UT Tyler’s Ashley Perez and Nicole Garcia were named first-team NCAA Division III Softball All-America softball players, the school announced.
Joining Perez and Garcia were second-teamers Colleen Bentke and Lynsey Mitchell and third-teamer Andrea Gonzales.
The awards are from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
Softball Game Postponed
The UT Tyler Patriots and Illinois Wesleyan will have to wait a day to play in the NCAA Division III Softball Championship after rain postponed play on Friday at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
The Patriots and Titans are now scheduled to play at 11 a.m. Saturday in a winner’s bracket game after both teams won on Thursday, followed by a Virginia Wesleyan and Luther (Iowa) meeting at 1:30 p.m. in the other winner’s bracket game.
Perez was also named the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Freshman of the Year and Division III’s Diamond Sports/NFCA Catcher of the Year during the NCAA Division III Championship banquet on Wednesday at the Sheraton Hotel Downtown in Oklahoma City.
The selections are the first for each Patriot and the most ever in UT Tyler history during one season. The program has now had 23 All-American selections.
Garcia, a right fielder, led the nation with 78 hits, the second most in a single season by any Patriot. A junior from Sugar Land, Garcia is hitting .513 with 16 doubles, three triples and a home run. The Fort Bend Kempner High School graduate leads the team with 62 runs scored and is 10th nationally with 1.35 runs scored per game. In her first season after transferring from Blinn College, Garcia has hit safely in 43 of 46 games, including 24 straight games to start the season. She has recorded 23 multi-hit performances, including 12 games with three hits.
Perez is second in the nation with 18 home runs. A Pflugerville native and Pflugerville High School graduate, Perez tied Whitney Wyly for the UT Tyler single-season record for home runs and enters OKC with a .473 batting average and 67 RBIs. Her RBI total is the second most in the nation and is only nine shy of tying Wyly for the program record of 76 from the 2009 season.
Perez, who was named the ASC Player of the Year and ASC Freshman of the Year, also has 22 doubles, which is the third most in the NCAA. She leads the Patriots with 24 multi-hit performances and 21 multi-RBI games. She has four games this season with four RBIs and three with three RBIs.
Bentke was named the ASC Pitcher of the Year and has a 25-3 record, after the Patriots' 7-1 win over Case Western Reserve (Ohio) on Thursday. The Brenham High School graduate is a transfer from Blinn College.
Gonzales, who plays first base, is hitting .452 with 13 doubles and 30 RBIs in her second season with the Patriots. A senior from Elgin, Gonzales has not struck out in 148 at-bats this season and has recorded 24 multi-hit games. She is a transfer from McLennan Community College.
Mitchell is hitting .414 with 12 home runs and 50 RBIs for the Patriots in her first season with the program. A junior from Liberty Hill, the designated player has recorded 12 multi-RBI performances and 11 multi-hit games.
The five Patriots join previous UT Tyler All-America selections, including Megan Richardson (2009), Wyly (2009, 2010), Joey Cronin (2010, 2013), Brittani Hanna (2011), Katelyn Thomason (2012), Heather Abshire (2013), Kelsie Batten (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), Lauren Robenalt (2014), KK Stevens (2015), Vanessa Carrizales (2015), Raven Rodriguez (2016), Kaylee Prather (2017) and Cheyenne Thompson (2017).
NCAA Division III World Series
ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Game 1: No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan 6, No. 8 Ithaca (New York) 0
Game 2: No. 5: Luther (Iowa) 6, No. 4 MIT (Massachusetts) 3
Game 3: No. 2: UT Tyler 7, No. 7 Case Western Reserve (Ohio) 1
Game 4: No. 6, Illinois Wesleyan 5, No. 3 Rowan (New Jersey) 1
Game 5: Ithaca (33-12) vs. MIT (38-10-1)
Game 6: Case Western (37-11) vs. Rowan (39-12-1)
Game 7: UT Tyler (44-3) vs. Illinois Wesleyan (37-11-1), ppd.
Game 8: Virginia Wesleyan (51-2) vs. Luther (41-9), ppd.
Game 7: UT Tyler (44-3) vs. Illinois Wesleyan (37-11-1), 11 a.m.
Game 8: Virginia Wesleyan (51-2) vs. Luther (41-9), 1:30 p.m.
Game 9: Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 7, 4 p.m.
Game 10: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 8, 6:30 p.m.
Game 11: Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9, noon
Game 12: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 10, 2:30 p.m.
Game 13: Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9, 5:30 p.m., if necessary
Game 14: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 10, 8 p.m., if necessary
Game 1: 1 p.m. Monday
Game 2: 3:30 p.m. Monday
Game 3: 11 a.m. Tuesday, if necessary