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Shelby Thompson also earns league’s Freshman of the Year award


Photo:  Jenavee Peres courtesy

May 16, 2017 (San Diego) - San Diego State softball junior Jenavee Peres (Garden Grove, Calif.) has been named the Mountain West Player of the Year, while Shelby Thompson (Benicia, Calif.) was chosen as the MW Freshman of the Year, the league announced Wednesday.

Peres and Thompson were joined on the all-MW first team by senior Sydnee Cable (Huntington Beach, Calif.), junior Zaria Meshack (Vallejo, Calif.) and sophomore Molly Sturdivant (Santa Ana, Calif.), while sophomore Katie Byrd (Santee, Calif./West Hills HS) earned second-team all-MW accolades.

An Aztec has now won four of the last six MW Player-of-the-Year awards - Hayley Miles in 2012, Patrice Jackson in 2013, Lorena Bauer in 2015 and Peres in 2017 - and five of the last seven MW Freshman-of-the-Year awards - Miles in 2011, Kayla Jordan in 2012, Danielle O’Toole in 2013, Peres in 2015 and Thompson in 2017.

Additionally, SDSU’s five first-team selections are the most in the league since the MW went to two postseason teams in 2014.

In conference play, Peres batted a league-high .538 (next highest was .473), while also leading the MW in slugging percentage (.988), on-base percentage (.585), runs (32), hits (43), home runs (9, tied) and total bases (79). A catcher, Peres also was second in RBIs (31), tied for third in doubles (7), tied for fourth in times hit by pitch (5) and sacrifice flies (2). She was also a first-team all-MW selection when she was the freshman of the year in 2015.

Overall, Peres finished batted .454 with 56 runs, 74 hits, 16 home runs and 60 RBIs, while posting a .840 slugging percentage and a .492 on-base percentage. Peres, who leads the Mountain West in batting average (.454), slugging percentage (.840), runs (56), hits (74), RBIs (60), home runs (16), total bases (137) and sacrifice flies (5), shattered the previous school record of a .429 batting average with her .454 and tied a SDSU best with five sac flies. She also ranks second in school single-season history slugging percentage, RBIs and OPS percentage (1.332), third in runs and total bases, fourth in on-base percentage, tied for fourth in extra-base hits (29), fifth in hits and home runs, and tied for seventh in times hit by pitch (5).

Thompson, meanwhile, hit .391 in league play with six home runs, 21 RBIs, 16 runs, four doubles and 10 walks, recording a .739 slugging percentage and a .475 on-base mark. Among leaders in league-only play, Thompson ranked second in fielding assists (66), third in slugging percentage, tied for fourth in home runs, fifth in batting average and total bases (51), tied for fifth in RBIs, and 10th in on-base percentage and fielding chances (110). Additionally, she committed just three errors in 110 fielding chances for a .973 fielding percentage at shortstop.

In all games, Thompson hit .333 with seven home runs, 31 RBIs, 26 runs, five doubles, two triples, 20 walks and six stolen bases, while posting a .556 slugging percentage and a .434 on-base percentage. Among the all-time San Diego State freshmen, Thompson rank

Cable bettered her second-team accolade last year with a first-team selection this season after batting .358 in league play with four home runs, 16 RBIs, 14 runs, four doubles, six walks, recording a .556 slugging percentage and a .393 on-base percentage. Overall, Cable batted .371 with six homers, 43 RBIs, 23 runs, eight doubles and nine walks. Her 43 RBIs were the 10th most in SDSU single-season history, while her four sac flies tied for fifth.

Meshack picked up her first all-MW accolade after hitting .462 in league action with 23 runs, a .500 on-base percentage and five stolen bases. In league-only games, she ranked second in hits (36), third in average and runs, tied for fourth in on-base percentage and tied for sixth in stolen bases. Overall, Meshack finished with a .415 average, 34 runs, 61 hits, a .459 on-base percentage and seven stolen bases. Her .415 batting average was the third best in San Diego State single-season history, while her 59 hits ranked fourth.

Sturdivant improved on her second-team performance from last year with a first-team selection this season, batting .353 in league play with three homers, 26 RBIs, 10 runs, six doubles and 19 walks, while posting a .574 slugging percentage and a .478 on-base mark. In league-only games, Sturdivant ranked first in walks, tied for first in sac flies (4), third in RBIs, fourth in fielding assists (59), tied for sixth in doubles and eighth in on-base percentage. In all games, Sturdivant batted .381 with eight home runs, 45 RBIs, 25 runs, 14 doubles and 30 walks, while registering a .664 slugging percentage and a .482 on-base mark. Among the Aztec single-season leaders, Sturdivant ranked tied for first in sac flies (5), fifth in walks, tied for sixth in doubles, seventh in on-base percentage, eighth in slugging percentage and OPS percentage (1.146), ninth in RBIs and tied for ninth in extra-base hits (22).

Byrd notched her first all-league nod after hitting .349 in MW action with a home run, 21 RBIs, 22 runs, 10 doubles and 12 walks, while owning a .506 slugging percentage and a .444 on-base mark. In league-only games, Byrd ranked first in doubles (10), in tie for fourth in runs, tied for fifth in hits and RBIs, eighth in walks, ninth in total bases (42) and tied for 10th in times hit by pitch (3). In all games, Byrd batted .361 with three home runs, 35 RBIs, 42 runs, 16 doubles, a .519 slugging percentage and a .428 on-base percentage. In SDSU single-season history, she finished fourth in both runs and doubles.

San Diego State finished the 2017 campaign with a 31-18 overall record - its 12th consecutive 30-win season - and a 15-9 mark and runner-up finish in Mountain West play. The Aztecs, who finished with seven school records, including batting average (.356), on-base percentage (.418), slugging percentage (.516), hits (497), RBIs (295), sacrifice flies (23) and runs (324, tied), did not receive an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament, despite finishing second in the sixth-best conference in the nation (as of May 8) (out of 32 leagues), the 29th-toughest non-conference schedule (as of May 8) and a No. 42 RPI (three teams with worse RPIs were selected in No. 45 Wisconsin, No. 46 Oregon State and No. 47 Fresno State, and every team lower than SDSU got in).

2017 Mountain West Awards

Player of the Year: Jenavee Peres (San Diego State)

Pitcher of the Year: Kamalani Dung (Fresno State)

Defensive Player of the Year: Haley Hutton (Colorado State)

Freshman of the Year: Shelby Thompson (San Diego State)

Coach of the Year: Peter Turner (San José State)

All-Conference First Team (SDSU selections only)

C Jenavee Peres, Jr. (San Diego State)

1B Sydnee Cable, Sr. (San Diego State)

SS Shelby Thompson, Fr. (San Diego State)

3B Molly Sturdivant, Jr. (San Diego State)

OF Zaria Meshack, Jr. (San Diego State)

All-Conference Second Team (SDSU selections only)

2B Katie Byrd, So. (San Diego State)


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