Brentz, Cunningham Rake in Valley Honors at MVC Banquet

May 7, 2014

NORMAL, Ill. - Missouri State softball seniors Ashley Brentz and Kerri Cunningham were recognized at the league's award banquet with All-Missouri Valley Conference second team selections on Wednesday (May 7). It is the third straight-season that Brentz has been on an all-league team and the first honor bestowed upon Cunningham.

Cunningham led Missouri State with a .338 average through the regular season, 10th in the Valley. The Warrenton, Mo. native hit a team-best .400 during MVC play, a figure that placed her sixth among her league peers. On the season, Cunningham stole 25 bases, the second-highest single season total in school history and second-most in the MVC. Her .448 average with runners on base was tops in the league. Entering this week's MVC Tournament, Cunningham has reached base safely in 14-straight games, the longest stretch by a Bear this season. The speedy centerfielder impressed league opponents with her ability to reach base on bunt singles and track down fly balls in the gaps.

Brentz was a close second to Cunningham with a .331 overall average and hit .375 during Valley play. She led the team in walks with 25 and doubles with 12. One of the most patient hitters in Missouri State history, Brentz drew her 76th career walk last week, tying her for fifth in MSU record books. A career .305 hitter, She led the Bears with 15 multi-hit games this season and enters the MVC Tournament on a seven-game hitting streak, the longest active streak on the team. Brentz took over the leadoff role on March 18 and went on a tear upping her season average by nearly 70 points since. In the Bears' win at Loyola on April 7, the St. Louis native drove in a career-best three runs.

The Bears open the MVC Tournament against UNI (28-19, 14-12) in Normal, Ill., on Thursday at 11:05 a.m. The game can be viewed online through the Valley Live page. The winner will face Bradley (24-30, 15-12) at 4:05 p.m. on Thursday in the quarterfinal round.

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