Apr. 30, 2007

Hillcat Softball to Honor Seniors on Tuesday

The Rogers State University softball program will pay tribute to its four seniors on the final home date of the season at the Hillcat Complex on Tuesday.

The doubleheader vs. Oklahoma Christian will mark the final regular season contests for seniors Jenny Ailshie, Somer Dykes, Denise Garcia and Bridgett Stewart. Festivities to honor the foursome will be held prior to the first game at approximately 1:45 p.m.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these young women and the contributions they’ve made to our program the past two years,” RSU Head Softball Coach Dawn Reed said. “They are a special group and have done an outstanding job in leading our team to new heights this season.”

Stewart is one of only two players to start every game for the Hillcats this season. As the everyday first baseman, Stewart has posted a .291 batting average in 40 games for RSU this spring. She has also racked up seven doubles, 19 RBI and 20 runs scored in her final season at RSU. Stewart graduated from Owasso High School and was a second team All-American at Eastern Oklahoma State in 2005.

Garcia set a team record for RBI with 55 in 2006. She was also second on team in hits (56), doubles (17) and batting average (.366) in RSU’s inaugural season. Garcia has logged time at first base, second base and in right field in 2007 and has been the third leading run producer for the Hillcats this spring. A native of Rosemead, Calif., Garcia was an all-league shortstop at Pasadena City College before joining the Hillcats.

Dykes will leave RSU as the school’s all-time home run leader. She belted six homers in 2006 and has added three more to that total in 2007. Dykes has handled the catching duties for the Hillcats the past two seasons and is highly regarded for her defensive prowless. She led the team in walks in 2006 and ranks second on the squad in walks and on-base percentage in 2007. A graduate of Owasso High School, Dykes also starred at Eastern Oklahoma State, helping the Mountaineers reach the national tournament in 2005.

Ailshie rounds out the talented foursome of 2007 seniors. After an outstanding 2006 campaign, the second baseman saw her senior year cut short due to injury in 2007. As a junior she led the Hillcats in stolen bases (20), triples (5) and sacrifice bunts (13). Ailshie appeared in just 10 games this spring before injuring her knee at the Gulf Coast Invitational in early March. She returned to her hometown of Claremore after two standout seasons at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. Ailshie helped the Claremore Lady Zebras claim the 5A state softball championship in 1999.

Junior Kacy Ward will also be completing her athletic career at RSU. Ward was recently accept to physical therapy school at the University of Oklahoma and will forgo her final year of eligibility in order to pursue her career goals. In her lone season at RSU, Ward has paced the Hillcats in hits, ranks second in total bases and third in RBI. She was named the Green Country Conference Player of the Year following her senior season at Tulsa Memorial High School and was an all-region selection as a sophomore at Seminole State College.

The Hillcats went 29-17 in 2006 and have a record of 27-13 entering the final regular season date of 2007. RSU is ranked No. 22 in the NAIA and is positioned to receive its first invitation for post-season play next week. The Region VI tournament will be held in Farmers Branch, Texas, May 10-11 and will feature the top six teams from the region.