Seven members of the Ashland University softball team earned 2017 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference awards on Saturday (May 6), prior to the start of the GLIAC Tournament.
At the head of the pack were Sheilah Gulas and Dayna Denner, who earned Co-Coach of the Year and Freshman of the Year, respectively.
Gulas, who also won the award in 2009 and 2010, eclipsed 900 career wins this year. Despite having no returning first- or second-team All-GLIAC players, Gulas led the Eagles to a 28-21 overall regular-season record in 2017. In what is her 21st and final season, as she's retiring at the end of the season, the team's 13-9 GLIAC record has the Eagles slotted as the No. 5 seed in the conference tournament.
As Ashland's primary third baseman and leadoff hitter, Denner led all GLIAC freshmen in batting average (.383), hits (57), runs (32), stolen bases (14) and on-base percentage (.446). Her four home runs and three triples are both tied for the most among the conference's freshmen, and her .564 slugging percentage slots her at No. 2. She is the only freshman in the conference to have earned a GLIAC Player of the Week award this season.
Denner also earned first-team All-GLIAC, and she's joined on that list by senior centerfielder Ally Farrah.
Farrah leads Ashland and is sixth in the conference with a .420 batting average. She's second in the GLIAC with a school-record 29 stolen bases. She's only been caught stealing one time. Farrah also leads Ashland and is Top 10 in the conference in hits (66), runs (36) and on-base percentage (.459). She leads Ashland with 157 at-bats, but has only struck out eight times in 2017. Farrah is one of five GLIAC players with at least 45 total chances this season to have a 1.000 fielding percentage.
Earning second-team honors were senior shortstop Alexis Van Horn and junior pitcher Paige McMenemy. Van Horn leads the Eagles and is tied for fifth in the GLIAC with seven homers. McMenemy has a team-high 15 wins, good for fourth in the conference. She is also tied for first in the GLIAC with three saves.
Rounding out the list of GLIAC award winners for Ashland were junior second baseman Paige Summers and freshman catcher Cassie Haight, both of whom earned honorable mention. Summers' 11 doubles are a team-high and 13th in the conference.
Haight's .317 batting average trails only Farrah and Denner for Ashland. She's also first in the GLIAC, having caught 13 runners trying to swipe a base. Her 31.7 runners-caught-stealing percentage is second among catchers with more than 10 attempts against.