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SGU's Hafford Named SAC Newcomer Of The Year

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OKLAHOMA CITY - After having a breakout year in both the circle and at the plate, St. Gregory's freshman Ashli Hafford has been named Sooner Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year. The league office announced its conference honors Monday.

Hafford, from Blanchard, was one of five Cavaliers to earn first-team all-conference honors. She leads the No. 9-ranked Cavs and is third in the SAC with a 1.70 ERA. Hafford sports an 11-3 record, tossing seven complete games while holding opponents to a .249 batting average.

She also has totaled a squad-leading nine home runs and a .613 slugging percentage.

Also earning first-team honors were Randi Yousey, Maria Mercado Contreras, Melanie Gladden and Dani Nissen.

Yousey, a 2014 NAIA All-American outfielder, leads SGU and is eighth in the conference with a .393 batting average. She has a SAC-best four triples and her 19 stolen bases rank fourth among conference foes.

Mercado Contreras, a junior infielder from Mexico, is second on the team with a .354 batting average. In 40 starts, she produced 34 hits and has driven in 22 runs with a .510 slugging percentage.

Gladden, a senior infielder from Asher, is hitting .359 with a .563 slugging mark. She has come on strong as of late, hitting safely in 14 of her last 15 games. Of her 37 hits, 14 have been for extra bases.

Nissen, a sophomore catcher from Oklahoma City, is one of only two Cavs to start all 43 games. She is batting .319 and her eight doubles are third on the team. Nissen has a .987 fielding percentage and has gunned down nine stolen base attempts.

Named to the second team were Courtni Clark, Samantha Plott and Chula Chavez.

Clark, a senior infielder from Mustang, is hitting .333 and has 15 stolen bases in 18 attempts. She has scored a team-best 37 runs this season.

Plott, a junior outfielder from Bakersfield, Calif., is batting at a .337 clip with 10 of her 33 hits this year being of the extra-base variety. Plott is slugging .520 with 25 runs batted in.

Chavez, a freshman pitcher from Rialto, Calif., boasts a 2.21 ERA with opponents hitting a team-low .235 in 66-2/3 innings. She has six complete games to her credit along with one save.

Earning conference Golden Glove honors was freshman outfielder Jessica Nelson. She has only two errors this season in 37 chances to go along with a pair of outfield assists.

St. Gregory's resumes play May 11-13 when it hosts the NAIA Opening Round tournament at Firelake.

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