TCC Athletics: Rivera, Townsend garner top PC honors

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 17, 2014) – Tallahassee Community College placed ten players on the Coaches’ All-Panhandle Conference softball teams, released on Thursday, and also nabbed two of the conference’s three individual awards.

Freshman Mariah Rivera was tabbed the Panhandle Conference Pitcher of the Year while Patti Townsend was named Coach of the Year after guiding the Eagles to their first league title since 1998.

Rivera, along with first baseman Alexis Huss, third baseman Brenda Santana, catcher Brianna Murillo, left fielder Te Reo Powhiri Matautia and pitcher Ashley Dobson were first-team all-PC selections.

Shortstop Ashley Heath-Smith, second baseman Danielle Patterson and center fielder Taesha DuBoise were second-team honorees while right fielder Marina Cobbs was an honorable mention pick.

Rivera, a Tallahassee native who played at Lincoln High School, has enjoyed a stellar rookie campaign, posting a 17-5 record and 1.59 ERA, along with two saves and struck out 127 batters in 149.1 innings – all tops on the Eagles’ pitching staff. Her numbers were even better in league play, where she went 10-1 with a 1.33 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 78.2 innings in the circle.

Rivera is the first Eagle to win an individual PC award since 2002 when Jennifer Whitley was named Player of the Year by both the PC and FCSAA. She joins Ashley Ivey as the program’s only PC Pitcher of the Year award winners – Ivey was a two-time recipient (1998, 1999).

Townsend won her first PC Coach of the Year award on the heels of the Eagles’ 18-4 PC record. Tallahassee opened league play by winning 15 of its first 16 games, the best PC start in team history. Earlier this season, Townsend reached the 300-win plateau as an NJCAA head coach.

Huss, a sophomore from Frankfurt, Ill., has batted .366 with a team-high ten home runs, 42 RBI and .620 slugging percentage in 45 games. In league play, she batted .352 with four home runs and 17 RBI.

Santana, a sophomore from Long Beach, Calif., is second on the team in all three power categories – she has eight home runs, 33 RBI and a .571 slugging percentage – and posted a .338 batting average in 43 games. In league play, she posted team-highs in batting (.365), home runs (five) and RBI (24).

Murillo, a sophomore from Chino Hills, Calif., has batted .343 with seven home runs and 29 RBI and a .543 slugging percentage in 42 games. In league play, she batted .359 with three home runs and 12 RBI.

Matautia, a freshman from Mangere Bridge, Auckland, New Zealand, leads the Eagles with a .370 batting average and .424 on-base percentage and has scored a team-high 44 runs. She has also added three home runs and 32 RBI in 44 games. In league play, she batted .333 with one home run and 13 RBI.

Dobson, a sophomore from Wheatfield, Ind., is 16-5 with a 1.82 ERA in 21 games. She has struck out 89 batters in 138.2 innings in the circle. In league play, she was 8-3 with a 2.73 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 74.1 innings pitched.

Heath-Smith, a sophomore from Merced, Calif., has posted a .264 batting average with two home runs and 31 RBI in 44 games. In league play, she batted .237, scored 18 runs, second-best on the team, and drove in 15 runs.

Patterson, a freshman from Lawrenceville, Ga., has batted .342 with 19 RBI in 45 games. She leads the team with 27 stolen bases and is second with a .421 on-base percentage. In league play, she batted .308 with nine RBI and ten stolen bases.

DuBoise, a freshman from Stockbridge, Ga., has batted .336 with 19 RBI in 45 games. In league play, she batted .295 with eight RBI.

Cobbs, a sophomore from Cantonment, Fla., has batted .317 with 21 RBI in 37 games and is second on the team with 20 stolen bases. In league play, she batted .338 with seven RBI and nine stolen bases.

With its regular season complete, Tallahassee will now turn its attention to the NJCAA District 8B/FCSAA Gulf District Softball Tournament, which begins May 2 in Pesnacola, Fla.

2014 Coaches’ All-Panhandle Conference Softball Teams

Infield: Alexis Huss, Tallahassee; Jennifer Phillips, Northwest Florida State; Katie White, Gulf Coast State; Nalleli Lopez, Chipola; Brenda Santana, Tallahassee.

Outfield: Emily Pettigrew, Pensacola State; Adaria Dixon, Northwest Florida State; Te Reo Powhiri Matautia, Tallahassee; Jenna Firestein, Northwest Florida State.

Catcher: Hannah Day, Northwest Florida State; Brianna Murillo, Tallahassee.

At-Large: Katie Harrison, Chipola; Kaisey Carson, Northwest Florida State.

Pitcher: Mariah Rivera, Tallahassee; Jessica Elliot, Chipola; Haley Goodson, Northwest Florida State; Ashley Dobson, Tallahassee.

Infield: Danielle Patterson, Tallahassee; Jamie Phillips, Northwest Florida State; Megan Griffith, Gulf Coast State; Quierra Bradford, Pensacola State; Alyssa Hathcoat, Chipola; Ashley Heath-Smith, Tallahassee.

Outfield: Brashante Dareus, Chipola; Taesha DuBoise, Tallahassee; Kelbi Davis, Gulf Coast State.

Catcher: Jennifer Cottle, Chipola; Taylor Campbell, Gulf Coast State.

At-Large: Katie Gardner, Gulf Coast State; Dee Rodriguez, Pensacola State.

Pitcher: Maude McCourry, Northwest Florida State; Ashley Peters, Pensacola State; Kinsley Mason, Pensacola State.

Honorable Mention
Infield: Maleha McCombs, Gulf Coast State; Kayla Rosario, Pensacola State; Jessica Briggs, Pensacola State; Gabriela Kuroda, Northwest Florida State; Jenna Reeves, Chipola; Anna Martin, Gulf Coast State.

Outfield: Amber Burton, Northwest Florida State; Kayla Fields, Gulf Coast State; Holly Brown, Gulf Coast State; Dayane Armenta, Chipola; Marina Cobbs, Tallahassee.

At-Large: Royce Smith, Pensacola State.

Player of the Year: Katie Harrison, Chipola
Pitcher of the Year: Mariah Rivera, Tallahassee
Coach of the Year: Patti Townsend, Tallahassee

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