Six Bulldog Softball Players Gain All-Region Laurels
It was announced late last month that six members of the 15th-ranked University of Redlands softball team garnered All-Region recognition from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). Freshman outfielder Amanda Lievanos (Anaheim, CA) headlines this group as the sole recipient of a First-Team honor. In addition, sophomore pitcher Kayla Uphold (Fontana, CA) landed on the Second Team, while sophomore outfielder Sarah Beeman (Corona, CA), senior first baseman Lizett Casillas (Pomona, CA), freshman short stop Amanda Clark (Riverside, CA0 and senior third baseman Aleisha Martinez (Escondido, CA) received a spot on the Third Team.
All of these players served an integral role in the team's seventh consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) championship before Redlands ran the table at the SCIAC Postseason Tournament for the program's seventh straight NCAA berth.
In addition, this marks the inaugural All-Region nods for everyone except Casillas, who landed on the First Team as a sophomore.
Lievanos continues to enjoy a storybook-campaign with the addition of this award. As a freshman, she has already left her mark on the Bulldog records book and owns six single-season marks, including slugging percentage (.824) and hits (70). She also led the Redlands starters in nine offensive categories, highlighted by runs scored (58) and batting average (.473). This SCIAC Player of the Year also landed on the NCAA All-Tournament team after helping Redlands tie for second at the first-round event in Tyler, Texas.
Uphold joined the team as a first-year transfer and made an immediate impact as a pitcher. She served as the Bulldogs' ace, earning a record of 18-5 from the mound. In 28 appearances, she threw more than 150 innings and struck out 72 players. Her talents also spanned the batter's box, where she provided an average of .381 with 31 RBI and 25 runs scored. Earlier this season, she garnered NCAA All-Tournament and All-SCIAC First-Team accolades.
Despite being sidelined by injury, Beeman posted a batting average of .369 to rank fourth on the team. A diverse and skilled batter, she landed second on the team with five home runs and tied for second with 10 sacrifice hits. With 10 hits-by-pitch, she finished out the 2011 season with the 12th-most in all of Division III. She too collected an NCAA All-Tournament nod for her outstanding play during the team's postseason run.
With this honor, Casillas caps off a stellar four-year career as the Bulldogs' stalwart at first base. She started and competed in all 47 games during the 2011 campaign, boasting a batting average of .342 while racking up 10 doubles, three triples and four home runs. She now owns the program's top mark for career RBI with 123. But more than anything, this First-Team All-SCIAC selection was known for her defensive prowess that landed her at the top of the school's career records for fielding percentage (.988) and put-outs (1,012).
Clark garners this All-Region honor after shoring up the short-stop position during all 47 games of her rookie campaign. She supplied a solid offensive spark with an average of .328, which included 44 hits and 46 runs scored. She racked up 25 hits-by-pitch to rank No. 1 in the nation and swiped 19 bags on the base-paths. On defense, Clark stepped up with a .965 fielding percentage with 52 put-outs and 144 assists.
Finally, Martinez wraps up a standout senior season with her first All-Region nod. After struggling during the last two seasons, she truly came into her own at third base in 2011. This First-Team All-SCIAC honoree provided a batting average of .330 to rank fifth among the starters. She connected on five doubles and four home runs, highlighted by a grand slam during Senior Day. In addition, Martinez offered 36 RBI and 37 hits.
Redlands' six All-Region selections are joined by conference foes Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges (5), the University of La Verne (2), and Pomona-Pitzer Colleges (1).
For a complete list of the All-Region teams, please visit www.nfca.org.