All-conference honors for WJU softball players

By: Staff Report
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With the William Jessup University inaugural softball season coming to a close, the third place Warriors placed eight representatives on the California Pacific Conference softball all-conference teams, Commissioner Don Ott announced. Junior catcher Kiki Franco, freshman first baseman Mallory Blodgett, junior designated player Traci Hart and junior pitcher Kara Besseghini earned CALPAC first team honors. Junior shortstop Audrea Lopez, Junior outfielder Jackie Ferrari and sophomore pitcher Brianna Melgard were named to the CALPAC second team. Junior second baseman Cassie Emerson received honorable mention honors. In addition, Franco was named the CALPAC newcomer of the year, while Blodgett was named freshman of the year. Blodgett, a native of Folsom, led the Warriors a .372 batting average. She hit a team high four homeruns and ten doubles, while leading the CALPAC in RBIs with 35. Blodgett led the team in fielding, as she ranked third in the nation in putouts per game with 8.660 and fourth in total putouts with 407. Franco, a native of Stockton, batted .326 with seven doubles, three triples, three homeruns and 26 RBIs. She finished the season tied for the team lead with 13 stolen bases. She led the team with a .400 conference batting average. Hart, a native of Nevada City, started 37 games and batted .279 with seven doubles, one homerun and thirteen RBIs. She hit .377 in conference play Besseghini, a native of Dixon, finished the year with a 15-6 overall record. She had an outstanding conference season with a 0.58 ERA, while she finished with a 2.30 ERA overall. Kara finished the year with 58 strike outs, compared to 15 walks in 134 innings of work. She had five shutout victories, while pitching the first perfect game in school history against Bethany University. Lopez, a native of San Jose, finished the overall season with a .279 batting average, while hitting .333 in conference play. She had three doubles, one triple and three homeruns to go along with 19 RBI’s. Ferrari, a native of San Francisco, batted .223 on the season with seven doubles, two triples and two homeruns. She was third in the team with 23 RBI’s Blodgett, a native of Roseville, went 12-14 on the season and 5-3 in conference play. She finished with an overall ERA of 2.10, including a 1.20 conference ERA. She pitched three shutout games, while striking out 85 batters on the season. Emerson, a Lincoln native, started 20 of the 21 games she played in. She batted .300 with three doubles and eight RBIs. “I am proud of the inaugural season that our players put together,” said head coach Jessica Pistole. “The players deserve the recognition they received and have laid the building blocks to the foundation of our program. With the experience we gained, we look forward to what the future holds for WJU softball.” The Warriors finished the season by going 27-20 overall and 10-6 in conference play.