May 13, 2014
WACO, Texas - The Big 12 announced its postseason awards for softball Tuesday afternoon, and Baylor's Whitney Canion took home Big 12 Pitcher of the Year honors for the second time in her career. Canion was also named First Team All-Big 12 along with Baylor junior outfielder Kaitlyn Thumann.
Baylor, the No. 17 team in the country, also landed three players on the All-Big 12 Second Team with Linsey Hays (OF/DP), Jordan Strickland (SS), and senior Clare Hosack (C) all earning spots. In addition, Hosack was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team.
"I'm really proud of these girls and especially Whitney and Clare who have poured so much of herself into this program," said Baylor head coach Glenn Moore. "To finish second in this conference and not have more first teamers, tells you how much the talent was spread out on this team. The ones awarded were the most consistent throughout the season, but we had tremendous contributions from the whole lineup."
Canion bookended her six-year career with the pair of Pitcher of the Year honors; she also earned the nod her freshman season in 2009 before taking home the honor Tuesday in the final season of her career. Canion is third on the Big 12's all-time leaderboard for wins and is in her sixth season after earning two medical redshirts (2010, 2012).
Coming into the 2014 season as Baylor's all-time leader in wins and strikeouts, Canion has taken the top career spot in shutouts, innings pitched, and complete games. In addition, she moved to third all-time on the Big 12's career wins list and carries 118 wins into the NCAA Tournament.
The senior lefthander is 26-9 in 2014 and has tied a career high with 10 shutouts. Thus far, she's also posted career lows in runs (50), earned runs (40) and walks (68) in 195.1 innings of work. Canion's first-team nod is the fourth of her career (2009, 2011, 2013)
Thumann, the Big 12's third-leading hitter with a .405 average, collected her second All-Big 12 honor after her second-team selection last season. Through the regular season, Thumann leads Baylor in runs scored (54), hits (70), doubles (14), total bases (105) and on-base percentage (.512).
Thumann has strung together two on-base streaks this season that surpassed the 20-game mark. She began the season with a 24-game on-base streak and carries a 20-game on-base streak headed into the NCAA Tournament.
Hays earns All-Big 12 honors for the first time as the redshirt sophomore leads the Lady Bears with 12 home runs and 46 RBI through the regular season. Back injuries have kept her out of the defensive lineup for most of the year, but she's been invaluable in batting lineup at designated player, and she is hitting .342 headed into the postseason with a team-high .658 slugging percentage.
Hosack, the senior catcher, has put together the best season of her career in 2014 and takes home All-Big 12 honors for the first time. Hosack's .324 batting average, 11 home runs and 42 RBI are all career highs. She was also named to the Big 12 All-Defensive team with a .994 fielding percentage, she's thrown out six runners stealing and picked off three runners on the base paths this season.
Strickland, the junior shortstop, led the Big 12 in conference-only games in both home runs (6) and RBI (20) and finished the regular season with 11 home runs and 39 RBI, which were both career-highs. Strickland also committed just two errors in the field in conference play and carries a .268 batting average into postseason play.
Baylor was selected as one of 16 sites to host a first round of the NCAA Softball Tournament this weekend, welcoming Houston, Tulsa and Northwestern State (La.). Baylor will take on Northwestern Friday at 7 p.m. while Tulsa and Houston will open the tournament at Getterman Stadium at 4:30 p.m.