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The W baseball, softball players earn awards before Series openers


From Special Reports



DUBOIS, Pa. -- The Mississippi University for Women baseball and softball teams picked up some awards Sunday prior to their first appearances in the United States College Athletic Association Small College World Series (USCAA). 


Freshman infielder Damain Benefield received first-team USCAA All-America honors after a regular season that saw him lead The Owls (19-13) in almost every offensive category -- .429 batting average, a .530 on-base percentage, and a .736 slugging percentage. In 28 games, the team MVP scored 24 runs and had 39 hits (10 doubles and six home runs) and 32 RBIs. 


Freshman utility player Will Peters was named a third-team USCAA All-American. Peters had a .349 batting average, scored 27 runs, and had 37 hits (five doubles, two triples) and 19 RBIs. The Tallassee, Alabama, native has a 7-2 record in 49 1/3 innings. 


The W earned the No. 9 seed and was scheduled to play No. 9 seed Florida National University at 8:30 a.m. Monday at Showers Field. The winner of that game is scheduled to play No. 1 seed University of Cincinnati-Clermont at 4 p.m. Monday. 


The double-elimination tournament features 20 small college teams from nine states. 


MUW softball players Katlyn Duke and Kristen Martin were named third-team USCAA All-Americans. 


Duke leads The W (19-17) with 32 RBIs. The junior from Philadelphia has a .321 batting average, a .358 on-base percentage, and a .454 slugging percentage. 


Martin leads the Owls with a .380 batting average, a .504 on-base percentage, and a .489 slugging percentage. In 34 games, the junior utility player has 35 hits (eight doubles, one triple) and 23 RBIs. 


Duke and Martin had grade-point averages of 3.5. The feat landed them a spot on the USCAA All-Academic Team. 


Tiffany Phillips, Anna Kate O'Bryant, Mackenzie Harris, Madison Scoggin, Madeline Newman, Ciara Steward, and Cara Hopper also were named to the All-Academic team. 


The W earned the No. 7 seed for the tournament and will face 10th-seeded Penn State Beaver at 10 a.m. Monday. The winner will face St. Mary of the Woods at 6 p.m. Monday.



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