LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Tennessee at Martin softball player Kenzi Tate has been named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association 2013 NFCA Division I All-Region second team, honoring student-athletes from the Association’s 10 regions. A total of 263 players from 137 different teams across the nation comprise this season’s regional teams, including first and second teams for each region.
Tate was named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference first team after posting incredible figures as a sophomore for the Skyhawks. After seeing a dramatic transformation in the offseason between her freshman and sophomore campaign, Tate became the Skyhawks primary offensive weapon while posting commanding figures within the circle.
The Opdyke, Ill. native saw a near .200 point bump in average over the offseason, leading the team with a .359 batting average. She tied three single-game records against Detroit-Mercy, registering four hits, two home runs and 10 total bases. Overall, she finished the season ranking first in the OVC in runs batted in (56, a UT Martin single-season record), home runs (13) and third in total bases (112).
When Tate moved from third to pitcher, her numbers were just as spectacular in the circle. She led the team with 20 wins while only dropping six decisions. She held opponents to a .255 batting average while posting a narrow 2.79 earned run average. She finished second on the team in appearances (28), games started (22), complete games (17), innings pitched (160.2), shutouts (3) and saves (2).
In last week’s OVC Tournament Tate nearly willed the Skyhawks to their second consecutive OVC championship and NCAA Tournament berth. Tate hit .353 while tallying two home runs and driving in eight. In the circle, she went 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA as she tossed two complete games and registered a save. UTM overcame a first game loss to recover by winning four consecutive games and clinching a spot in their second straight OVC championship game.
Tate is one of six OVC softball student-athletes who were named to the NFCA All-Region teams. She joins Eastern Illinois pitcher Hanna Mennenga and second baseman Carly Willert along with SIU Edwardsville third baseman Alex McDavid, all of which earned first team honors. Eastern Kentucky second baseman Raquel Howes and Southeast Missouri outfielder Alexis Anderson were named to the second team.
The all-region teams were chosen by NFCA member coaches from each respective region, and all the honorees now become eligible for selection to one of three 2013 NFCA Division I All-American teams. In addition, conference pitchers and players of the year not selected to the regional teams were added for All-America consideration.
The 2013 NFCA Division I All-America teams will be announced at 4 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, May 29, via NFCA.org.