Mallory Duran-Sellers named MVC Player of the Year; six Salukis earn All-Conference honors

    Senior outfielder Mallory Duran-Sellers

    Senior outfielder Mallory Duran-Sellers
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    May 9, 2012

    By Megan Kramper

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - Mallory Duran-Sellers was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year and was one of six Salukis to earn All-Conference honors Wednesday night at the annual league banquet held at SIU Arena.

    Duran-Sellers is the first Player of the Year for SIU since 2008, when first baseman Lauren Haas garnered the distinction and the fourth player in school history. The senior from Windsor, Colo., has had an excellent campaign in 2012 as she leads the Salukis with a .370 batting average, 61 hits, 12 doubles, four home runs, 24 RBI and 43 walks drawn. She has also scored 61 runs on the season, which broke the SIU and MVC single season records. Also quick on the base path, Duran-Sellers has a team-high 16 stolen bases and has a .990 fielding percentage on the season.

    "This is a great honor for Mallory and she is such an outstanding player and I'm happy that everyone sees what I see, she deserves it," SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock said.

    A top 10 finalist for the Lowe's Senior Class Award, Duran-Sellers is a 2011 Academic All-American and 2012 Academic All-District V selection. In addition, she is a two-time first-team MVC Scholar-Athlete selection, has made the Dean's List seven semesters, and is a Top 25 Most Distinguished Senior at SIU and holds a 4.0 GPA in English education.

    The Salukis also placed six on the All-Conference lists for the second year in a row and tied Creighton for most selections this season.

    Sophomore Allie VadeBoncouer (catcher), Duran-Sellers (outfield), and sophomore Taylor Orsburn (first base) were all first-team selections. It marks the second-straight year that Duran-Sellers and Orsburn garnered first-team honors. Duran-Sellers is also a three-time All-Conference selection having earned second-team honors in 2010.

    "We've had some really great players who have had really good years this year from start to finish and I'm really proud of them," Blaylock said. "It's great for our youth to get a taste of what it's like to win some honors and I hope that they continue to have great careers."

    VadeBoncouer is a first time All-Conference selection who has started in every game this season, mostly at catcher, for the Salukis while leading the team in RBI with 48, which ranks third in a single season at SIU and is three-shy of tying the school record. She holds a .313 batting average and is tied for team-highs with seven home runs and a .510 on-base percentage while leading the Dawgs with a .522 slugging percentage. She is also third in the nation in hit by pitch with 27 on the year. She also earned MVC Player of the Week honors on Apr. 3.

    Orsburn is third on the team with a .327 batting average, seven doubles, three home runs, and 34 RBI while starting in every game for the Salukis this season. The Alto Pass, Ill., native was named the MVC Player of the Week on Mar. 26.

    Sophomore Jayna Spivey (second base), senior Haley Gorman (shortstop), and freshman Meredith Wilson (DP-Utility) all earned second-team honors. Gorman and Spivey are two-time All-Conference selections.

    Spivey is tied for a team-high with seven home runs and holds a .286 batting average. The Rosiclare, Ill., native has six doubles, 32 RBI and a .416 slugging percentage. She hit her first career grand slam against Bradley last weekend and has made 106 consecutive starts at second base for the Salukis.

    In her final season with the Salukis, Gorman holds a .329 batting average with a team-high 13 doubles, two home runs and 27 RBI. She has made 133 consecutive starts at shortstop for the Salukis since 2010.

    "I'm very proud of Haley and I feel that she could have been a first-team but with this league being full of good shortstops she may be overlooked by some but not by me," Blaylock said.

    Wilson, a native of Granite City, Ill., rounds out the honorees as she put together an impressive rookie campaign where she had a .324 batting average and appeared in 50 games for the Salukis this season. She has three home runs, 31 RBI and a .463 slugging percentage.

    The Salukis (34-19, 16-10 MVC) are the No. 4 seed in the State Farm MVC Championships at Charlotte West Stadium that begins tomorrow at 11:05 a.m. The Salukis will play the winner of No. 5 Creighton and No. 8 Evansville at 4:05 p.m.

    2012 All-Conference First Team
    Pos. Name, School
    P Jamie Fisher, UNI
    P Jordan Birch, Illinois State
    C Amy Baker, Creighton
    C Allie VadeBoncouer, Southern Illinois
    1B Taylor Orsburn, Southern Illinois
    2B Torey Craddock, Drake
    2B Ashley Brentz, Missouri State
    3B Whitney Plein, UNI
    SS Mackenzie Daigh, UNI
    SS Amy Pierce, Drake
    OF Mallory Duran-Sellers, Southern Illinois
    OF Lizzie Andrews, Illinois State
    OF Ellen Homan, Creighton
    DP-P Alexis Cantu, Creighton
    DP-P Madeline Lynch-Crumrine, Bradley
    DP-P Jordan Gronewold, Drake
    DP-U Bri Lingl, Creighton

    2012 All-Conference Second Team
    P Becca Changstrom, Creighton
    P Natalie Rose, Missouri State
    C Samantha Reimer, UNI
    1B Laura Canopy, Illinois State
    1B Allie Mathewson, Creighton
    1B Kayla Fortner, Evansville
    2B Blair Lowe, Creighton
    2B Jayna Spivey, Southern Illinois
    3B Hayley Nybo, Drake
    SS Haley Gorman, Southern Illinois
    OF Lauren Kellar, Illinois State
    OF Katie Sears, Evansville
    OF Sydney Stuever, Wichita State
    DP-P Lindsey Beisser, Indiana State
    DP-U Jhavon Hamilton, Illinois State
    DP-U Rachel Milnark, Wichita State
    DP-U Meredith Wilson, Southern Illinois

    Player of the Year: Mallory Duran-Sellers, Southern Illinois
    Pitcher of the Year: Jamie Fisher, UNI
    Newcomer of the Year: Alexis Cantu, Creighton
    Coaching Staff of the Year: UNI