San Jose, Calif. – When you win your conference title, as the Spartans did, you get hardware and then you get some more. Seniors Katelyn Linford, Colette Riggs and Chelsea Jenner, sophomore Madison Aurin and freshman Cassidy Clark and Georgia Blair have earned All-Mountain West Conference honors and head coach Peter Turner is the 2017 Mountain West Coach of the Year.
The six players honored are the most for SJSU in one season in the team's four-year Mountain West history.
“If you have this type of success as a team, the honors will come,” Turner said. “It’s nice for the athletes to be recognized, but to a player they will tell you the team aspect is the most important. As for my award, it is all based on how the players do. We had success this year and I thank them for this.”
Turner, whose teams have finish in fifth, third and second place in each of its first three seasons in the league, completed the ascent to the top of the standings by winning the 2017 Mountain West championship. The Spartans’ 36 wins in the regular season are the third most in program history. Among Mountain West teams, SJSU finished in first in fielding, second in ERA and on base percentage, third in doubles, double plays, fourth in batting average and fifth in triples.
This is the second time Turner has been honored as a Coach of the Year. In 2013, the last time SJSU won its conference title and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Softball Championship, Turner was named the Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
Linford, Aurin and Clark were named first-team honorees, based on the 24-game Mountain West schedule.
Linford posted an 11-5 record with a 2.77 ERA. She tossed nine complete games, including three shutouts, in 16 starts. In 101.0 innings, she struck out 93 and walked only 11. She was a two-time Mountain West pitcher of the Week honoree this season.
Aurin, the team’s first baseman and a second team All-MW honoree last season, batted .354 (29-for-82) and scored 11 runs. She had a team-best six doubles and two home runs while driving in a team-high 15. Her .500 slugging percentage was the second highest on the squad.
Clark, who bats third and plays second base, led the Spartans with a .380 batting average (27-for-71) in MW play. She scored five runs, rapped out five doubles and drove in 14 with a slugging percentage of .493 in 24 games. She earned 14 walks, second on the squad, with a team-leading .477 on base percentage.
Blair, Jenner and Riggs were honored with second team All- Mountain West designation.
Blair, playing shortstop in 18 of the team’s 24 conference games, batted .356 (21-for-59) with a team-high three homers and a team-best .576 slugging percentage. She scored nine runs, while hitting two doubles and a triple. Her .415 on base percentage ranked third on the team.
Jenner, a leftfielder, finished with a .351 average (27-for-77), had six doubles, a homer, seven RBI and slugged .468. She scored 15 times, second on the team, and had a .366 on base percentage.
Watt, the team’s rightfielder, batted .299 (23-for-77) in 24 games. She led the team with two triples and hit three doubles while scoring 12 runs and driving in 12. Her .390 slugging percentage and .393 on base percentage rank fourth and third on the team, respectively.
LINFORD NAMED AN NFCA ALL-REGION PERFORMER
In addition to her Mountain West honor, Linford was named a third-team National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Pacific Region selection. She is one of 667 student-athletes from 175 programs have received 2017 NFCA Division I All-Region accolades.
The awards honor softball student-athletes from the Association’s 10 regions with first, second and third team selections. NFCA member coaches from each respective region voted on the teams, and all the honorees now become eligible for selection to the 2017 NFCA Division I All-American squads.
The 2017 NFCA Division I All-America teams will be announced at approximately 5:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 31, via NFCA.org.
The Spartans play Cal State Fullerton on Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN3 in the team’s opening game of the Los Angeles Regional.