Three Red Raiders Highlight 1998 All-Big 12 Softball Team|
April 30, 1998
DALLAS - Three Texas Tech fastpitch softball players were named to the 1998 All-Big 12 Softball team Thursday. Freshmen Sandy Butler, an outfielder from Tucson, Ariz., and pitcher Amanda Renfro, from Houston, Texas, were both listed on the first team. Junior outfielder Stephanie Walls (Albuquerque, NM) earned second team honors.
Nebraska's softball team went a perfect 16-0 in league play winning its first Big 12 title this season. Husker shortstop Ali Viola and head coach Rhonda Revelle highlight the coaches' 1998 All-Big 12 Softball team, the first day of the Big 12 Tournament at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla. The coaches' team is set up like the national All-America team which consists of an 18-member first and 18-member second team broken down by positions with six at-large selections per team. A 1996 first-team All-America who tore her anterior curciate ligament in 1997, Viola is the Big 12 Player of the Year after leading Nebraska with a .390 batting average, including a .356 mark in Big 12 contests. The 1998 first-team All-Big 12 shortstop also leads the conference in home runs with 18 (third nationally) and runs batted in with 48 (25th nationally).
With a league leading .442 batting average, Oklahoma State junior Jaime Foutch is first-team All-Big 12 at first base. Other Big 12 leaders on the first-team all-conference squad include Husker pitcher Jenny Voss who leads in innings pitched (267.1) and wins with a 32-7 record (first nationally). Texas Tech outfielder Sandy Butler leads the Big 12 in hits (73) as does Jennifer Lizama who plays second base for Nebraska in runs scored (49). Red Raider pitcher Amanda Renfro is tied for the Big 12 high with 13 shutouts this season. Second-team All-Big 12 selections Stacy Gemeinhardt, an outfielder for Missouri, and LaKisha Washington, second base for Oklahoma, lead the league in triples (5), and stolen bases (27), respectively. First-team all-conference pitcher Christa Williams of Texas has been selected the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year by the league coaches. The sophomore transfer, via UCLA, leads the league in earned run average (0.39, second nationally), strikeouts (282) and saves (5, tied for third nationally) and is tied with Renfro with 13 shutouts. A righthander, Williams' 11.0 strikeouts per game are second nationally and her 24 victories are second most in the league and tied for ninth nationally. Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors goes to Oklahoma shortstop Lisa Carey who has hit .326 in her first season and is among the league leaders in doubles with 11. Carey leads Oklahoma in hits (59) and runs scored (30) heading into the tournament. Revelle guided Nebraska, 40-10, to its sixth conference title, first since 1988, and is the 1998 Big 12 Coach of the Year as voted on by her peers. A former Husker pitcher (1981-83), Revelle is in her sixth season at Nebraska with a 197-133 record. She was also named the 1995 Big Eight Conference Coach of the Year. The third Big 12 Softball Tournament begins April 30 when No. 8 seed Iowa State takes on No. 9 Missouri at 5 p.m. (CDT) No. 7 Texas A&M will face No. 10 Baylor at 7:30 p.m. The losers of those contests will be eliminated, while the winners will face the rest of the field in double-elimination rounds May 1 through May 3. Contests on May 1 and May 2 start at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 8 p.m. The championship contest is set for 2 p.m. on May 3. Looking at the national polls, the 1998 tournament should be the best yet. Oklahoma enters the Big 12 tourney No. 5 nationally with league champ Nebraska No. 7 and Texas No. 8. Oklahoma State is No. 12, Texas Tech No. 17 and Missouri No. 18, giving the Big 12 six ranked teams, second only to the Pac-10's seven. Oklahoma won the first Big 12 title in 1996, while Missouri was last year's league champion. Both went on to win the tournament title, also played at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla. Hopefully, these teams will make another trip to ASA Hall of Fame Stadium for the NCAA Women's College World Series, May 20 - May 24.
1998 All-Big 12 Softball
First Team Pos. Name School Class Hometown DP Christi McCoy, Nebraska Sr. San Mateo, Calif UT Ashley Lewis, Texas A&M Fr. Baton Rouge, La. P Christa Williams, Texas So. Houston, Texas P Jenny Voss, Nebraska So. Ankeny, Iowa OF Sara Holland, Kansas Sr. Bixby, Okla. OF Rachel Johnson, Oklahoma Sr. Humble, Texas OF Sandy Butler, Texas Tech Fr. Tucson, Ariz. 1B Jaime Foutch, Oklahoma State Jr. Edmond, Okla. 2B Jennifer Lizama, Nebraska So. San Lorenzo, Calif. 3B Kristi Bolle, Oklahoma State Sr. Orange, Calif. SS Ali Viola, Nebraska Sr. Novato, Calif. C Ashli Barrett, Oklahoma Fr. Oklahoma City, Okla.Player of the Year: Ali Viola, SS, Nebraska
Newcomer of the Year: Christa Williams, P, Texas
Freshman of the Year: Lisa Carey, SS, Oklahoma
Coach of the Year: Rhonda Revelle, Nebraska