Clark Named C-USA Newcomer of the Year, Three Earn All-Conference Honors
Clark, Gregory, Trautwein Represent North Texas On Second Team
IRVING - Sophomore outfielder Katie Clark was named the 2018 Conference USA Newcomer of the Year, highlighting Tuesday's all-conference announcement for the North Texas softball team. For the second straight year, the Mean Green had three players named All-C-USA.
"I came into this year wanting to make a difference knowing I didn't have as much time to show what I had," Clark said. "It means so much to me because of all the hard work, my teammates, and all those who supported me and helped me get situated."
Clark, who was also named Second Team All-C-USA, joins Kat Strunk as the only specialty award winners in program history after Strunk garnered the same honor in 2014. North Texas head coach Tracey Kee, who also brought in Strunk as a transfer, saw many similarities in their abilities to quickly implement themselves into the team's offense.
"They both did a great job of buying into the program quickly and understanding the expectations," Kee said. "For me, it's been about finding kids who outwork others and both of them were incredibly hard workers."
The team leader in batting average (.376), runs (33) and hits, Clark has been a major plug for the North Texas offense after joining the team in January. She ranks second in single-season program history with 18 stolen bases and is on pace for the fifth-highest batting average.
"It's amazing what you can do when you feel more comfortable in a situation," Clark said. "Having the coaches be confident in me when I go up there really gives me an extra boost."
A Second Team All-C-USA selection, freshman pitcher Hope Trautwein becomes the third freshman in school history to be named to the all-conference first or second team (Mallory Cantler, Taylor Schoblocher).
"It shows what the future holds for this program," Kee said. "When you have a true lockdown pitcher and can get out there and compete game-after-game, that carries a program."
Trautwein set the single-season school records for wins (15), strikeouts (160) and shutouts (5) by a freshman pitcher. She orchestrated a 30-inning streak of not allowing an earned run, including a shutout of regular-season C-USA champion Florida Atlantic and a no-hitter against Mississippi Valley State.
"It's surreal," Trautwein said. "I just went out and tried to do my best all season for my team and it's an honor to represent North Texas."
Sophomore infielder Lacy Gregory earns her second all-conference nod after being named to the all-freshman team last season with a team-high 34 RBI.
"There was some internal pressure, but she had so many hitters around her," Kee said. "That helped her see better pitching. Opponents had to pick their poison. Credit to Lacy for not letting that pressure get to her and continue to put up the numbers she did."
"It's great to represent the university with this honor," Gregory said. "It shows the hard work I've put in. I expect to play at a high level so that's what I try and do every day."
Gregory once again led the team in RBI with 40 and paced the squad in doubles (11), triples (2), home runs (10) and total bases (95). She finished the regular season with an 11-game hit streak in C-USA contests and hit .444 over the final 16 games of the year.
2018 Conference USA All-Conference & Specialty Awards
Player of the Year
Morgan Turkoly, Louisiana Tech
Pitcher of the Year
Preslee Gallaway, Louisiana Tech
Newcomer of the Year
Katie Clark, North Texas
Freshman of the Year
Aly Harrell, Marshall
Coach of the Year
Joan Joyce, Florida Atlantic
All-Conference USA First Team
C - Taylor McCord, Marshall
C - Morgan Harris, Middle Tennessee
INF - Courtney Clayton, UTEP
INF - Emily Lochten, Florida Atlantic
INF - Natalie Erwin, UAB
INF - Haley Pace, Charlotte
INF - Kasandra Castle, FIU
OF - Madisyn Palmer, Florida Atlantic
OF - Morgan Turkoly, Louisiana Tech
OF - Jackie Schoff, FIU
OF - Bailee Baldwin, UTSA
DP/Utility - Aly Harrell, Marshall
P - Shannon Saile, FIU
P - Preslee Gallaway, Louisiana Tech
P - Cori Jennings, Middle Tennessee
All-Conference USA Second Team
C - Marilyn Rizzato, Louisiana Tech
C - Samantha Papp, Southern Miss
INF - Elicia D’Orazio, Marshall
INF - Lacy Gregory, North Texas
INF - Lexi Cushing, Middle Tennessee
INF - Jessica Rivera, FIU
INF - Summer Burgess, Middle Tennessee
OF - Destini England, UAB
OF - Katie Clark, North Texas
OF - Jordan Colliflower, Marshall
OF - Precious Birdsong, Middle Tennessee
DP/Utility - Ciara Cherry, Southern Miss
P - Tatum Buckley, Florida Atlantic
P - Hope Trautwein, North Texas
P - Haley Wiseman, Charlotte
Conference USA All-Freshman Team
Aly Harrell, Marshall
Hope Trautwein, North Texas
Sloane Stewartson, Louisiana Tech
Jordan Thomas, WKU
Emily Kachel, UAB
Amber Baldwin, Middle Tennessee
Venessa Gallegos, FIU
Ashlynn Walls, UTSA
Destini Brown, Southern Miss
Ariana Valles, UTEP
Shelby Nunn, WKU
Maddie Bowlds, WKU