Softball receives Region IX honors

LCC freshmen (counter-clockwise from top left) Caitlin McCarthy, Mercedes Salazar, Larissa Royer, Lauren Reed and Mackenzie Rowlett each received All-Region IX honors for their 2016-17 performances.
LCC freshmen (counter-clockwise from top left) Caitlin McCarthy, Mercedes Salazar, Larissa Royer, Lauren Reed and Mackenzie Rowlett each received All-Region IX honors for their 2016-17 performances.

The Lamar Community College softball team had five athletes receive All-Region honors following the close of the 2016-2017 season. All selected athletes were freshmen and had an exceptional year for the Runnin' Lopes. Larissa Royer, Lauren Reed, Caitlin McCarthy, Mackenzie Rowlett and Mercedes Salazar were all chosen as All-Region selections in their respected positions and Royer was also selected as Region IX Freshman of the Year. In addition, head coach Kristen Silva was named Region IX Coach of the Year in her second season at LCC.  

Larissa Royer: P/IF                         Berthoud, CO                                                

Royer received Region IX honors as a pitcher and was also selected as Region IX Freshman of the year. In the circle, Royer went 12-9 for the Lopes, tossing 151 innings with 145 strikeouts and an ERA of 4.26. At the plate, Royer had a .407 batting average and a slugging percentage of .726 with 10 homeruns and 13 doubles on the season. When she wasn't pitching, Royer also played second base for the 'Lopes defense with a fielding percentage of .951.

"Larissa did a great job this season and deserves Freshman of the Year," Silva said. "She is one of our strongest athletes and we are excited to see how she progresses next season both in the circle and at the plate."

Lauren Reed: P/OF              Fruita, CO

Reed also received Region IX honors as a pitcher. Reed led the LCC pitching staff with a 15-10 record and threw 143.2 innings, allowing only 40 walks and striking out 79 with an ERA of 4.58. Offensively, Reed batted .422 and had the team's highest on-base percentage at .515. She hit 11 doubles, two triples and two homeruns for the Lopes with a slugging percentage of .675.

"Lauren had a great year offensively and defensively." Silva commented. "Her control and demeanor in the circle gives the team a lot of confidence. She works very hard and we are confident she will continue to develop and improve for next season."

Caitlin McCarthy: C             Pueblo, CO

McCarthy received Region IX honors as a catcher for the Runnin' Lopes. McCarthy led LCC at the plate with a team-high batting average of .456. On the season, McCarthy had 42 RBI and also led the team with 17 doubles. As a catcher, McCarthy had a fielding percentage of .989 and caught 52 games for the Lopes.

On McCarthy, Coach Silva stated, "Caitie is a stud behind the plate. She has a great arm and works with our pitching staff extremely well. Offensively, she is our most consistent hitter and will help our team continue to be successful next year defensively and offensively."  

Mackenzie Rowlett: IF        Fort Collins, CO

Rowlett received Region IX honors as a utility player. Rowlett split time between first, second and third base for the Runnin' Lopes. Playing multiple positions, Rowlett finished the year with a fielding percent of .931 and a batting average of .349. She drove in 32 runs and led the LCC offense with 15 sacrifice hits.

"Mackenzie is a true team player and the best kind of athlete to have on a team," Silva said. "She was able to move positions with ease and always gives her best effort in everything she does. Offensively, her performance was critical to our run production and we are ecstatic to have her back next season."

Mercedes Salazar: OF         Pueblo, CO

Salazar received Region IX honors as an outfielder. Salazar had an exceptional year at the plate for the Lopes, batting .432 with a slugging percentage of .730. She hit 10 homeruns and 14 doubles during the season while driving in 49 runs. Salazar also had an on-base percentage of .482 and scored 37 runs for the LCC offense.

On Salazar, Coach Silva commented, "Mercedes was definitely a difference maker for our team at the plate. She came up with big hits when we needed her to and produced a lot of RBIs and runs. Defensively, she has a great arm and was really able to step up and help our team in the outfield. We can't wait to see what her sophomore year brings"

Coach Silva

In addition to the All-Region player selections, Silva received Region IX Coach of the Year in her second season at LCC. In her first season, the Runnin' Lopes had an overall record of 18-31 and a conference record of 8-22, finishing second to last in Region IX. The 2015-2016 team's batting average was .329 with a slugging percentage of .490 and 38 homeruns. This season, Silva led the LCC softball team to a winning record of 28-25 and improved to 20-10 conference record, finishing as Region IX runners-up. The 2016-2017 squad increased its overall batting average to .387 with a slugging percentage of .572 and 52 homeruns.

"I am honored to receive this award," Silva said. "But the strides we made this year are the result of the hard work and dedication the girls have given to this program and coaching staff. I am very proud of them and excited to see what success we will have next year."