Athlete of the Year Kayla Uphold Headlines Bulldog Softball's Six All-SCIAC Selections
It was recently announced by the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) that the University of Redlands softball team gained six players on the All-SCIAC teams. Leading the Bulldogs to the regular-season SCIAC championship and eighth consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships, junior pitcher Kayla Uphold (Fontana, CA) was named the 2012 SCIAC Athlete of the Year for her second All-Conference honor of her career.
In addition, sophomore outfielder Amanda Lievanos (Anaheim, CA), senior pitcher Breanna Ruelas (Brawley, CA), senior first baseman Rikki Scates (Redlands, CA), and sophomore utility player Amanda Clark (Riverside, CA) all landed on the First Team, while freshman shortstop Linda Park (Torrance, CA) was selected to the Second Team.
Uphold provided an impressive combination of contributions, serving as the Bulldogs' No. 1 pitcher as well as a threatening batter. During conference competition, she posted a SCIAC-best ERA of 1.62 while going 14-1 from the mound. In addition, she ranked third in the SCIAC with a .474 batting average. While tallying 36 hits and 16 RBI in 23 conference games, she notched four doubles and one homerun.
After garnering SCIAC Athlete of the Year honors as a freshman, Lievanos followed up that performance with a stellar sophomore campaign. In 24 conference games, Lievanos recorded a .465 batting average to go along with 33 hits, 39 RBI and nine homeruns. On top of that, she led the SCIAC in runs scored, tallying 28 on the 2012 SCIAC campaign, and finished second with an impressive slugging percentage of .944.
This year's selection marks Ruelas' second First-Team All-SCIAC selection in her four years as a Bulldog. Ranking as the third-best pitcher in the conference, this veteran southpaw tallied an ERA of 2.26 to complement her 7-2 SCIAC record. Working 52.2 innings from the mound, she fanned 30 foes and held opponents to a batting average of .266. Ruelas also was solid at the dish, earning a .400 batting average to go along with her 10 hits and two RBI in conference games.
Collecting her inaugural All-SCIAC award, Scates played in every conference game for the Bulldogs, recording an impressive .427 batting average. She ranked fourth in the SCIAC with 25 RBI while also placing fifth in long balls with four. In addition, Scates tallied 32 hits, which included six doubles. As the defensive cog at first base, she led all SCIAC players with 186 putouts.
The final member from Redlands to be honored with an All-SCIAC First-Team selection, Clark collects her second All-Conference honor and inaugural First-Team nod. Despite battling through injuries in 2012, Clark ranked third on the team and sixth overall in the SCIAC with a .457 batting average. In only 16 conference games, she crossed the plate 21 times while also recording 21 hits. She tied for the lead among SCIAC foes with eight stolen bases while never being thrown out.
Representing the Bulldogs on the Second Team, Park produced a solid rookie campaign that didn't go unnoticed. She ranked third in the conference with 26 RBI while also ranking third in homeruns with five. In addition, Park ranked fourth in the SCIAC with eight doubles and recorded a .333 batting average to sit eighth among the Bulldogs in that category.
Redlands put together an outstanding 2012 campaign that included a 32-13 overall record and a 21-3 conference mark for the program's eighth consecutive SCIAC championship and eighth straight NCAA appearance.