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Texas catcher Taylor Ellsworth (center) chats with teammates during a game against Indiana on Feb. 17, 2017. Ellsworth is on the watch list for the 2018 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Softball

Texas catcher Taylor Ellsworth joins three teammates on Big 12 honor roll

Posted May 10th, 2017

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Taylor Ellsworth began this school year in high school. She’ll finish it listed among the Big 12’s top players.

On Wednesday, Ellsworth was placed on the first team of the All-Big 12 softball team. Ellsworth, a freshman catcher who skipped her senior season at Georgetown and enrolled early at Texas, led the Longhorns with her .422 batting average. She also hit three home runs and delivered 23 RBIs.

Ellsworth was Texas’ only representative on the first team, but pitcher Tiarra Davis (8-8, 2.03 ERA) and shortstop Devon Tunning (.341, 36 runs, 23 RBIs) were second-team honorees. Ellsworth was joined on the all-freshman team by outfielder Kaitlyn Washington, who only started 21 games this season but earned one of the conference’s player of the week awards in April.

Oklahoma was Wednesday’s big winner as the Big 12’s top coach (Patty Gasso), player (Shay Knighten) and pitcher (Paige Parker) were all Sooners. Oklahoma utility player Nicole Mendes, who scored 41 times and finished one spot above the third-place Ellsworth among Big 12 batters, was named the freshman of the year. Baylor outfielder Jessie Scroggins was recognized as the top defender in the Big 12.

Texas (30-22) finished fourth in the Big 12 standings this spring. The Longhorns will compete at the Big 12 tournament this week, and they will meet Texas Tech (18-34) and Oklahoma (47-8) in pool play on Friday.

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