DURANT, Okla. - Following the completion of the 2013-14 athletic season, Southeastern has handed out its remaining award, naming Jessica Simmons the Female Athlete of the Year and Marcos Sevilla Suarez as the Male Athlete of the Year. Mindy McElroy was also named the Softball MVP, while Chevis Springer and Mason Crenshaw shared the Baseball MVP honors.
Simmons, a sophomore second baseman from Bethel, Okla., earned All-American recognition as well and being named the Great American Conference Player of the Year, all while helping to guide the Savage Storm to its first ever National Finals appearance in softball, ultimately finishing third in the nation.
She earned All-Central Region recognition in from both the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and Daktronics before becoming the ninth player in Southeastern softball history to garner All-American honors.
Simmons finished the season third in the GAC in hitting with a .413 average, while leading the conference in runs scored at 66 and stolen bases with 38, and was ranked top-five in the GAC in hits, doubles, triples, walks and on-base percentage.
She posted 83 hits on the season, 20 of which were doubles which matched Southeastern’s single-season record for doubles. She also posted a team-best three triples and added three home runs over the year, making her a diverse threat to reach base in multiple ways out of the leadoff spot in the lineup.
And reach base she did, doing so 50.0 percent of the time she came to the plate, and once there she made the most of it by swiping 38 bases and scoring 66 runs.
In the field she posted a .969 fielding percentage, with just six errors in 192 chances at second base.
Sevilla, a sophomore from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, also etched his name in a new place in the SE record book by earning the team’s first berth to the NCAA Division II National Championship after finishing third at the Midwest/Central Super-Regional.
He turned in his best finish of the season on one of the biggest stages, turning in a third-place finish at the NCAA Division II Midwest/Central Super-Regional, taking the early lead in the event with an opening round of 68 before finishing the three-round tournament with a one-over-par mark of 217.
Sevilla carded a 225 over three rounds at the NCAA Championships to finish tied for 38th out of 108 competitors, the highest finish a GAC golfer has ever posted in the final tournament.
This season he set the Savage Storm school record for average score versus par, posting an average round of 74.28 over 11 tournament and 29 rounds, with an average score of plus-2.59 to par. He has also posted the program’s highest finish percentage, topping 79.7 percent of the total competitors he faced on the year.
He was a PING All-Central region honoree as well as earning All-Great American Conference honors.
Sevilla was ranked in the top-10 in the nation in eagles on the season with five and carded six rounds at par-or-better, with three rounds in the 60’s that included a season best 68 in the opening round of the Super-Regional tournament.
On the season he posted a best finish of third, with two additional top-five finishes and three other top-10 finishes in 11 tournaments and never finished outside of the top half of the field in any event, including a 12th place finish at the conference tournament.
McElroy, a senior pitcher from Ringling, Okla., was named the softball team MVP in a vote among the team’s players after helping lead the Storm to the National Finals with her work in the circle.
She finished her senior season as the Great American Conference Pitcher of the Year and a first team All-GAC pick, while also adding her second-straight All-Central Region award.
McElroy finished the year with a 29-12 record in the circle and a 2.71 ERA in 48 appearances with 40 starts and 253.0 innings pitched.
She tossed 18 complete games, six of which were shutouts, while holding opponents to a .261 batting average and striking out 67.
Springer, a senior outfielder from Paris, Texas, earned second team All-GAC honors on the season after pacing the Southeastern offense.
He turned in a .302 average on the season with a team-high 51 hits and 354 runs scored while posting a .382 on-base percentage.
Springer had seven doubles and a team-best four triples as well as a home run and 15 RBI out of the lead off position in the lineup. He was also second on the team in stolen bases with 17.
Crenshaw led the Storm pitching staff in every major category on the season. He turned in a 7-1 record in 21 appearances, all coming in relief, posting a 2.16 ERA with nine saves. In all, he recorded a win or a save in 16 of the team’s 23 victories.
He tossed 58.1 inning on the year, allowing just 14 earned runs, while holding opposing hitters to a .216 batting average and striking out 61.
Eight programs handed out their Team MVP honors at Southeastern’s end of the year celebration:
Football - Devlon Wortham; Cross Country - Bailee Weger; Volleyball - Megan Kunkel; Women’s Basketball - Emily Williams; Men’s Basketball - Urald King; Women’s Tennis - Conchi Assiego; Men’s Tennis - Nathan Nelmes and Golf - Jeff Hunter.