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Hillaree Bennett Named PCSC Freshman of the Year

May 16, 2006

LOS ANGELES, CA - Freshman Hillaree Bennett became the second LMU player to earn PCSC Freshman of the Year honors when the conference announced its yearly honors today. In addition, she was named to the first team and was joined by junior second baseman Margo Pineda. Three Lions earned second team honors - first baseman Tracy Cook, third baseman Megan Ackerman and utility Brittany Bassett.

Bennett had an outstanding freshman season. She smashed the LMU single season record for walks, finishing the season with 49, 15 higher than the previous record of 34. Most of these walks came against conference teams, as she was walked 28 times in PCSC play. Bennett finished the regular season second in the nation in walks per game at 0.96. In addition, she finished the season with a conference-leading 12 home runs, 3rd on the LMU single season list. Her .714 PCSC slugging percentage was second in the conference, and her overall slugging percentage of .764 was 20th in the nation.

Bennett finished the season with a .390 batting average, fourth on the LMU single season list. Her 40 RBI was tied for fourth on the single season list. In conference play, Bennett his .371 with two home runs, six doubles, 10 RBI and an impressive .646 on base percentage. She had just four strikeouts in 18 PCSC games with 28 walks. She was named the PCSC Player of the Week two times in 2006.

Pineda earns first team honors for the second straight year. The 2005 PCSC Player of the Year had another strong season, hitting .325 overall with four home runs and nine doubles. She scored 27 runs with 19 RBI and a .473 slugging percentage. In PCSC play, she hit .294 with a home run, a triple, three doubles and seven RBI.

Basssett, LMU's first ever PCSC Freshman of the Year in 2003, earned second team honors for the second straight year. It is the third time in her career that Bassett has earned All-PCSC honors, picking up a first team nod in 2003. This season, Bassett was limited to first base and the designated player role by injuries, but she was a strong contributor at the plate. For the season, she hit .268 with five home runs, two doubles and 22 RBI. In conference play, she raised her average to .291 with two home runs and a team-high 12 RBI.

Cook heated things up in PCSC play. She was hitting .186 in non-conference play, but caught fire against PCSC opponents. The sophomore first baseman hit .339 with two home runs and three doubles in PCSC play. She raised her overall batting average to .245, and finished the season with three home runs, eight doubles and 20 RBI.

Freshman Ackerman earns her first career PCSC award, picking up second team honors. She hit .273 overall with a team-high 11 doubles. She recorded 15 RBI and 21 runs with 12 walks. In conference play, the third baseman hit .255 with her first career home run, a grand slam.

Sacramento State's Lindy Winkler was named the PCSC Player of the Year and Portland State's Mandy Hill earned PCSC Pitcher of the Year honors. Amy Hayes of Portland State was named PCSC Coach of the Year after leading the Vikings to their first ever PCSC Championship and NCAA tournament berth.