Cortney Mitchell Voted Sun Belt Player of the YearMay 12, 2004 · MT Media Relations
Mitchell, a senior form Mt. Juliet, Tenn., is the first Player of the Year for the Middle Tennessee softball program and was also named first team all-conference at second base. She has led the conference all season in batting average (.436) and her 24 doubles not only leads the Sun Belt but also the nation. Breaking records has been Mitchell's mantra this season as she broke the school record in homeruns (10) and runs scored (48) in a season.
She also leads the Sun Belt in triples (4) hits (75) and total bases (137) and is second in homeruns and runs scored. Mitchell has had multiple hits in 23 games and two or more doubles in five games.
Joining Mitchell in garnering a specialty award is junior pitcher Crystal Bobo who was named Sun Belt Conference Newcomer of the Year. Bobo, a transfer from the University of Tennessee, was also named second team all-conference and has a record of 15-11, notching seven shutouts this season. She has a 2.21 ERA in 170.2 innings pitched and has recorded 161 strikeouts.
Herald, a freshman, is ranked second in the Sun Belt in batting average (.374) and makes her presence known not only at first base but also on the mound. She splits her time between first base and pitching. At the plate, Herald holds the school record for RBI in a season with 42 and her 16 doubles not only ranks her second in the Sun Belt but also 24th in the nation. On the mound, Herald has a record of 4-2 with a 2.49 ERA and 34 strikeouts.
Junior Grothause makes her first appearance on the Sun Belt All-Conference team. She shares time behind the plate and also plays in the outfield but it is catcher where she has proved most valuable. Grothause has handled a very young pitching staff with extreme pose. With a .305 batting average, she is ranked fourth on the team in RBI (26) and also has seven doubles, two triples and two homeruns.
Middle Tennessee also placed sophomore outfielder Muriel Ledbetter on the Sun Belt Second Team All-Conference. Ranked third on the team in batting average (319), Ledbetter hits in the three spot ahead of Mitchell. She is ranked third on the team in doubles (12) and has recorded 20 RBI and scored 22 runs. She has also hit two homeruns.
The Lady Raiders finished tied for second with Florida International but due to tiebreaker rules, Middle Tennessee will be the No. 3 seed in the tournament. The team will face No. 6 seed New Mexico State at 11 a.m. on Thursday in Lafayette, La. on the campus of Louisiana-Lafayette.
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