Three Bears Named to All-Missouri Valley Conference Teams
DES MOINES, Iowa -- After posting their best Missouri Valley Conference finish in four years, the Missouri State Bears placed three players on all-MVC squads, the league office announced Wednesday. Jenna Schwark and Caitlin Chapin earned First-Team All-MVC honors, while Christa Gammon received Second-Team All-MVC recognition.
The Bears' total of three all-MVC selections represents their best post-season haul since 2006, when five MSU players earned all-Valley honors.
The all-conference nod is the first for Schwark, who leads Missouri State and ranks fifth in the MVC in overall batting (.357), while also rating among the league’s top 10 individuals in hits (50) and on-base percentage (.448). Splitting time between third base and the outfield, the junior from Broken Arrow, Okla., is second on the team in hits, runs scored (25), RBIs (23) and multi-hit games (13) and paces the squad with 19 walks and 71 total bases.
Schwark ranks as the toughest Valley player to strike-out and the 34th-toughest nationally, fanning just one time for every 17.5 at-bats overall. She has gone down on strikes just once in her last 18 games dating back to April 10, only three times in the Bears’ 25 MVC games and eight times overall in 2010.
Chapin becomes the first MSU freshman to receive all-MVC recognition since 2006 after serving as one of the driving forces behind a Bears’ offense that ranks fourth overall in the Valley in hitting (.264). The Bears’ designated player in 29 of 48 contests, she leads the team with eight home runs and 27 RBIs. The Ozark, Mo., product’s second-inning solo shot at UNI on Sunday moved her into a tie for the top spot on the Bears’ freshman home run chart, equalling Jessie Smith’s (2006) MSU record.
Chapin recorded a seven-game hit streak (March 26-April 8) and reached base safely via a hit or walk in 11 consecutive games from March 26-April 11, going 13-for-30 (.433) with four homers and 12 RBIs, while slugging .900 and posting a .541 on-base percentage.
A junior who started 40 games at second base for the Bears, Gammon led the MVC in hits (34) and triples (2) in conference play. Her .395 batting average over 25 league games ranked third in the circuit and marked a .151 point improvement from last year, when she hit just .244 in conference play. The Fairview Heights, Ill., native also ranked fourth in the Valley with 18 runs scored in MVC play and posted six multi-hit games over the final 11 games of the regular season while batting .463 (19-of-41).
Gammon has three separate hit streaks of five games or more this season, including a pair of career-long six-game streaks over the last four weeks. She came through when it mattered most, posting at least one hit in 15 of the Bears’ last 18 games overall, batting .426 (26-for-61) with 12 runs scored since April 10.
The fifth-seeded Bears (18-30, 13-12 MVC) will open the MVC tourney against No. 8 Evansville at Buel Field in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday (May 13) at 11 a.m.