Categorized | WKU, WKU Softball

Five Lady Toppers Named as All-Sun Belt Conference Honorees

Posted on 07 May 2014 by Allen


Five members of the Western Kentucky University softball team were selected to the All-Sun Belt Conference Team, as announced by the league office during Family Night Tuesday evening on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Seniors Olivia Watkins and Kelsie Mattox along with junior Preslie Cruce were each named to the All-Conference First Team while seniors Amanda Thomas and Emily Rousseau were selected to the league’s second team.

The five selections tie the most that the Lady Toppers (32-22-1, 11-10) have garnered in program history, tying the five honorees selected in 2004 and 2013. This year’s honorees were each of WKU’s five student-athletes named to the All-Conference list last season. Mattox and Cruce are both three-time selections while it is the first time that Cruce has been named to the first-team list.

Watkins was the league’s first-team selection at second base, as she leads the nation and league with 53 stolen bases. She is also ranked in the top 20 nationally with a .436 batting average, as she is the only player in the country to rank top 10 in stolen bases and top 20 in batting average. A first-team honoree last season, Watkins continues to have a stellar senior season and career on The Hill, as she has set single-season records in batting average, runs, hits, multi-hit games and stolen bases while she will end her career as the all-time leader in stolen bases and batting average.

Cruce was chosen as the third baseman for the first team after ranking second on the team with a .310 batting average. Cruce leads the team with seven home runs, 35 runs scored and 23 hit by pitches while third with 10 doubles and 31 RBI. Cruce has earned an All-Conference nod in each of her three seasons after becoming a solid defenseman at the hot corner. The Alabama native has worked her way into numerous top-five career records, including first with 66 hit by pitches. As previously mentioned, this is the first time Cruce has been named to the league’s first team.

Mattox earned first-team accolades as an at-large selection, as the outfielder was a first-team honoree a year ago and second-team selection in 2012. Mattox is third on the team with a .309 batting mark and second in doubles with 12 and RBI with 37. The Alpharetta, Ga., product is showing patience at the plate, as she leads the team in walks with 33. She is WKU’s all-time leader in walks with 85 in her career and continues to climb the career record in numerous categories with each game played, as she has only missed out on starting in one game over four

After becoming WKU’s all-time leader in home runs, RBI and many other rankings, Thomas will leave the program as a two-time All-SBC selection after this year’s honor at shortstop. Thomas boasts a team-high 49 RBI, 15 doubles and seven sacrifice flies, which ranks second in nation in the sac fly column. Originally from Mesquite, Texas, Thomas is among the top five of active players in Division I softball with 234 games played during her career.

Last season’s SBC Pitcher of the Year, Rousseau continues to be one of the stronger pitchers in the league, as she was one of two pitchers selected to the All-SBC Second Team. It’s the second-straight year for Rousseau to be an All-Conference selection, as she has spent the most time in the circle this season for WKU. The Louisiana native has 38 appearances this year for 217.1 innings pitched. Her 168 strikeouts helped her become WKU’s all-time strikeout leader, as she now holds 555 in her career. Rousseau has 17 wins this season for 58 in her three years at WKU, including a big win this season at No. 2 Tennessee where the right-handed pitcher struck out a season-high 10 batters.

To view the full list of All-Sun Belt Conference winners along with those selected as specialty award recipients, visit

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