Eight Saints softball players named to RRAC All-Conference Team

The Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) announced the 2023 RRAC Softball All-Conference Team and Player of the Year awards on May 4. Coaches determined the selections, with those on the first team being eligible for NAIA All-America consideration at the completion of the season.

2023 RRAC Softball All-Conference Team

The Saints ended the regular season with a 28-0 RRAC record and are now 43-4 overall with a 34-game winning streak. The Saints – the NAIA’s No. 2 team, Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) – won three of five top awards of the year and placed six on the all-conference first team and one on the second team.

The Saints’ Cassandra Valdez won RRAC Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year awards for the second year. Head Coach Bruce Lenington was selected as Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.  

OLLU’s Valdez, Joanna Gonzalez, and Madison Nunn received first-team honors for the third straight year. Joining them on the first team are Rebecca DuranMadison Garza, and Ariel MontgomeryCaitlin Terrazas repeated as a second-team selection. Angela Ramirez was her team’s Champions of Character winner.

The following are current, significant stats (top five) for all the honorees:

RRAC Player of the Year and RRAC Pitcher of the Year – Cassandra Valdez: She dominated the circle with 21 wins and 291 strikeouts – both conference-bests. She was also third in the conference in ERA (1.53). As a hitter, Valdez batted .398 (fifth in the conference) with a conference-best 13 home runs and conference second-best 39 RBIs. Her other stats include first in runs (38), first in slugging percentage (.864), fourth in hits (47), fifth in batting average (.398)

RRAC Coach of the Year – Bruce LeningtonIn his fourth year at OLLU, Lenington guided the Saints to a 43-4 mark for the season so far. OLLU leads the conference with 327 runs, 93 doubles, 64 home runs, 302 RBIs, 148 walks, .426 on-base percentage and .609 slugging percentage. The Saints are also first in strikeouts with 291. They are second in hits with 385, triples with 28, and batting average at .334. The Saints are second in innings pitched with 279.2 and in ERA at 1.70. Finally, the Saints are first in overall fielding percentage at .970.

Rebecca Duran – first in runs (38), fifth in hits (45), fourth in doubles (13)

Madison Nunn – first in RBIs (40), second in home runs (10), second in slugging percentage (.792), fifth in runs (35), first in fielding percentage (1.000)

Madison Garza – third in slugging percentage (.675), fourth in doubles (14)

Caitlin Terrazas – first in hit-by-pitch (19), third in home runs (8)

Joanna Gonzalez – fourth in putouts (207)

Ariel Montgomery – fourth in home runs (7), fourth in RBIs (35)

Angela Ramirez – 16-0 record