Two softball players receive national recognition from NAIA
Makenna Aycock was named NAIA National Pitcher of the Week and Bailey Terry named NAIA National Player of the Week, the national office announced on Tuesday. The teammates were chosen out of a pool of conference, independent, and unaffiliated group winners.
It is the first time this season that teammates have been selected for the awards in the same week.
Aycock (10-3) went 2-0 with a save this past week. She set a career-high 10 strikeouts in a shutout win over Southwestern Christian before taking an eight-inning win over No. 2 Science & Arts that snapped a 19-game win streak.
"I feel extremely honored," said Aycock on receiving the award. "…to have something to show for all of the hard work that has been put in is great." She went on to talk about how she was able to break up USAO's 20-game win streak from the pitcher's circle, "I was able to stay solid against USAO by simply being able to trust my defense. I knew that if I could do my job by throwing pitches to get ground balls or pop up's, my teammates would make the plays behind me."
Aycock has won her last six starts from the circle, and she talked about a big reason for her success, "My dad was my coach growing up, so I can always hear him in the back of my mind, or pick out his voice in the crowd telling me to step back, breathe, and don't throw anything "too good" (meaning over the plate). I also try to show no emotion and have a two-second memory when it comes to a pitch or play. That helps me keep my composure in the circle."
Terry went beast mode, hitting .500 (6-for-12) with five bombs and 15 RBI. She ranks third in the nation in RBI (47) and fourth in home runs (12). Terry went yard to give the Lady Rams the lead for good in a 10-8, game two win over the second-ranked Drovers.
"It feels absolutely amazing," an elated Terry said on being recognized at the national level, "it shows the work and time I put into this sport pays off. I could not do it without my
Terry noted that her approach to the plate doesn't change no matter the situation, "When I step up to the plate, I like to be relaxed no matter the situation. More importantly, I talk to myself through my at-bats. So, I will say out loud, 'If the ball is there, hit it!', and so far it has been working." She went on and talked specifically about her go-ahead home run in the game two win over USAO, "I felt that in that moment my team needed me and I was glad to have done it for them."
Texas Wesleyan is 29-11 and 15-3 in the conference. The team is currently in second place in the conference standings.
The Lady Rams will take on Mid-America Christian at Sycamore Park on Friday, April 13. First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m.
To read the national office release, click here.