Willard Player of the Year, 5 Cougars All-WAC

(Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Brigham Young's Delaney Willard was named Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year and five Cougars were named all-WAC as selected by the league's head coaches the conference announced on Wednesday.

Senior centerfielder Jessica Dugas and junior shortstop JC Clayton joined Willard on the First Team while sophomore pitcher Tori Almond and sophomore first baseman Katie Manuma were selected to the Second Team.

Hawai'i swept the three other major awards, with Stephanie Ricketts as Pitcher of the Year, Leisha Li'ili'i named Freshman of the Year and Bob Coolen the Coach of the Year.

Willard, a senior rightfielder from Camarillo, Calif. (Adolfo Camarillo), earns WAC Player of the Year after leading all players in WAC games with 33 RBI, 51 total bases and a .911 slugging percentage. She also ranked second in batting average (.429), home runs (7) and on-base percentage (.514), and fourth in doubles (6). Willard also broke the WAC single-season record and currently ranks second nationally with 83 RBI.

Willard is the sixth player in BYU history to earn a conference play of the year award. A Cougar has won the league's top honor every year but two over the last 10 seasons.

Dugas batted .349 in conference play and scored 16 runs to earn all-conference honors for the second-straight year. Clayton, an all-conference selection as a freshman in 2010, led all players with 30 hits in WAC play in addition to leading the conference in triples (3) and placing second in total runs scored (18).

Almond and Manuma each earned their first all-conference awards. Almond had the second-most wins (10) and the second-best ERA (1.31) in conference competition. Batting .352 in WAC games, Manuma had 19 hits, 18 RBI, seven runs and three homers for the Cougars.

Ricketts, a senior righthander from San Jose, Calif. (Archbishop Mitty) earns WAC Pitcher of the Year honors for the third year in a row. In WAC play, she posted a 12-1 mark with a 1.07 ERA and four shutouts, holding opponents to a .172 batting average and tallying 79 strikeouts.

Li'ili'i, a designated player from Kane'ohe, Hawai'i (Castle), posted a .305 batting average in WAC play with four doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI.

Coolen earns Coach of the Year honors for the third time in his career after leading his team to its fourth WAC regular-season title and the top seed in the WAC Tournament. In WAC play, the Rainbow Wahine went 17-3 and led the conference in slugging percentage, runs, hits, RBI, home runs, total bases, plate appearances, wins, opponent batting average, strikeouts, hits allowed, runs allowed and home runs allowed. 

Hawai'i led the way with eight players on the all-WAC teams, followed by Brigham Young with five and Nevada with four. Five of the players were repeat selections from a year ago, while all eight schools were represented. The complete teams are listed below.


All-WAC First Team
Name School Yr. Pos. Hometown
JC Clayton BYU Jr. SS Hollister, Calif.
Jessica Dugas BYU Sr. CF Bellflower, Calif.
Makani Duhaylondsod-Kaleimamahu Hawaii Sr. 1B Mililani, Hawaii
Melanie Goff Louisiana Tech Jr. SS/P Mira Mesa, Calif.
Jessica Iwata Hawaii Jr. SS Lihu'e, Hawaii
Kelly Majam Hawaii Jr. CF Pine Valley, Calif.
Michelle Moses Fresno State Sr. P Paso Robles, Calif.
Sara Parsons Nevada So. OF Fallon, Nev.
Amanda Pridmore San Jose State Jr. P San Jose, Calif.
Stephanie Ricketts Hawaii Sr. P San Jose, Calif.
Sarah Robinson Hawaii Sr. 3B Honolulu, Hawaii
Christine Thomsen Utah State Jr. 1B Fresno, Calif.
Delaney Willard BYU Sr. OF Camarillo, Calif.

 

All-WAC Second Team
Name School Yr. Pos. Hometown
Alex Aguirre Hawaii Sr. LF Temple City, Calif.
Tori Almond BYU So. P South Jordan, Utah
Chelsea Barilli Nevada Jr. OF Poway, Calif.
Michelle Cox San Jose State Fr. OF Sydney, Australia
Karley Hopkins Nevada So. SS Reno, Nev.
Shaleese Javillo New Mexico State Sr. 2B Kohala, Hawaii
Karlyn Jones Nevada So. P Sparks, Nev.
Leisa Li'ili'i Hawaii Fr. DP Kane'ohe, Hawaii
Katie Manuma BYU So. 1B Ewa Beach, Hawaii
Vonnie Martin Fresno State So. 3B Plano, Texas
Courtney Moore Fresno State Sr. DP El Sobrante, Calif.
Kaia Parnaby Hawaii Sr. P Bilgola Plateau, Australia
Briana Tovio-Asato New Mexico State Fr. 3B Kapolei, Hawaii