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Tech’s Hooper and Sakamoto named All-OVC second teamers, Liberatore on All-Newcomer Team

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech softball team posted two members to the All-Ohio Valley Conference Second-Team with senior first baseman Kendall Hooper and junior outfielder Angi Sakamoto taking home the coveted spots. Freshman pitcher Danielle Liberatore also earned a nod on the All-Newcomer Team after an outstanding rookie campaign inside the circle.

Hooper secures second-team recognition after leading the Golden Eagles with a .304 batting average, while smacking six home runs and 28 RBI. The six long balls put the Hermitage, Tenn. native in a tie with Sakamoto and senior Chelsea Burgess for the team lead.

Hooper also set the Tech bar with a .351 average during OVC play and is coming off an impressive weekend in which the 5-foot-6 first baseman helped lead TTU to a sweep of Morehead State, socking a walk-off home run in extra innings in the series opener, a 5-3 Golden Eagle victory.

Angi Sakamoto ended the 2014 regular season with a .289 batting average, slugging six round trippers and a team-high 31 RBI from the leadoff spot. The Waipahu, Hawaii native hit .308 during OVC action, which included a tear that saw the lefty swinging outfielder pick up a hit in 17 consecutive games from Mar. 22 to Apr. 19.

Danielle Liberatore's spot on the All-Newcomer Team should come as little surprise after the 5-foot-10 southpaw posted an impressive 10-2 OVC mark with a miniscule 1.96 ERA, striking out 79 in 82 conference innings. Liberatore won eight consecutive OVC tilts as well, going 13-10 overall with a team low 3.09 earned run average.

Jacksonville State took home three of the four major conference awards with Sara Borders earning OVC Player of the Year recognition, while Tiffany Harbin was named the conference Pitcher of the Year, and Jana McGinnis took home OVC Coach of the Year. UT Martin's Carly Gonzales was recognized as the OVC Freshman of the Year.

 

Here is the complete list of conference award winners:

FIRST TEAM
 
P - Leanna Pittsenbarger (Eastern Kentucky) - Jr., Urbana, Ohio
P - Tiffany Harbin (Jacksonville State) - Sr., Hazel Green, Ala.
C - Savannah Sloan (Jacksonville State) - Jr., Reynolds, Ga.
IF - Sara Borders (Jacksonville State)  -  Jr., Alexandria, Ala.
IF - Christina Ciolek (Eastern Kentucky) - Sr., Richmond, Ky.
IF - Reynae Hutchinson (Eastern Illinois) - Sr., Mattoon, Ill.
IF - Amanda Maldonado (Jacksonville State) - Sr., Tucson, Ariz.
OF - Mo Ramsey (Murray State) - Jr., Pinckneyville, Ill.
OF - Kat Hollingsworth (Belmont) - Jr., Carrollton, Texas
OF - Ella Denes (Jacksonville State) - So., Pisgah, Ala.
OF - Jennette Isaac (Eastern Illinois) - So., Salem, Ore.
UTIL/DP - Lauren de Castro (Austin Peay) - Sr., Torrance, Calif.
UTIL/DP - Savannah Carpenter (Southeast Missouri) - So., Newbury Park, Calif.
 
(13 appear on the first team due to ties)
 
 
2014 OVC PLAYER OF THE YEAR:                            Sara Borders, Jacksonville State
2014 OVC PITCHER OF THE YEAR:                          Tiffany Harbin, Jacksonville State
2014 OVC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR:                     Carly Gonzales, UT Martin
2014 OVC COACH OF THE YEAR:                             Jana McGinnis, Jacksonville State
 
 
SECOND TEAM
 
P - Haley Chambers (SIUE) - So., Coatesville, Ind.
P - Stephanie Maday (Eastern Illinois) - Sr., Elk Grove Village, Ill.
P - Hanna Mennenga (Eastern Illinois) - Sr., Gifford, Ill.
C - Hannah Cole (Eastern Illinois) - Jr., Windsor, Ill.
IF - Shelbey Miller (Murray State) - So., Goreville, Ill.
IF - Chelsea Yankolovich (SIUE) - Sr., Phoenix, Ariz.
IF - Kendall Hooper (Tennessee Tech) - Sr., Hermitage, Tenn.
IF - Allison Smiley (SIUE) - Fr., Johnson City, Ill.
OF - Angi Sakamoto (Tennessee Tech) - Jr., Waipahu, Hawaii
OF - Carly Gonzales (UT Martin) - Fr., Anaheim, Calif.
OF - Whitney Lanphier (SIUE) - Fr., Plainfield, Ill.
UTIL/DP - Taylor Sloan (Jacksonville State) - Fr., Warrior, Ala.
 
ALL-NEWCOMER
                                           
Taylor Sloan (Jacksonville State) - DP , Fr., Warrior, Ala.
Logan Green (Jacksonville State) - P, Fr., Hebron, Md.
Krislyn Campos (Eastern Kentucky) - IF, Fr., Las Vegas, Nev.
Carly Gonzales (UT Martin) - OF, Fr. Anaheim, Calif.
Allison Smiley (SIUE) - IF, Fr. Johnson City, Ill.
Jessica Twaddle (Murray State) - UT/DP, Fr., Franklin, Tenn.
Danielle Liberatore (Tennessee Tech) - P, Fr., Peotone, Ill.
Haylee Krack (Southeast Missouri) - IF, Jr., Moline, Ill.
Mason Robinson (Murray State) - P, Fr., Lewis Center, Ohio
Whitney Lanphier (SIUE) - OF, Fr., Plainfield, Ill.
Melanie Steer (Jacksonville State) - OF, Jr., Scarborough, Ontario
Stephanie Lewis (Jacksonville State) - OF, Fr., Fort Meade, Fla.