UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Experience reigns supreme at the top of the 2019 PSUAC Softball All-Conference Awards. Senior hurler Vanessa Jackson of Penn State Beaver and senior super-utility star Samantha Varela of Penn State Hazleton each captured Player of the Year honors in the West and East divisions, respectively. For Varela, it is her second Player of the Year award in a row. Each player also led their team to the top of their divisions, earning first round byes in the PSUAC playoffs.
Jackson, who also captured Pitcher of the Year honors in the West, led a contingent of six All-Conference selections from Beaver. Penn State Brandywine led the way with nine total selections, including five First Team award winners in the East.
Taylor Johnson joined her teammate Jackson as a specialty award winner, taking home West Newcomer of the Year honors in her freshmen campaign, giving Beaver a clean sweep of the West division's specialty awards. In the East, Hazleton took home all the honors as Madison Clark joined Varela as an award winner, earning both Pitcher of the Year and Newcomer of the Year.
Penn State Beaver's Andy Kirschner, who led his team to a division crown, was named the conference's Coach of the Year.
In total, 45 student-athletes received postseason recognition, including at least one student-athlete from each of the 10 conference teams. Each team recognized a John Fritz Sportsmanship award winner to go along with the 35 student-athletes recognized for their outstanding athletic accomplishments.
The PSUAC Playoffs continue this weekend at Heindl Memorial Park in DuBois, Pa., beginning Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
PSUAC All-Conference awards for team sports are nominated and voted on by the member campus coaching or administrative staffs. Individual sports, golf and cross country, are based on results from the PSUAC Championship events in those respective sports.