Texas infielder Janae Jefferson (2) celebrates a RBI against Incarnate Word in Austin on Feb. 9, 2018. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT Softball

Texas freshman Janae Jefferson spotlighted as Big 12’s annual awards honor a quartet of Longhorns

Posted May 9th, 2018

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Back in February, Janae Jefferson led off UT’s softball season — and her collegiate career — with a walk against Incarnate Word. It was a sign of things to come.

Jefferson was the lone Longhorn on the first team of the Big 12’s all-conference team, which was revealed on Wednesday. Jefferson currently leads Texas in batting average (.407), runs (27) and hits (68), and her 23 RBIs trail only senior teammate Paige von Sprecken’s 28. A second baseman from Humble, Jefferson reached base in all 18 Big 12 games and her .533 batting average in conference play led the league.

Jefferson’s 32 hits in Big 12 play are a Longhorn record.

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Jefferson was also placed on the Big 12’s all-freshman squad. She was not named the Big 12’s Freshman of the Year, an award that went to Oklahoma utility player Jocelyn Alo. Oklahoma is also the home of the conference’s top coach (Patty Gasso), pitcher (Paige Parker) and defender (Kelsey Arnold).

Texas outfielder Kaitlyn Washington takes a turn at bat against Kansas at McCombs Field on March 28, 2018. JAMIE HARMS / FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Read more: Despite arthritic diagnosis, Kaitlyn Washington keeps living her dream

Read more: Texas to use Brooke Bolinger’s left hand and ‘mean streak’ as assets

Read more: Texas’ Paige von Sprecken is throwing strikes and swinging freely

Three of Jefferson’s teammates were also recognized by the Big 12 on Wednesday. Von Sprecken was joined on the second team of the Big 12’s honor roll by junior pitcher Brooke Bolinger and sophomore outfielder Kaitlyn Washington.

In addition to leading the conference with her 19 doubles, von Sprecken has compiled a 10-10 record and 1.67 ERA as a pitcher. The left-handed Bolinger has won 12 times this year. Washington is hitting .331 with 18 runs and 16 RBIs, and she clubbed three home runs in one series against Iowa State.

Texas (30-23) will meet Iowa State and Oklahoma in pool play at the Big 12 tournament on Friday. The Longhorns are attempting to reach the NCAA tournament for a 14th straight season.

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