Five Red Devils land on SLIAC All-Conference, Neff Coach of the Year

Five Red Devils land on SLIAC All-Conference, Neff Coach of the Year

ELSAH, Ill. -- Five Eureka College softball players have been selected to the All-St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Team, according to an announcement from SLIAC Commissioner Angie Morenz on Thursday night at the league tournament in Elsah, Ill.  Junior pitcher/outfielder Rachel Patterson (Tremont, Ill./Tremont [ICC]) was chosen for the Third Team, while classmate Lexi Litwiller (Eureka, Ill./Eureka [Lincoln Col.]), sophomore Kali George (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) and senior Savanna Tapper (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) received Second Team honors. Freshman Kerrigan Dura (Brimfield, Ill./Brimfield) was honored on the First Team and head coach Debi Neff was chosen as the Coach of the Year.

Thursday's announcement marked the fourth consecutive All-SLIAC nod for Tapper, who was named to the Third team as a junior, First team as a sophomore and Second team as a freshman.  She started all 36 games out of the leadoff spot at second base this spring, hitting .381 with four home run and 22 RBI.  She also logged a team-high 55 runs scored, 11 double, 3 triples and ten stolen bases.  Defensively, Tapper finished the campaign with a .965 fielding percentage and 70 assists.

Tapper closes out her four-year run as a Red Devil finishing in the top 10 in almost every career offensive statistic, highlighted by setting the all-time mark in runs scored.

Dura, who logged 36 starts at catcher and shortstop, shattered Eureka's single-season record for runs batted in in a season with 66. Dura's .575 batting average tops Division III, while she is first in RBI's per game and doubles per game. Her .614 on-base percentage has her in second in Division III. Dura also led the conference in hits (73), doubles (27) and total bases (121).

Litwiller, a junior college transfer from Lincoln College, stepped right in as Eureka's clean-up hitter and finished her junior campaign with a .441 batting average, .489 on-base percentage and .780 slugging percentage. The junior drove in 53 runs, second-most in a season, and smacked a team-high six home runs over 36 games played. Her RBI-mark is second all-time in a single season behind Dura's.

George, a Second Team selection as a freshman, served as Eureka's number one starting pitcher. George collected a 15-4 overall record in the circle, notching a 2.98 earned run average and 63 strike outs over 126.2 innings pitched. George also played short stop and outfield for the Red Devils, finishing with a .345 batting average at the dish.

Patterson, another junior college transfer, racked up 14 wins in the circle and tallied a 64 strike outs over 109.1 innings of work as Eureka's number two arm. When not pitching Patterson served as EC's right fielder, concluding her junior campaign with a .372 batting average.

Fourth-year coach Neff was selected as the SLIAC Coach of the Year after turning around a program that finished 15-21 last season.

Additionally, sophomore utility Hannah Shearburn (Wyanet, Ill./Bureau Valley) was Eureka's representative on the SLIAC All-Sportsmanship Team. One player from each member school is nominated by head coaches to be on the 10-player team.