Sports: Trio Awarded Program Record All-GSAC Recognition
Graifman snags two-time Pitcher of the Year and Basaldua and Lewis join All-Conference line up
ROCKLIN, Calif. - The accolades continue to pour in the past week as the now NAIA nationally recognized Jessup softball team is top three in the conference standings and clinched a program-high three players named to the All-GSAC Team announced by the conference office and presented by Under Armour.
Senior pitcher and Antioch, Calif. native Shelbi Graifman nabbed her third-straight All-Conference and second-straight GSAC Pitcher of the Year recognition, this year the accolades from the circle shared with Vanguard's Vanessa Dwyer. Graifman currently leads the country and the conference in wins (26), crushing the program and her own previous most-wins record by 10. She also has the most innings pitched (235) in the NAIA, while leading the GSAC in strikeouts 238, her closest opponent over 150 behind.
Adding to the success in the circle is her consistency in the box hitting .393 this season in the third spot for the Warrior's line-up.
Leading Graifman all four years is head coach Kevin Amick who is grateful for the senior's dedication and strength, "Shelbi has been our number one pitcher all four years she has been at Jessup, while this year leading the NAIA in wins with 26. All that being said, she also hits third in our lineup with a .393 average. I am so proud of her being All-Conference for the third-straight year and Pitcher of the Year the last two seasons."
Joining her teammate is an underclassman, Natalie Basaldua. The starting third baseman and number four hitter originates from Gonzales, Calif. and joined the Warrior's squad last season making an impact in her first year finishing .267 in the box in her 45 appearances. Coming fresh off the final GSAC Player of the Week recognition, Basaldua went 7-for-7 against the Hawks in an early makeup series last week. Basaldua is currently top 10 in the conference with a .381 batting average and fourth in most doubles this season with 13.
"Natalie came in this year as a sophomore ready to be a starter and major part of our team," Amick commented. "She is a very aggressive hitter and ended the regular season with .381 average and led the team with 40 runs batted in. There is no one better with runners on then Natalie, she has been a clutch performer for us all year and really deserves this All-Conference award."
Closing out the trio represented is freshman Abbie Lewis, just one of three first-year players recognized in the top 20 all-conference selections. The Lodi, Calif. native is well known for her speed around the bases and out of the box. The starting second baseman is third overall in the conference with an impressive .419 batting average from the left side, while second in overall hits (65). Hot around the bases, the Warrior is 28 of 30, leading the conference in steals, good enough for top 15 in the nation and takes the number one slot in program history.
Amick says Lewis' impact is more than he has ever seen as a freshman coming in, "Abbie has hit at the top of our lineup this year and as a freshman climbed to a .419 batting average. I have never had a freshman come in and make such a great impact on our team like Abbie has. She also has 28 stolen bases which is a school record for William Jessup. Jessup is very lucky to have a player with her talents in our programs."
The Warriors will head to their fourth-straight conference tournament for the GSAC looking to break the most wins in program history, just one shy at 29. Jessup will face No. 1 seed Vanguard, the host institute, out the gate on Tuesday at 11:30 am.
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