BRENHAM, Texas — Blinn College right-handed pitcher Meghan Morris (Brenham) was named the 2019 Region XIV South Division Player of the Year, third baseman Kimber Cortemelia (Lake Jackson) was named the 2019 Region XIV South Division Player of the Year and Blinn College softball coaches Rick Church and Jami Ingram were named the 2019 Region XIV Conference Coaching Staff of the Year.
“Meghan and Kimber were recognized by all of the coaches in the conference as the top players, so we want to congratulate them for doing such an outstanding job this year,” said Rick Church, Blinn head coach. “It was a true honor for them to get that recognition from the rest of the teams in our conference. That is a tribute to our conference record and 44 overall wins.”
A sophomore, Morris led the Region XIV South Division in wins (24) and finished third in strikeouts (103). In addition, she led Blinn in innings pitched (221), earned run average (2.95), and with a 26-7 record.
“It is a great feeling to be recognized as the Pitcher of the Year, but I give props to my team and coaches because they were behind me the entire time and always pushed me to do my best,” Morris said. “I loved the bonds that we made as a team this year and we all had the same goals. This was a great group of girls and our coaches treated us so well, which made this season fun.”
Sophomore Cortemelia ranked third in the South Division in batting average (.441) and tied for third in RBIs (48). She shared Blinn’s lead in hits (73) and doubles (16), and was second on the team in runs (49).
“I feel humbled by this honor and blessed to have been given this opportunity,” Cortemelia said. “I am thankful to the coaches who voted for me and for my teammates, who constantly pushed me this year. Our team formed a bond and the chemistry we had on the field was something that happened because we were blessed to have all gotten along so well.”
Church and Ingram were named the 2019 Region XIV Coaching Staff of the Year after overseeing a team that finished with a 44-15 overall record and a program-best 23-1 conference record for the Region XIV South-Division Championship. Blinn concluded the season with a fourth-place finish in the 2019 NJCAA Region XIV Softball Tournament and ranked 17th in the nation.
“Jami and I are very humbled and gracious to be recognized with this tremendous honor,” Church said. “The highlight of this year was the all-around quality of the student-athletes that we had in our program. We had a team of 21 and what they achieved as a unit and how they pulled together is thing that Coach Ingram and I will remember the most about this bunch.”
Church picked up his 800th win as the Buccaneers’ head coach on March 22 in the midst of Blinn’s 23-game win streak. Church has spent 20 seasons with the program, while Ingram has been an assistant coach under Church for 14 years and also was his former player at Blinn.
Sarah Cedillo (Humble) joined Morris and Cortemelia with first-team all-region and all-conference honors after recording 65 hits and 47 runs in 184 at-bats to maintain a .353 batting average.
Amber Langston (Manvel), Anna Pisaro (Cypress), and Bailey Zibelin (New Braunfels) picked up first-team all-conference and second-team all-region honors, while Maria Garcia (Mission) earned first-team all-conference accolades.
Langston finished second in the Region XIV South Division with 50 RBIs and shared Blinn’s lead in hits with 73, Pisaro was third on the team with 67 hits and second on the team with 16 stolen bases, Zibelin shared Blinn’s lead in doubles with 16 and was third on the team with 45 RBIs, and Garcia maintained a .355 batting average with 60 hits, while also scoring 48 runs and driving in 36.
In addition, Tori Alvarez-Lopez (Cypress) and Courtney Ogle (Cedar Park) claimed second-team all-conference honors.
Alvarez-Lopez was second in the Region XIV-South with 17 stolen bases and recorded 55 hits for Blinn, while Ogle led the Buccaneers with seven home runs and drove in 36 runs.