Katelyn Lovato named RMAC Freshman of the Year

Eric R. Flores
The Paw Print

Adams State College freshman center fielder Katelyn Lovato has been unanimously  named as the 2010 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Softball Freshman of the Year while her older sister— junior first baseman and catcher Jaycee Lovato— and sophomore Rebecca Lindquist joined Katelyn, the Grizzlies’ first ever RMAC Freshman of the Year, in being named to the First Team All-RMAC First Team.
This is the second time in three years that the Grizzlies, who led all RMAC squads in first team selections, have had three first team all-conference honors as the squad also accomplished the feat during the 2008 season, the first with head coach Dervin Taylor at the helm of the program.  Under Taylor, the Grizzlies have had now 12 total all-conference selections, including first team picks.
“This shows the direction that Adams State College softball team is going,” said Taylor on Tuesday, the day that conference officials announced the awards.  “We are a young team and the fact that we have three players on the First Team says a lot.”
Katelyn Lovato, who finished the 2010 season with an active 38-game hit streak, which is just one short of the NCAA Division II record, joined Regis University junior catcher Alisa Heronema as the only two players who were unanimously selected to the first team squad by the conference’s head coaches, who selected all of the award winners.
“I was just trying to contribute the best way I could for my team,” Lovato humbly noted. “I wish that I could have extended my hitting streak, but there’s always next year.”
Lovato, who had at least one hit in every game, finished the season with a RMAC-high 78 hits, the third most in ASC’s Division II history (1993-Present) behind only now assistant coach Shannon Galanek (79) and Heather Ebert (91) whose 2008 team played 58 games in 2008.  Her .523 batting average led the RMAC and is currently the second best in the country.  It is also the highest of any RMAC player since Amy Tjaarda set the ASC single-season and RMAC record of .549 in 1993.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be named Freshman of the Year,” said Lovato. “I couldn’t have gotten this far in my career without the support of my sister, Jaycee, and my parents.”
The speedy center fielder also lead the team with 38 runs scored and had 17 stolen bases, the fifth most in ASC’s history.
“Katelyn is the real deal, she is going to win many individual awards over the next three years,” said Taylor. “She is a team player and she if she stays as consistent as she was this year we will see a lot more next year.  She also has a good work ethic.”
Jaycee Lovato, registered 20 extra-base hits and 94 total bases, tied for eleventh most in ASC’s Division II history.  She led team in doubles (8) and walks (20) while tying the ASC record (1998-Present) for walks in a game (4) in the first game of a tripleheader against New Mexico Highlands University on Apr. 3.  She also matched the record homers in a game as she had two in the second game of that same tripleheader.
“Jaycee really came on strong this year, once she became more aggressive with the bat she started the hit the ball a lot more,” noted Taylor.
Lindquist, who registered 99 total bases this season, led the team with 49 RBI, the fourth most in ASC’s NCAA Division-II history.  In just two seasons, she has tallied 79 RBI in 72 career games and led the RMAC in RBI per game (1.40) this year.  She also had a strong finish after suffering an arm injury to as she hit eight homeruns in team’s last eight games.Lindquist also paced team in doubles (10) and extra-base hits (23) and led the RMAC in total bases per game (2.83).
“We have to keep Becca on the playing field and away from injuries including jumping fences,” joked Taylor, “She is an awesome player with a great work ethic.”
Lindquist, who was a 2-time RMAC Player of the Week this year, was second on team with 51 hits and 30 runs.
Jaycee Lovato and Lindquist finished the 2010 season with active 16 and 13-game hitting streaks which are tied for fourth and tenth longest, respectively, in ASC’s NCAA Division II records.
Heronema was also named as the RMAC’s Player of the Year while Metro State’s Christie Robinson was named the Pitcher of the Year. The Roadrunners, who wrapped up the RMAC regular season title with an impressive 37-2 conference record, were guided by the Coach of the Year, Jennifer Fisher.

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