Junior pitcher Naomi Reyes was named the 2021 SWAC Pitcher of the Year while head coach Raven Rodriguez was tabbed the SWAC’s Co-Coach of the Year. A total of four Lady Tiger student-athletes were either named to the 2021 All-SWAC First or Second teams.
A junior from Edinburg, Texas, Reyes picked up where she left off from last year’s shortened season as the SWAC’s leader in ERA, strikeouts (109) and opposing batting average (.224). Reyes, who also earned first team honors, has a perfect game under her belt this season and six games with nine or more strikeouts, including a 16-strikeout performance against Southern last week. This marks the second consecutive full season Reyes has earned postseason accolades as she earned second team honors in 2019 as a freshman.
Rodriguez was handed the keys to the program overnight in January after the resignation of longtime head coach Worley Barker. Despite the timing, the first-year coach has hit the ground running as she led TSU to its 11st straight SWAC West title while also navigating the challenges of keeping the team competitive and safe through the COVID-19 environment. The Houston native, who has several solid non-conference wins under her belt, previously was TSU’s top assistant for the past two seasons.
Also earning second team honors were junior catcher Daryn Haslam, senior shortstop Paige Jackson and senior center fielder Tevanae Tate.
Haslam is batting .313 with 20 hits, 26 total bases and 9 RBI. The team’s everyday catcher, the Cedar Park, Texas native also has a .443 on-base percentage and 133 put outs behind the plate. She has played a major role in the success of the pitching staff this season as the staff has combined for 160 strikeouts.
Tate is having a career year at the plate with a .400 average entering the SWAC Tournament. The Leander, Texas standout is having her best year at the place since her freshman year in 2018 as she leads TSU with five home runs, 56 total bases and four triples while compiling an OPS of 1.218. A speedy outfielder who can cover a lot of territory, she also ranks second on the team in hits (30) and runs scored (15).
Jackson was pressed into duty midway through the season as the team’s starter at shortstop and hasn’t disappointed with a career year at the plate. The Houston native is batting .300 with four doubles, 18 hits, 11 RBI and 22 total bases.
TSU is back in action Tuesday morning for the first round of the 2021 SWAC Softball Tournament in Gulfport, Miss.