Four Softball Players Earn Conference Honors—By Laura Nelson on 04/27/2012 Goodwell, Okla.—Four Oklahoma Panhandle State Univ. softball players have been honored with five Heartland Conference awards for their play this season—Julie Cross, Chelsea Usher, Brandi Heath, and Emily Vasquez.
Julie Cross finished the season leading all conference hitters with an amazing .476 batting average over 126 plate appearances, and in fact, currently sits 7th in the nation in that category. She was named to the first team as an outfield player. The junior from Pearland, Texas also led the Conference with a .529 on-base percentage.
Shortstop Chelsea Usher hammered out 17 doubles and eight triples, leading the conference in both of those categories. The sophomore from Inverness, Fla. was named Newcomer of the Year plus earned a spot on the All-Heartland second team. She also stole 16 bases, posted a .423 batting average, good for second place in the conference just behind Cross, and led all players with a .808 slugging percentage, 49 runs scored, and 66 hits.
Brandi Heath earned a spot at second base on the second team and led the conference with 60 RBIs. She also had a .387 batting average, a .580 slugging percentage, and hit eight doubles, three triples and five homers. She is a junior from Ft. Worth.
Sophomore Emily Vasquez earned her second consecutive All-Heartland team honors this year as a designated player. Playing primarily catcher, the El Paso native had 138 put outs and 17 assists and finished the season with a respectable .252 batting average, hitting five doubles, three triples and six home runs.
Head coach Rachel Burleson is in her 4th year with the Aggies, and said, "I am so excited for these four as well as OPSU softball as a whole. These honors are a cap to a great season. Team members have given their hearts and souls to build the program and today we were reassured that we are headed in the right direction."