodigious power hitting, May earned Tribune-Herald Big 12 player of the year as a freshman.

The powerful catcher stepped into the college arena and immediately began bashing pitchers. The former Klein Oak High School star came close to pulling off a triple crown in the Big 12 by hitting .411 with 22 homers and 60 RBIs.

“Twenty-two homers is a lot for anybody, let alone a freshman,” Texas A&M coach Jo Evans said. “Teams realize that if they make a mistake, she can hit it out. I had seen her hit long balls in high school, but I didn’t know she’d be so consistent. She’s disciplined and patient and has a plan when she’s at the plate.”

May not only leads the Big 12 in homers, she’s walked a league-high 51 times. Her .570 on-base percentage and .954 slugging percentage also lead the Big 12.

“A lot of freshmen can get on a streak, but they have trouble sustaining it,” Evans said. “Meagan does it day in and day out.”

Like May, Texas freshman pitcher Blaire Luna has had little trouble adjusting to the college game. After making all-state at Austin Bowie High School, she stayed home and mowed through the Big 12 with her great ball movement and variety of pitches.

Starting all 16 Big 12 regular-season games, Luna led the Longhorns to the championship. The right-hander went 14-2 with an 0.63 ERA with 167 strikeouts in 100 innings during Big 12 play. For the season, Luna has recorded a 29-8 record with a 1.25 ERA and a league-high 372 strikeouts in 223 2/3 innings.

“School has been more demanding than softball for me,” Luna said. “A lot of pitching is mental. I’ve just learned how to be stronger and push through things.”

Luna credits Texas’ league-leading hitting attack for taking the pressure off her. Though she isn’t overpowering, opponents have hit just .131 against Luna.

“I haven’t felt a lot of pressure because I know my teammates are there to back me up,” Luna said. “Our hitting has definitely helped my confidence.”

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TRIBUNE-HERALD ALL-BIG 12 SOFTBALL TEAM

Pos Player Cl School Avg HR RBI Notable
C Meagan May Fr Texas A&M .411 22 60 .954 slug.%
1B Rhiannon Kliesing Jr Texas A&M .373 11 51 .495 OBP
2B Amber Flores Sr Oklahoma .371 12 31 .543 OBP
SS Jenna Marston Fr Missouri .389 5 52 16 doubles
3B Nadia Taylor So Texas .383 8 31 .454 OBP
Util Jessica Shults Fr Oklahoma .367 14 61 .682 slug.%
OF Taylor Hoagland Fr Texas .381 10 26 .451 OBP
OF Nicole Wesley Sr Baylor .384 0 14 22 SB
OF Rhea Taylor Jr Missouri .455 7 39 41 SB
DP Ashley Guile So Nebraska .391 3 40 .523 OBP
 
Player of the year: Meagan May, Texas A&M
Pitcher of the year: Blaire Luna, Texas
Freshman of the year: Meagan May, Texas A&M
Coach of the year: Connie Clark, Texas
 
Pos Pitcher Cl School IP W-L ERA Notable
SP Blaire Luna Fr Texas 223.2 29-8 1.25 372 K’s
SP Keilani Ricketts Fr Oklahoma 222.2 28-8 1.29 297 K’s
SP Kat Espinosa Fr Oklahoma St. 156.1 19-5 1.61 7 SO’s

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