Four Nittany Lions Selected to Softball All-Region Team
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. May 17, 2005 - Four Nittany Lions have been named to the 2005 Great Lakes All-Region Softball Team which was announced today. Three freshmen were named to the squad, including first-team selections catcher Hollee Haines (Riverside, Calif.) and utility player Ashley Esparza (San Pedro, Calif.). Freshman shortstop Jen Acunto (Hollywood, Fla.) and senior pitcher Missy Beseres (Golden Valley, Minn.) snagged second-team honors.
Haines has started 55 games for the Nittany Lions this year, posting a .295 batting average on the season. Penn State's defensive MVP, Haines also excelled at the plate and was one of just five players on the team with 25 or more RBI.
Esparza also started all 55 games for Penn State and led the team with a .401 batting average. The pitcher/infielder became the first Nittany Lion to be named to the first-team All-Big Ten squad since 1992, and was named Penn State's co-Offensive MVP along with Acunto.
Acunto started every game at shortstop for Penn State, tallying 24 extra base hits on the season while posting a .357 batting average. Penn State's co-Offensive MVP, Acunto ranks second in batting average on the team.
Beseres finished the regular season as one of the top pitchers in the Big Ten, snagging third-team All-Conference honors. Her season included a no-hitter and a career-high 15 strikeout game. Voted Penn State's team MVP this year, Beseres also reset the Nittany Lions' single-season record for strikeouts with 246 entering the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
The Nittany Lions (34-21) open NCAA Tournament action as the No. 2 seed in Region 5, held at Aggie Softball Complex in College Station, Texas. Penn State's first game vs. Centenary is on Friday, and will air live at 2 p.m. EST on WMAJ 1450 in the State College area as well as on www.GoPSUsports.com. If the Nittany Lions win, they will play at 1 p.m. EST on Saturday vs. the winner of Friday's Texas A & M-McNeese State matchup. Should Penn State fall, the Lions will play at 3:30 p.m. EST. WRSC 1390 and www.GoPSUSports.com will air the Lions' second game live regardless of start time.
For more information on Nittany Lion softball, including updated NCAA Tournament broadcast information, visit www.GoPSUsports.com, Penn State's official athletics website.