Baca a finalist for USA women’s baseball team

Baca a finalist for USA women’s baseball team

Lamar University’s Brynn Baca, a first-team selection on the All-Southland Conference Softball team, was named to the 2016 USA Baseball Women’s National Team Trials roster, following the second annual Women’s National Open held at the USA Baseball National Training Complex from June 10-12 in Cary, North Carolina.

Baca is one of 40 players headed to the national trials set for Aug. 22-25 in Fullerton, Calif. Twenty players will be selected to represent the United States at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s Baseball World Cup that will be held from Sept. 3-11 in Gijang City, South Korea.

Baca, who just completed her junior year at LU, earned first-team accolades at catcher in 2016, as she powered the Cardinals to a record-setting season. The native of Round Rock played in all 57 games, batting .321 with one home run and 24 RBIs. She led the Cardinals with a school-record .465 on-base percentage and drew a school-record 32 walks. She holds the LU career mark with a .446 on-base percentage, while her .316 career batting average is second all-time at LU.

Baca, along with senior left fielder Sarah Ragsdale, was named to the first-team Southland Conference All-Academic team. LU senior center fielder Jenna Holland was named to the second team.

“I’m very proud to have three players on the all-academic team,” said head coach Holly Bruder. “It shows the commitment and dedication they have on and off the field. We are committed to getting student-athletes who prove to be exceptional both on and off the diamond on a regular basis.”

The trio helped the Cardinals finish 35-22 overall and 18-9 in the Southland Conference, setting school records for overall wins and conference victories.

Ragsdale, who graduated from Lamar University with a 4.00 grade-point average in exercise science, was also a first-team College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District Team selection this season. She hit .250 this season with 17 RBIs while appearing in 56 of LU’s 57 games with 55 starts.

Baca, a general business major, has a 3.04 grade-point average.

Holland, who graduated with a 3.55 GPA in communication, hit .273 with one home run and 27 RBIs in 2016. Holland appeared in all 220 Lamar University contests in her four years with the Cardinals. She is the program’s all-time leader with 32 doubles and 94 RBIs.

Holland also served as president of LU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Baseball

After he was tagged as the Southland Conference Hitter of the Year, junior outfielder Reid Russell added another honor to his list when the American Baseball Coaches Association voted him to the Rawlings South Central All-Region First Team.

With him being named as a first-team member, he, along with two other league athletes, are nominated to be voted on as ABCA/Rawlings All-Americans. Russell is the fifth Cardinal to be named to the ABCA sqaud in the last four years, most recently Stijn Van der Meer in 2015.

Russell tied a school record for home runs in a season (18) set by Michael Ambort in 2005, and topped the Southland Conference and ranked 13th in the nation. His 0.33 homers per game was the seventh highest in the country. He knocked in 62 runs on the season, and is the first 60-RBI Cardinal since Ambort’s 63 in 2007.

The Longview native hit .354 in his first campaign, which was second on the team, and had 73 base knocks and nine doubles. He scored 41 runs and wrapped up the year at .665 slugging with a .410 on-base percentage. He was second in the league in total bases and slugging, fourth in hitting and seventh in total hits.

The junior transfer rattled off an 18-game hit streak, which ranks seventh in school history. He is one of five Cardinals to record multiple-homer games during the season; his was at Incarnate Word when he was 2-for-2 with three runs scored and four pushed across.

Football

Lamar University and Nicholls State have agreed to move their 2016 football contest to a Thursday night, announced the Colonels Media Relations Office. The game, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5, at 3 p.m., has now been moved to Thursday, Nov. 3, and will kick off at 6 p.m.

In addition to the date change versus Nicholls, the University of Houston announced the start time for the Saturday, Sept. 10, game against Lamar. That game will kick off at 11 a.m. and will be televised on ESPN3. In addition to the game at Houston, all LU home football games will be televised on ESPN3 as well. The game against the Cougars will be LU’s first morning kickoff since the sport’s return.

Big Red faces a daunting schedule in 2016, opening the year Saturday, Sept. 3, against Coastal Carolina, who spent a majority of the 2015 season ranked among the FCS top five and advanced to the playoffs. Although many preseason polls have not yet been released, the Chanticleers enter the 2016 campaign ranked ninth in Athlon’s Magazine’s Preseason Top 25 Poll. The game against Coastal Carolina will kick off at 7 p.m. from Provost Umphrey Stadium in Beaumont.

Tickets can be purchased for the 2016 season by calling the LU Ticket Office at (409) 880-1715 or by logging onto the website at LamarCardinals.com.

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