The Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Commissioners office has released the 2007 Softball Jayhawk West All-Conference awards and Seward County Community College was well represented with a school record 10 players being named All-Conference. In addition, the Lady Saints had sophomore, Meisha Patterson and freshman, Jena Rue, who were named Jayhawk West Most Valuable Player and Freshman of the Year, respectively. Seward County led the way receiving 10 All-Conference selections and also led all Western Division teams with five First Team picks. The Jayhawk West All-Conference team was voted on by conference head coaches, with no coaches allowed to vote for their own players. Butler’s Doug Chance was named Conference Coach of the Year.

Patterson was named Jayhawk West Conference Most Valuable Player after batting .356 (68-for-191) with a school-record 80 runs scored, along with 12 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs, 61 RBI and a school-record 26 stolen bases. Patterson is the second player ever from SCCC to be named Jayhawk West M.V.P., after Kati Jo Gabaldon received the award after her freshman season in 2005. Patterson is a two-time All-Conference pick, after being named Honorable Mention as a freshman.

Rue becomes the first-ever Lady Saint to receive Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year. Her steady play at second base (.957 fielding percentage) and her consistency at the plate (.433 batting average) made her the obvious choice for the award among Jayhawk West head coaches. Rue’s standout freshman season includes posting school-records for doubles (23) and base hits (81), in addition to collecting five triples, six home runs, 60 RBI and 15 stolen bases during her first collegiate season.

Patterson and Rue, along with sophomores Sarah Venegas (Utility), Lili Franco (Outfield) and Stephanie McCarthy (Pitcher) were named First Team All-Conference. Venegas set the new school record, and is currently fifth in the nation in RBI with 71. She is batting .380 with 12 doubles and eight home runs and was named NJCAA National Player of the Week. Venegas was also named Honorable Mention All-Conference as a freshman last season.

Franco is having a sensational sophomore season batting .416 with 61 runs scored, seven doubles, two triples, a team-high 14 home runs and 37 RBI. Franco broke the school record for walks in a season this year with 38. McCarthy earns First Team All-Conference with a 23-5 record, 2.60 earned run average and 67 strikeouts. McCarthy earlier this season was named NJCAA Pitcher of the Week.

Seward County’s leading hitter this season, Jennifer Collins (First Base), was named Second Team All-Conference. Collins is leading the team with a .434 batting average, and has 15 doubles, seven home runs and 48 RBI. Collins enters the post-season just one point behind Amanda McCue’s (.435 average in 2005) Seward County record for batting average in a single-season. She was named the NJCAA Player of the Week earlier this year.

Sophomore Haley Martin (Outfield) also received Second Team All-Conference, a year after being named Honorable Mention as a freshman. Martin is the only SCCC player this year to start and play in all 58 games. She is batting .383 with 45 runs scored, three doubles, two home runs, 20 RBI and seven stolen bases. Seward County sophomore Dana McLaren (Pitcher) also received Second Team All-Jayhawk West. McLaren leads the team with 185 innings pitched and 88 strikeouts and is tied for the team-lead with 23 wins. McLaren was also has named the NJCAA Pitcher of the Week this season.

Seward County had two freshmen who were named Honorable Mention, as Melissa St. Clair (Catcher) and Rachel Balencia (Third Base) both received recognition. St. Clair has been the starting catcher all season for Seward County, and she has ranked among team leaders in doubles (16) along with batting .360, with 43 runs scored, two triples, three home runs and 36 RBI. Balencia racked up a .455 batting average against conference opponents, and for the season she has collected 54 runs scored, 11 doubles, two home runs, 42 RBI, 10 stolen bases and she broke the school-record for triples with seven.