ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Mountain West has named three softball players to its all-conference award list. Brandi Heimburg and Willow Kalinen have garnered first team honors as outfielders while Naomi Tellez has been selected to second team as a catcher/designated player. The conference office announced the all-conference list this morning.
“Overall I am so incredibly proud of our all-conference Lobos,” said head coach Erica Beach. “They represented us with pride on the field every single day and they deserve these awards.”
Brandi Heimburg was a huge contributor in the lineup. She moved to the Lobos’ leadoff hitter when Chelsea Anaya was out for the rest of the season due to injury. Heimburg was second on the team with a .388 batting average and 57 hits to go along with three eight-game hitting streaks. She tallied a team second-best nine doubles, one triple, one home run and 15 RBIs. She finished second in the Mountain West with a .471 conference play average and first with a total of 40 hits.
Heimburg goes down as one of the toughest to strikeout in the nation, coming in at 28th with only six strikeouts this season. Heimburg was 6-for-6 in stolen bases and had a .970 fielding percentage.
“Brandi was the spark we needed in our lineup,” said Beach. “We could always count on her to have a great at-bat and she gave our lineup confidence. She is a tough hitter to face and it was fun to see how well she performed.”
After a rough start to her freshman season, Kalinen grew to be a big contributor in the Lobos’ lineup. She was a triple threat as she could bunt for a base hit, slap and run it out or hit for power to score runs for the team. Kalinen finished with the top average on the squad, hitting .414 and she led the conference with a .535 average. Of her 29 hits, Kalinen tallied 23 in conference play with 11 runs scored, one triple and seven RBIs.
“Willow really found her stride during conference play,” Beach said. “We saw her mature into a fantastic hitter. She became consistent and came through for us in a big way. She not only was dangerous with her slapping but also would swing away for some power when we needed RBIs which is very rough to defend against.”
After a year of experience under her belt, sophomore Tellez proved to be a leader on the field for the Lobos and earned respect from teams around the conference in the batter’s box. She finished with a .369 batting average and collected a team-best 58 hits and 43 RBIs. She was first on the team with 11 doubles and tied for first with seven home runs. Behind the plate, she finished conference play tied for first with a 1.000 fielding percentage.
“Naomi was one our most feared and consistent hitters throughout the season,” said Beach. “She provided much needed power to our offense and had the capability to hit to all fields. She also provided great leadership to our lineup.”